I read Michael Cheshire’s lovely, honest & sweetly funny post “An Open Letter to my Now Ex-Wife” today with tears in my eyes. His sentiments on the day his divorce was finalized echoed so many of my own feelings towards my ex that I was mulling what I would say in my own open letter. In many ways, Divorce Doula is an ongoing open letter to my ex and our children, a place to share my experiences as a single parent and a tool to help me sort through the complicated emotions of divorce.
But if I am being honest, this blog is really my way of saying thank you to my ex husband. To say in writing all of the things that I can’t say in person. It has been cathartic for me to find and release the words, regardless of whether he reads them or not.
The first piece I ever posted on this blog was titled “The World’s Best Ex-Husband.” That was over two years ago, and I still believe it. We have two highly intelligent, carefree, well adjusted young men that are a testament to our co-parenting commitment. Open communication and shared love for Our Two have helped establish their continued safety and happiness. My letter to my ex would start like this:
Firstly, I’d like to thank you for always being respectful towards me in front of our children. For never saying hateful, demeaning, negative things about me within earshot that might make them think that I am anything less than the Perfect Mother. I’m sure they’ll have plenty of time to figure out that I’m not perfect on their own.
Thank you for learning from our mistakes and forming a lasting, loving relationship with someone else. You deserve to be happy and in a relationship with someone who shares your passions. She is a lucky woman to have you in her life.
Thank you for giving me permission to discuss our marriage, separation and divorce and current relationship on this blog. When I told you that I wanted to write our story, you were supportive and asked only that I would take down anything you found offensive, hurtful or untrue. You haven’t asked for a single word to be removed so I guess I’m doing OK.
Thank you for always allowing me to talk to our children, regardless of whose “time” it is. I would never deny you the opportunity to connect with our boys and I appreciate that you provide me the same access. Our boys will only benefit from knowing that we are both only a phone call or FaceTime away.
Thank you for teaching our children about their heritage and allowing me to celebrate the High Holidays with you. I happily share fond & loving memories of your mother with them and am so proud that you are instructing them in her passion for cooking, her love for life. And thank you for staying close with my family & always remembering their birthdays. It means a lot to them.
Thank you for not judging me or pitying me for my bad choices. God knows that there have been some doozies. You remain the benchmark by which I measure all men and I’m not sure whether I should thank you or curse you for my extraordinarily high standards.
Thank you for showing me Paris, New York, Milan and Maui. You can always thank me later for introducing you to Halifax.
At our wedding I told you that half of the person I had become was because of you. But after spending 15 years with you, and four years apart, I am twice the person I ever thought I could be.Thank you for giving Our Two their math skills, their dry sense of humour and their sweet smiles.
They are half you, half me & the best of what we were.