Letters I Will Never Send: Dear Ex Husband,

My therapist asked me to write a letter I will never send. Addressed to my ex. Well. Obviously I am familiar with doing this. This letter may be redundant when looking at the others but it’s just another way to help me heal.

Dear Ex,

We speak on a weekly basis. If you ask me it’s more than I’d like to but we have a son together and it’s what is best for him. So I do it. When we do speak I keep it to minimal but I would like to clear up somethings and update you on my life now.

The woman you married is dead. You killed her. I buried her. In her place rose me. I call it Heather 2.0. I am a mother fucking rock star bad ass. I won’t give you any credit for this transformation since I rose from the ashes of the life you took from me and rebuilt myself all on my own.

The divorce. A blessing in disguise. I never realized how unhappy you made me, until you told me how unhappy I made you. If only you could have gone about it with a little more honesty and ownership. You emotionally abused me without really knowing (I like to think) You made me feel so small and insignificant and convinced me I was a problem. You aimed attacks at me, making me sure I deserved all of the hurt that I felt. When I discovered the cheating you have yet to own up to, I even then thought to myself that I deserved that pain for not being “good enough”.

How lucky you are to not have been treated the way you treated me. You lied and lied and lied until your lies were your truth. You even lied in mediation saying that I was the one who wanted the divorce. In reality I was begging you to change your mind, and only when I hit my lowest did I agree to mediation in hopes that I could finally be free of all the darkness you gave me.

You tore me apart and I know you are sorry, but sometimes I think you are only sorry because you know that I am not afraid to tell the world how you hurt me for fear your reputation would be tarnished.

I may not have been the dutiful wife you dreamed of marrying. I was battling my demons with depression from the robbery, being a new mom, working a terrible job and I was trying to be strong because I know you needed me to. But now I see. A husband who cares and loves his wife would have seen me struggle, would have known I was hurting and needed support. He would not have sought the attention of a coworker, he would have poured his love into me and lifted me up. You chose to ignore my pain and focus on how it affected you. Your vow “For better or worse” had a clause in it that I had no knowledge of. “For better or for worse, unless your worse is too much for me to handle”. You left me when I was low and you dug me deeper. I can’t blame you, seeing as you couldn’t bring yourself to love me. Why would you bother.

But here is the thing. I am so happy. I am happier than I can remember. Other than our son being born, I cannot remember being this unapologetic-ally happy. I remember when we were kids and you said you loved me. I was very hesitant to say it back, I felt awkward. I thought it was because I was scared. Turns out I was scared. But I also had no idea what LOVE was. I knew how to love a best friend, a dog, a family member. But when it came to the kind of love that meant there were no “but” or “unless” attached, we were too young to know. I always followed your lead because I thought to myself that if you really did love me like you say then that will be enough and the rest will fall right into place.

Not true. Obviously.

Now I have a boyfriend and I have been seeing him since August. My aunt set us up on a date and we have been seeing each other since. I see some large differences in how this is progressing compared to how it was progressing with us.

I have not once caught him in a lie. In fact, he is very honest about things I wouldn’t expect. I remember in just a few months of dating you I caught you in many lies, you even lied about your virginity. That should have been my first tip. That inspires me to be very honest with him. He know about us. I didn’t paint the divorce as a situation where I am entirely innocent and I knew the best thing to do was to be completely honest with him because I know how it feels to be lied to by someone you care about.

With him I have laid all my flaws on the table. All the things about me you had a problem with.

I told him sometimes I don’t clean up. I get caught up in other things, and I forget.He said “That’s OK. I struggle with that too, we can help each other out”. You mean he won’t berate me and say it’s “Common sense”? Wow.I felt like calling you immediately to say “HA”.

I told him sometimes I get sad. Really sad. I shut down and I may not say anything. He held me and said “It’s OK to be sad. I want to be there and make you happy, I want to know when you are sad, please tell me.” He’s already seen me through one of those days. He knew. I never said a word but he could tell. And he let me lay in bed and just talk. He cared and it felt genuine.

I told him I am crap at budgeting. But I am learning. He said, “Me too but I am also learning. Let’s do it together.” You always put this emphasis on money with me. It was always about how much we had or didn’t and all the things you wanted and wanted to do because of how hard you worked. But I was almost never taken into consideration. Ever. I can talk about money with him and I am not scared or nervous. He listens, understands and his advice comes from a place of critique and not disgust.

You didn’t like my body anymore. You told your Home Depot girlfriend all about how much you liked her “skinny” body. You forgot that this body brought your son in this world. The price was my body. I have never liked my thighs. My stomach isn’t tight. After I moved out I was sick for a month and lost 30lbs, started running and kayaking. I looked great. Not perfect but I was happy. Since I have gained half of that back. But J said he loves my thighs, my stomach shows that I sacrificed my body to bring life and that is beautiful. He makes me feel like I am the prettiest girl to walk the earth. He tells me daily. You never complimented me unless prompted. Maybe it’s an old married thing. But I am willing to test this with J.

You used to complain how I never wanted sex. Turns out I know why. You didn’t attract me. You were grumpy and mean. Sex was always about you and it was over in a minute. With him it is more of an experience. He makes me want him. He treats me so well that I only want to make him happy. He always takes the time to make me feel important. I cannot get enough of him. I feel real raw desire and it’s the best I’ve ever had.

You told me I didn’t make you a priority. I was too busy being a mom. He actually loves that I am a Mom. He gives me the space and respect I need with the little man. He doesn’t make me choose between my child and him.

You made me feel defective, broken and useless. I thought I was all wrong. I killed myself trying to be the person you needed.

Turns out I am wonderful. To another man. The things that made you disgusted about me, another man accepts and even celebrates sometimes.

This isn’t an attempt to be “in your face” but you should know that you were wrong in how you treated me. To make me think that the marriage failed because of who I was, to destroy any confidence I had in myself and to belittle me into thinking I had to change who I was to fit what you needed was wrong and cruel.

Goodbye for now,

Your Happy Ex Wife

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