In The Two Years Since You Left
Feb 11th, 2014
Dear ex husband,
Its been two years since I watched you walk out of my house, never once looking back at the faces pressed against the window. It’s been two years since you left me as an only parent, with no job, no support, no help, and no hope. It’s been two years since I first explained to your daughter that you weren’t coming back. It’s been two years since I first sat staring at the face of my son, wondering how I would ever raise a boy alone. Its been two years. Two amazing years.
So let me fill you in a little bit on what has gone on since you have last seen your family. As you remember, two years ago I was a stay at home mom. When you were gracious enough to not take my car keys to work, I spent my days running our three year old to ballet and music class, and our seven month old to Gymboree. When you decided that we were not allowed to leave the house and you took my car keys with you, we spent the days snuggling on the couch, reading books, and dreading your arrival home.
As you also remember, when you would come home from work, the horrors would begin. I tried my hardest to learn all the lessons that you thought I needed to learn, but as you remember, I was never a good student. The harder I tried, the more I seemed to fail. I know you wanted me to be a better housekeeper and a better cook, I know I never lived up to the standards you had set for me, and as you remember, I felt awful. I know that I never folded the laundry right or vacuumed enough, but I tried. I know that I didn’t do a great job of making you feel like a man in bed, but you scared me. I wasn’t all that grateful when you allowed me to eat, and I know that made you livid. I know you wanted me to understand how lucky I was to have you, and that I should be thankful that you let me live. I know that you got frustrated when I didn’t understand how blessed I was that you put up with me, and as much as you tried to beat those lessons into me, I still never got it right the next time around. I tried to listen to what you were telling me, but it was all so much to comprehend.
Some of what you taught me did sink in though. By the time you left, there were quite a few lessons that I had learned. I knew I was worthless. I knew that no one saw any good in me and that I probably had no potential. I knew that I was ugly, unattractive, and bad in bed. I knew that I had no right to be happy. I knew that I would probably fail our children, just as I had failed you. I knew, that just as you promised me when you walked out the door, that my life was over.
But two years is a long time. Two years gave me time to learn some new lessons, things that you never taught me. So just as I tried so hard to learn what you were teaching me, I want to return the favor and share some of what I have learned with you.
First of all, you could have utilized me a little more than you did. There was a lot of potential in me that you left under utilized. Example? I could have made you happy. If you had even contained one ounce of humanity in you, you could have seen how hard I tried to please you. You would have looked at the face of your wife, seen how hard she was working to make you happy, and maybe you could have learned a lesson or two.
I learned that I wasn’t worthless. I am smart, driven, and determined. I could have taken our family somewhere. I may have failed you, but my track record since you have left has been pretty damn good. When I set my mind to something, it gets done. If you had trusted me a little more, or even at all, we probably would have gone a lot further in life than where we were at. All those years where you barely supported us and wouldn’t allow me to have any say in our finances, were a waste on your part. You left me with nothing, not even a dollar, and I built a business, founded a not-for-profit, and started a blog. All those years that you trashed my credit, didn’t pay our bills, and racked up $12,000 on my credit cards the week you left, you were the one who didn’t know what he was doing. With no job, and no family support, it only took me 18 months to pay off the debt, refinance the house, and bring my credit score up to 850. What was your excuse?
Another thing I learned? I am a good mother. Our kids are not only growing, but they are thriving. They are smart, they are funny, and they show compassion that is well beyond their years. You know who taught them that? Me. I did. I am not the failure of a mother that you thought I was. All the times that you told me you felt sorry that they were stuck with a mother like me, you weren’t giving me enough credit. I don’t care that I had no example’s to learn from, they are turning out to be amazing children, and that in itself just goes to show that I was meant to be a mother. I was meant to be their mother and you were wrong.
Did you know I teach a strip dance class now? I’m not as ugly as you constantly told me I was, and let me tell you, I’m not as bad in bed as you would have liked me to believe. In fact, I can tell you from experience, you were the one that had no idea what they were doing. Is that why you had to force me all those years? To exert your power over me? I think you were just trying to make up for what you lacked. Just because you were bigger and stronger than me, and could make my body do things it didn’t want to do, did not make you a man. It made you pathetic and disgusting.
You know what else I learned? I learned that I am a good person and that people do see that. You told me that the only person who would ever love me, was you. I hate to break it to you baby, but I don’t think you knew what love was. Being loved is when people do things for you just because they want too, just because they know you need it. Love is when someone cares about how you feel and when they want you to feel good. Love is when someone has your best interest in mind. I think you may have confused the meaning of love, with selfishness.
In these two years, I have also come to realize that I am a worthy human being. I am worth something. I have feelings, desires, hopes, dreams, and I’m allowed to have those. You were not allowed to tell me how I should feel, but you were right, sometimes I was stupid. I was stupid to ever have allowed you to tell me how to feel.
You were wrong about a lot baby. You thought I was weak and helpless, but I’m not. I am strong. I am stronger than a lot of people, and most importantly, I am stronger than you. I am not helpless, you were. You had everything and you built nothing. I had nothing and I’ve built everything.
The kids and I? We are a family now, a real family. Our home is filled, for the first time, with real laughter. It is a home filled with love, real love. The kind of love that makes your heart swell with happiness. Its been two years since you threw away your kids, and in those two years, I have realized how much better they are going to turn out without you. I will raise our boy into a man, and it will be the kind of man he should be, not the kind of “man” you would have broken him into, destroying all of his potential, and effectively ruining his life. I will raise our daughter to understand how the world should treat her, and I will base everything I teach her off of the lessons that I failed to learn from you.
I’m sorry, but even now I continue to fail the lessons that you tried to teach me. You didn’t want me to be happy and you reminded me every chance you got that I didn’t deserve to be happy, but somehow, happiness snuck up on me. I realized the other day that I am happy. I think this is the happiest I have ever been. As I sat there pondering this thought, I realized that even though life is about the journey and not about the destination, that I am there. I am where I always thought the goal would be. I am happy, really, truly, happy. Sure, you left me with a lot of baggage to sort out, but while I’m working on it, I’m smiling.
I know how hard you tried to get me to understand who I was, what qualities I possessed, and how I should be treated. I know that I was a slow learner, but I hope you are happy to hear, I have finally figured it out. I know who I am now. I know what qualities I possess and I know how I should be treated. I finally learned baby!
It’s been two years since you threw us away, and it has been 1 year, three hundred and sixty four days since my life began.
During the course of our marriage, I may have failed every lesson that you ever tried to teach me, but in the one year, three hundred and sixty four days that came after you left, I have learned so much more.
I am strong, I am smart, I am not a failure, and I never failed you. Your expectations of me, were unrealistic. I am a worthy human being, and I’m sorry that you never saw that, because I am amazing. I could have been your best friend. I could have made you happy. I could have given you a great life, but you chose to break me instead.
I will say though, there is one thing you were always right about.
I didn’t deserve you.
Happy two years baby. It’s been a blast.
The Wife You Left Behind
“…I am amazing.”Yes, you are. Man, I made something wrong with my last comment. Lol.
thank you love 🙂
You really are freaking amazing. Despite everything you've been through, you're still holding your head high and you've accomplished a hell of a lot. That is nothing short of incredible. I really don't even know what else to say.You rock. 🙂
Aw, thanks hun 🙂
I may or may not have cheered out loud for you while reading this (much to the surprise of my officemate). 🙂
That is pretty awesome lol, not gonna lie 🙂
Dude, I just… wow. You are getting the beauty in life that you deserve 🙂 I honestly have no idea what else I can say except that you are INCREDIBLE. That door sure did hit him hard on the way out, and good riddance! You go, girl! *throws confetti*
Confetti, yay!!!! Awesome haha 🙂
Beautiful, moving writing.
Thank you hun 🙂
I'm a 19 year old guy, so I'm guessing that I'm not part of your usual demographic, but my Mum was abused when I was a child by my Dad, and was left in a similar position when she left him, and I know she was just as worried as you were about bringing up a boy without a dad, and i can tell you, that you are more than enough of what your son needs, I don't miss my “dad”, and i certainly didn't want to know him when he came crawling back (over Facebook, of all places) looking for me and my two sisters. Your kids are going to be infinitely more like you than they ever will be like him, you'll always be the most important person in his life ( and your daughters, obviously) and even though you might have to teach him how to shave, and have some incredibly awkward conversations, he'll always know you're the one who did everything for him, and when he's older and understands what has happened to you and your family, you'll realise that you have never been alone since they were born, and never will be again. Please don't think that because you're raising him alone that you're limiting him, I'm graduating university a year early this this summer, as did my older sister, and I know that I could not have done it without my mum, and that if my dad were around, we would be so much worse off, so keep doing what you're doing and they will love you for it!
Well if I can raise my son to have half the compassion and level headedness that you have, I will consider myself a success. Thank you so much for taking the time to share that with me, I think I really needed that.
Do me a favor, and tell your mom that she should be proud. I am proud of her for raising a son like you. I bet she would love to hear that 🙂
Congrats on graduating early!!!
STANDING OVATION!!!! <3
*blushes and takes bow*
I Stumbled this–it's absolutely the best post you've written! Go you!
Fun!! I love it when people share the blog. Thank you for your sweet words 🙂
Hope you got your mortgage payment!
I did!!!! You guys ROCKED IT OUT!!! I even got a little extra, which is AH MAY ZING because I wasn’t going to make next months either, so now I’m thinking I might be able to catch up!!! I’m working the “announcement” into a blog post, I was going to attach it to this one, but being the two year “anniversary” I kind of just wanted to leave the focus on that for this post 🙂 But for anyone who reads this I MADE THE MORTGAGE PAYMENT BECA– USE YOU ARE ALL AWESOME!!!!
You continue to amaze me. This letter to your ex-husband is sooooo much nicer than any of the several my psychiatrist and therapist have asked me to write to mine. Ten years of that hell, two years divorcing and way too many in recovery have made me one nasty woman toward him (in my mind). Although, like you, I am in a much better place in my life and have moved on in many ways, I have so much regret, shame, guilt and a ton of “What the hell were you thinking? – which explains why I am still in therapy. 🙂 My daughter was much older than your children and I was a bit older than you when I walked into that inferno. Should've, would've, could've – dangerous territory – a veritable minefield. Glad you are in a better place.You are an absolute inspiration to other women that may be in a similar situation and are proving there is sunshine at the other end. Keep writing, keep informing and most of all, keep that beautiful head of yours UP!!! As the young man who posted above, your children will know you always loved them and did the absolute best to take care of them despite the struggles you were going through. As for your son, the strongest role model in a child's life is the parent of the opposite sex – so you've got that covered! Your daughter will see you as an inspiration and will learn about a healthy way to deal with the opposite sex. Both will look at you as an admirable role model for dealing with life and what it may throw at you. Those things are huge. Children are so very resilient in their young years.I keep you in my thoughts every day. Here is hoping for many days of sunshine for you . You are well on your way to reaping all the wonderful rewards you so deserve. Glad to see a wonderful, supportive cheering section here for you!Bracing for the 'Beast of the East' snow storm right now. Everyone is losing their minds over the possibility of a foot of snow. hahaha Sometimes it is amusing what is catastrophic for others. Glad they don't know what really is. LOLMuch love and many hugs from the east coast (with boots on and a shovel in hand)
We’ve got enough snow here to build a snow heaven for those snow angels.
We all always have that one thing hanging around in our past, don’t we?
I’m so glad that despite your past, you have moved on to a better happy place.
Thank you, it is good to be here with you and for you, as well as with the other posters. It is uplifting and informative here. Yeah, the 'group thing' is not my thing. My negativity comes from within and has a defined target. I hope to someday forgive myself for the many bad decisions I made during those times. My present life is good, full of a small loving family and a few fantastic friends. I am better off than I have been in years. But, there is that one thing…….. LOLSo happy everything you have endured has not colored your view of the world. When I lived in that place, it was lonely and dark. Now it is a kaleidoscope that I embrace and enjoy every day, as you.You are truly a sweet young woman who deserves all the best life has to offer. Thanks for that high five! Let's make some snow angels!Much love and many hugs from a snowy east coast
You always take the time to write such nice and well thought out comments. Thank you 🙂
I used to attend a support group, and I was BY FAR the youngest person in there. Like at least twenty years. I looked around and everyone was so bitter, so hardened. No one was happy and everyone was always angry. I made the choice that I needed to just let it go. I signed up for the marriage, I signed up for the white picket fence, 2.5 kids and a dog, and what I got was shit and some awesome kids. As much as I’d like to dwell on it and play the victim that I feel like, I don’t want to be those hardened angry people. If I don’t want to still be playing the victim in 20 years, I need to not let myself set up camp there now. So here’s to trudging onward and upward (gives you a high five in gloved hands)
So happy to have you here with me 🙂
High five! I was scared for a minute there in the first few paragraphs, but then I stopped skimming. BTW, I think you'd really like the Sookie Stackhouse books. This is really weird, but you kind of remind me of her.
I will have to look that up, never heard of them before. Thanks for sharing!!
So very happy for you! Please do not hesitate to let us know when you have a true need such as this one! I know I generally have a little extra that I can help someone with…it is actually built into my budget! What may be a cup of coffee foregone to a few of us may be a mortgage payment if added together! Keep the faith and your smile! You deserve good things!
Reading over the comments and I am so very happy to see you made your mortgage payment. I know I couldn't give much, but you've got a lot of people here who were eager to help so every little bit helps. I've been thinking about you a lot lately, especially after you mentioned it wasn't quite enough. Now I can breathe a sigh of relief for you (which I'm sure is smaller than the one you breathed) and your kids.And I love how you put it, Mary Anne. What may be a cup of coffee foregone to a few of us may be a mortgage payment if added together. It is absolutely worth giving up that coffee or dinner out or something if it means Eden and her kids get to stay in their home. 🙂
Aw, you guys are the best. You always make me feel so good, and you always know what to say when my pride is a bit bruised (you know I hate accepting help). Thank you for being there for me you guys. Its amazing that you give, no matter what the amount, but that you actually take the time to care, to love on another human. Thank you 🙂
I found your blog through a link you posted about a woman who teceived the remains of her husband after 60 years. I normally check the news and weather and move on through my day. I am so so glad I read this. I laughed and cried through your words and emotions thank you for sharing in such a creative way. I loved it. Nothing but the best for you and your littles. Truly outstanding. You put the hope back in hopeless.
First off, welcome to the blog!!!! Secondly, thank you for your kind words, they mean the world to me 🙂
I hope to see you around here often LouAnn 🙂
You are precious! Blessings to you and your children
Aw thank you 🙂
The Katy Perry song “Roar” comes to mind. You are amazing and your children are blessed to have you as 'both' parents! ♥
Aw thanks hun. 🙂
I always think of that song and…whats the other one that came out right before that one did…Oh, Sara Bareilles “Brave”