Posted in Separation / Divorce

Divorced: A letter to my ex wife

So I am now officially divorced. Some people say they feel relief and positive at this stage – and I do mostly – but I feel numb and a little disjointed. Of course I wanted this and of course she wanted this. Yet that doesn’t detract from the sense of loss that I feel today – she is no longer legally a part of my life. We married three and a half years ago having been engaged for two years. We decided that it was over 18 months ago. I’ve decided to write a letter to my ex wife for this blog; in all likelihood she will never see it.

Dear ex-wife,

I have many reasons to hate you for everything you did and said. But I don’t hate you and I don’t think I ever could. I have certainly been very angry with you at times and occasionally I’ve wanted to cut you out my life completely and forget all about you. But how could I mean that when you have given me so much? As the image included states it’s hard to forget somebody who has given me so much to remember.

I remember the hardships we experienced and the strength we gave each other through those difficult years at university. I remember the wonderful years, the travels, the places we went and the new experiences we shared together. I remember the bottles of wine and conversation into the small hours – when most students were out partying until 3am we were sipping wine, watching a film and then letting the conversation run awau with itself. I remember the Christmases and how we made such a big thing of it every year, much to the mild mockery of others who did not have our inner child.

I remember our first kiss like it was yesterday, the first time I held your hand and I remember the first time I said “I love you”… and the last. I remember the first time we had sex – we were both each other’s first love. These are treasured memories that I carry with me into my new life with you no longer central to it. All of those things have contributed to making me the person I am today. I’m more relaxed than I was when we met, I can laugh at myself more and I have gained confidence in some areas of my life just for having been with you.

I am pleased with how we are progressing now. You are my best friend and others find it odd that you are supportive of my dating efforts (and have even had a clear favourite when I’ve seen more than one at a time!) It is so typically us and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I find it comforting that you were upset when I told you that ubergeek had got back with her ex; I think you were more upset than I was!

In amongst these wonderful memories it has to be acknowledged than you hurt me in the worst way imaginable. You cheated on me and you told me that it was my fault that you cheated. You said it was because I had little confidence in myself – while this was true then and I’m now working on that, I don’t recall it being a problem for the 12 years we were together. Neither was it a problem when you pushed and pushed and pushed to get married against my better judgement. You also said that you had never been in love with me. You were terrified of intimacy and so I was patient. Every time you rejected my advances I backed down – I would never have pushed you. Yet another factor you cited was my lack of sexual interest in you. It never left – I just got so used to being pushed away, so used to the excuses that I gave up… and you said I’d become too passive. Sort of obvious why, isn’t it?

For these reasons I could no longer remain married to you. I feel that our wedding day was a sham and our marriage a lie. This is a statement of my feelings yet I no longer feel any bitterness toward you because of it. I have forgiven you. I have forgiven you many times over yet you do not feel entitled to accept that forgiveness or to forgive yourself. You can honour the memories we shared together no better than by accepting that it has happened and in forgiving yourself. I need you to do this for your sake. I have no desire to see you shackled in the chains of self-punishment for the rest of your life because only you will suffer and I don’t want to see you suffer.

We were once husband and wife, now you are my friend. So while I say goodbye to our marriage and no longer call you “my other half” or “wife”, I say hello to a friendship and a future in which we both hope there will be some contact. Friend, confidante, emotional support, person who understands me like no other I cannot cut you from my life and be happy. Know that I care about you and hope to see you happy someday. Whenever you need my friendship, support or advice, whenever you are at rock bottom and have nowhere else to turn you know how you to reach me.

Yours,

Chin Up, Chest High!

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Author:

I go by the name of Frank Speaking. My blog "In the Mind of Men" (former name Chin Up, Chest High) started out as a chronicle of my mental health recovery. Now it is a forum where I discuss issues related to male mental health.

4 thoughts on “Divorced: A letter to my ex wife

  1. I agree that there is still value in the relationships that don’t ‘make it’, even when they were painful. It’s still an experience and we usually grow from them. It sounds like there was a lot of pain for you from this, but you don’t sound bitter about it. Good!

    1. More pain than I’ve ever experienced before and I found out a whole lot of things about myself from it – not least of all bringing all of my mental health issues to the front and finally having to do something about them.

      I was bitter at one point, especially when I felt my ex and her mother were thinking about nothing but themselves and how they were feeling and paying no attention to what I was going through. I genuinely felt that I was being pressured into keeping my mouth shut that she cheated because her dignity must be preserved at all costs but mine could go to hell.

      But I’m out the other side now and just looking forward.

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