Divorce

An Open Letter To My Ex-Husband: Thank You

"Thank you for the good times, for the hard times, for the laughter and the tears."

Shortly after writer Shannon Ferguson's divorce was finalized in July, she sat down and wrote a letter to her ex, a man to whom she was married for almost two years. Below, Ferguson, who works in digital marketing and runs the dating advice blog The Love Hawk, shares the bittersweet letter with us.

Dear ex-husband,

It wasn’t long ago that I was getting into my wedding dress, walking down the aisle and saying the vows I intended to keep forever. It wasn’t long ago that I felt like the most loved woman on the planet because my best friend was by my side and promising to stand by me until the end of time. It wasn’t long ago but it feels like an eternity has passed since then.

It's been a whirlwind of trying to understand what happened -- of trying to make sense of why it had to end. The year that's slipped away has left me with so many unanswered questions but at the end of each day, I remind myself to be thankful.

So, I thank you. I thank you for our good moments and for the times you stood by and protected me. I thank you for the laughter we always shared and for the memories we created in our short time as a couple and our even longer friendship. I thank you for the flowers, the cards, the little things you did. And I thank you because I know in those moments, you were happy, too.

I thank you for leaving when you did. Even though I’m still trying to understand why, it has made me a stronger person and helped me realize that maybe some things aren’t meant to last forever.

Thank you for not prolonging the hardship and forcing me to face the world on my own while I’m still young, while my ambition and desire is still strong. Divorce has made me more independent and helped me see the world in a new light, and for that, I thank you.

I thank you for all the lessons you've taught me over the last decade. You taught me that love really does exist and that it can live in someone’s heart no matter the circumstance, distance or boundaries. You loved me in spite of many circumstances and for that, I'm grateful. And you taught me that something even greater can come from the spark of friendship. You were patient and you believed, and for that, I thank you.

Lastly, you taught me that sometimes even the strongest fires burn out. You taught me that even good marriages can fade into nothing and you taught me to be more careful with my heart in the future. You taught me that maybe love isn’t truly enough to keep a marriage afloat -- because God knows I loved you and I always figured you felt the same.

So without hate or animosity, I look back at the past three years since our first dance as husband and wife and all I can do is thank you. Thank you for the good times, for the hard times, for the laughter and the tears. Thank you for helping to shape the strong person I am today and for being a big part of my life for a small slice of time.

I wish you well.

-- Shannon

Want to share a letter of appreciation for your ex-spouse? We'd love to hear it. Email us at divorce@huffingtonpost.com to share your story.

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