- Sara Woodard
Writing A Thank You Letter To Your Ex Can Help You Heal
The following letter was first published in The HuffPost's series, An Open Letter to My Ex.
I was recently asked to write a thank you letter to my ex as a part of The HuffPost's series, An Open Letter To My Ex. I didn't think I was ready to feel gratitude toward my ex, but while writing this letter, I started to feel peace toward him.
You might not be ready to feel gratitude toward your ex, but I highly recommend writing a thank you letter when you are ready. Here is my thank you letter:
I used to refer to you as “The Sub-Human." The pain I felt after I found out you were cheating on me was like no other emotional pain I had experienced before. Your betrayal ruined not only our marriage but my self-confidence, my hopes and dreams, and my trust in others.
And yet, over the past two years, this pain has slowly receded. Surprisingly, it has been replaced with gratitude. Only in the last six months have I been able to fully realize the plethora of reasons I have to thank you for. The following are a few of my favorites.
I am eternally thankful that you provided the other half of our daughter’s DNA. Last Father’s Day, I sent you a text that said, “Happy Father’s Day. Even though we are no longer together I’m thankful we were together long enough to have Olivia. I will always be grateful to you for that.” I still mean every word of that text. Olivia is my whole life. I know she is your whole life as well. Together, we made one great tiny human. I quite literally could not have done it without you.
Thank you for cutting up my food so I could eat with one hand while breastfeeding our daughter at dinner time. I remember posting about this on Facebook and mentioned that it was the sweetest thing anyone had ever done for me. You cutting my food into bite-sized pieces while I breastfed our daughter still commands first place in my book. That’s one of my favorite memories of our marriage.
Thank you for teaching me the true meaning of love and marriage. My favorite quote is “Marriage isn’t 50/50. Divorce is 50/50. Marriage has to be 100/100. It’s not about dividing everything but giving everything you’ve got.” I would never have understood the true meaning of love, marriage, and commitment without our own rocky relationship and crashing end.
Thank you for giving me a second chance at happiness. Surprisingly, divorce is a great catalyst for reflection and self-improvement. I have learned so much about myself since we separated two years ago. I’ve learned that I am capable of endearing far more than I thought possible. I’ve learned how to love myself and how great it feels to be single. I’ve learned that love isn’t a fairy tale. I believe all these lessons will eventually lead me to a wonderful and fulfilling relationship in the future.
I used to call you “Sub-Human." That was before I realized how much there is to thank you for. That’s all for now. I know we don’t have the best post-divorce relationship, but I hope that will get better with time. And I know there will be many more opportunities for gratitude in the future.
Thank you for everything,
Thinking about writing your own thank you letter to your ex? I highly recommend it. Writing this thank you letter to my ex was a cathartic experience. It also helped me remember the good times and think positively about co-parenting with him.
What would you put in your thank you letter to your ex?
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