Wow, I didn’t think those would ever be words I’d be saying – ex-husband. It still feels a little surreal.
You told me you wanted a divorce in a marriage counselling session. Actually, you didn’t tell me. Our counsellor asked each of us if we wanted to keep working on our marriage and I instantly answered yes but I remember your words: “No, I want a divorce”. Those five words crushed my world. Until then I was still holding out hope that our marriage would survive, that we would get through this and we would be a big beautiful happy family.
I have let go of the anger and boy was there was there a lot of anger.
Anger that you had turned into this person I didn’t know anymore.
Anger that when I would look into your eyes I would see a stranger.
The man I married would never leave his family, would never treat his wife the way you treated me. The man I married would stand up and fight and not abandon me 20 weeks pregnant with three other children.
But you were no longer the man I married, you will never again be that person. Now when I see you I see a selfish man who threw away a life and a family who would have done anything to keep him. Then there was the time when you did come back to me, for a brief moment wanting to reconcile and I gave in only to have you again throw it all away a few weeks later because the reality of life with a wife and soon to be four children was all too much.
You missed the birth of your last son, you were there for all the other births and I didn’t think I could do it without you but I did. I had my best friend and our eldest son with me and they were perfect. I didn’t think about you at all.
When you came to the hospital the next day and saw our newborn son I saw you cry like you have never cried before. I didn’t feel sad or sorry that you missed the birth. I had given you so many chances to step up in the lead-up and you didn’t so I had to put measures in place to ensure I wasn’t alone. But in the days after our son’s birth you did step up and I thought, this is it, he is finally going to get his act together and we are going to work through this only to find that you had been lying to me again.
I have forgiven your actions that led to the breakdown of our marriage.
I don’t think of you very often anymore which is funny when we have four children together. When I look at the children I don’t see you, I don’t remember what it was like to parent with you. When the children and I talk about you I don’t see you as an ex-lover you are just a man who I share children with.
I don’t remember what it was like to sleep next to you. I don’t remember what it was like to hold your hand. Maybe I’ve blocked those memories out I don’t know.
Now I feel relief, like a huge weight has been taken off my shoulders. I have this sudden freedom to do whatever I like with my life. It has taken me a while to see it but, oh my god I have the entire world at my feet.
I have started a blog and I’m working hard at it, learning so much every single day. Before you, I was always learning. I was always enrolled in a course of some sort. I wanted to know everything about everything and then our life started and I lost sight of that. Now it’s all coming back to me, how much I love to learn, how much there is to learn and I am loving it.
Some of my old “before marriage” friends are still there and my bond with them is so much stronger because they have watched me fall apart, they have been there at my lowest moments and they are watching me come out the other side of this hell as a different person.
I have some new friends, people you don’t know, people who don’t know you and I love that. I love that I am rebuilding my life and parts of it have nothing to do with you, in parts of my life I am not the “ex-wife”, I am not the woman whose husband left her when she was pregnant. I am me.
I have a voice. I never had a voice in our marriage and somewhere on this very rocky road, I found it.
I didn’t realise I was so strong. I still don’t realise how strong I am until someone says to me, "I don’t know how you do it” and I think about what I’ve been through and where I am today and you know what - sometimes I don’t know how the hell I do it either.
Sometimes it still feels like something that happened to someone else. But it didn’t, it happened to me. But I have a new life that’s only just beginning. We have these four amazing children. I have wonderful family and friends and I am beginning to feel happiness.
You leaving me gave me a life and a voice, and I’m a happier person. It has made me see that even though bad things happen it’s not the end, it’s just the beginning. So as I turn the page on this chapter of my life I just want to say thank you. Thank you for telling me that you wanted a divorce it really was the best thing you have ever done for me.
All the best,
This post originally appeared on DivorcedMoms.com.