An Open Letter to My Husband's Ex-Wife

I do know you're out there, somewhere. I know you're alive and going about your life in the world. We've never met and that's a big reason why I'm writing this.

I'm aware that you've moved on but I'm also aware of what you left behind.

When you leave someone without telling them why, don't say goodbye, and don't ever look back, it impacts them. I'm sure you're privy to this fact, but perhaps you don't know the rest of the story.

When I first started dating your ex-husband, you had already been gone awhile. His life basically in shambles besides his love for his son. He was a single father. He was working around the clock and scrambling just to find child care. His home (your former home) was being repossessed and he was struggling just to make ends meet.

There was a toddler that you left behind who had been afraid his father was going to leave as you had.

These things I'm writing have been on my mind for quite some time. Perhaps one day we'll talk in person. But until then, I'll fill you in on some of the things that happened after you walked out of the home you once wanted.

When I was first dating your ex-husband I cleaned out your clothes from the closet that you left behind. He was too distraught to do it. They'd been hanging there for quite some time. The house was a horrifying mess which left me with serious doubts about dating him. But I helped him clean up the mess, move out of the house he loved so much and throw away many of the things that you brought into the marriage and home.

He kept some things, of course. He's sentimental that way.

It was almost like everything had been frozen in time in that house since you left. I have no doubt your ex-husband was certain you'd return. He loved you. He had hope. He respected and cared for you. It took another few months before he was even able to move on with our own relationship. I understood and I knew he would recover.

I know why my own first marriage disintegrated. I wrote about it here. I stayed in that union, trying over and over again to make things right until it was detrimental to my own physical safety.

But no one understands why you left. Not the man, not his son and maybe not even you.

Your ex-husband's son was not your biological child but - from all accounts - when you took this child under your wing when he was one years of age, you were fully committed to it.

I know my husband to be loyal, gentle, hard-working, generous, charming, and handsome. I'm actually not sure you could find a better partner if that's what you're looking for. He is by no means perfect, but he does his best.

It still mystifies your ex-husband as to why you left. I've grilled him on it and he claims he thought you were happy. He signed the divorce papers sent to him without really knowing why you wanted the divorce. By then he knew you were never coming back.

From what I know your relationship bloomed quickly, marriage came rapidly, and a happy family was established. A year later you were gone.

Perhaps it was all too fast. Perhaps you just gave up.

I understand that relationships are hard, people can be difficult, and parenting - especially someone else's child - can be a tremendous challenge, especially if you don't have children of your own. But in the absence of adultery, physical abuse, substance abuse, emotional or mental abuse, I can't fathom why even an explanation or goodbye wouldn't have been in order before you left.

For two people that depended on you so much as a wife and mother figure, I think that some sort of closure is not only appropriate but necessary.

If you simply fell out of love, fell in love with someone else, or had problems that were overwhelming you, maybe you could have said something.

I can tell you that when I came along, your leaving in the way in which you did made it vital for me to be sure before I committed to this man and his son. They had been left before and I knew I didn't want to be another woman who let them down. It made me a stronger person because I truly had to think, know, and feel before I committed to this life. You left a lesson amongst the clothes, pictures, and memories.

But I understand. I understand we change our minds and don't want the things we used to want. I'm telling you these things so that maybe you'll be wiser next time - tread more lightly next time - with the hearts of others.

There's a child who has a brief memory of you. And a man that will never know what he did wrong. Maybe he just wasn't right for you.

In any case, he's moved on as well and life keeps getting better. I'm not going to wish you well and all that mumbo jumbo because, quite frankly, I don't know you or your reasons.

But I can say without doubt - your ex-husband is amazing.

Originally a Vancouver Island native, Michelle now resides in California where she is an ex-corporate slave, writer, artist, mother, stepmother & wife.

Join Michelle as she explores & stumbles through society, parenting, step-parenting, health, beauty, relationships & much more.

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