An Open Letter To My Ex-Husband: Thanks For Loving Me And My New Partner

"You are responsible for so much of my happiness."

A year after her divorce, Neecey Kirby has nothing but gratitude for her ex-husband Kris. Though the pair split up in 2014 after five years as a couple, they've stayed friends for the sake of their two young boys. Looking back, Kirby says that spending her late 20s and early 30s with Kris changed her life entirely for the better.

Below, the mom of two, who lives in Memphis, Tennessee, thanks her ex-husband for all he's done for her and their kids.

I'll never be the ex-wife at the table bashing her ex-husband, hoping everyone hears it. In fact, I'm the ex-wife thanking her ex-husband. I look back now at the time we were together and realize it laid the groundwork for who I am today.

Kris, you and I have been divorced for a year this fall. We separated first, went through marriage counseling and tried our best but it didn't work.

While married, we fought against a lot of things people told us would lead to us failing as a couple. While actively proving them wrong, we found other hurdles no one warned us about. You're 10 years my senior and deal with mood swings, but you always try to better yourself. I'm younger, sharp-tongued and bullheaded in my beliefs. We're opposites, but you showed me beauty in a life I had never lived.

I'll never regret the years we were together. I created a home for myself with you, when I never really had much of one before. You helped me grow, you showed me love and compassion even in our differences. We had our own family drama, of course, but you you truly made me understand what it means to be part of a family.

Family, for me, would start with us creating our sons. We have two of the most beautiful children. Thank you for them. I see you in them every day. We had them fifteen months apart and though we hardly slept and were a bundle of nerves most of the time, we kept running and tried to do our best as parents.

We tried so hard -- and depended on each other so much to fulfill our individual needs -- I think we ran ourselves dry. And with everything in me, I'm sorry that I wasn't in the marriage any longer. Yes, I know the reasons we didn't work out. But I hold no resentment.

Thank you for loving my new partner, Sarah, simply because you know I love her. I know that your ex-wife finding love in an alternative lifestyle is hard and probably brought about so many unanswered questions for you, but when she came into my life, I was finally figuring out who I could be. You gave me confidence and helped shape the person I am today. She fell for everything you helped build. And I thank you for that.

Thank you for harboring no ill will toward my happiness, or my decision to let Sarah take an active role in our beautiful sons' lives. We created those boys when we were strong as a couple and they're growing to be the best parts of all three of us daily. You've helped me keep their lives so joyous and safe in a way I never experienced growing up. I trust that when you find love again, our sons will benefit from having the best parts of four parents in their lives.

Thank you for co-parenting with me. I never have to wonder if your heart is in it, and you trust that everything I do is for our sons.

Lastly, thank you for who you are. You were the only road I could have taken to lead me where I am today. You are responsible for so much of my happiness and for that, I thank you the most.

-- Neecey

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