A Love Letter. To The Man I Divorced Today

A love letter. To the man I divorced today.

To you, the one who will forever hold a piece of my heart.

I arrived at the courthouse early. The anticipation of what was to come weighing heavily on my heart. Taking a seat I began to observe the people passing by, some smiling and joyous, others exuding anxiety and fear. I wondered, how do I appear to an onlooker amongst the sea of people that filled the courtroom. Does the stillness of my body convey a calmness about me? Do my kind but sad eyes offer unspoken support and gentleness to the ones who dare to look at them? As these thoughts flowed easily in and out of my brain, I turned to my left and suddenly there you were.

Dressed in the blue button down shirt and maroon pants I bought you years ago, I sat staring. Unable to peel my eyes away thinking, damn you still look good in that outfit! Instantly I was brought back to happier times when nothing but love and hope for the future filled our days together. 14 years later as memories continued to surface like waves crashing on the beach, they brought a smile to my lips and warmth to my heart.

Stepping into the world after my divorce

While I wish I could say our marriage was all roses, I wouldn’t be writing this letter to you, with the hopes that just maybe you might someday see it and feel it,if happiness was all that was experienced in our time together. Sadly this is not the case and while I choose to focus on the positive, I haven’t forgotten the sting of hurt that pervaded much of our marriage as well.

I was so very broken the day I stood in front of you, professing my undying love. Not knowing at the time that what I really needed was to make a life long commitment to myself, I promised to love you and cherish you all the days of my life. As I sit here typing, you’ll never fully know how truly sorry I am for not being able to uphold my end of the bargain.

When I married you I brought a lifetime of wounds to the relationship and you suffered immensely for it. Not knowing how to cope with the void and pain that existed in my heart I drank excessively, leaving you to care for our girls when they were just babies. I made money but spent more leaving you to worry about how you would provide for the four of us. I got scared, which turned into anger and if set off, would break things, harm myself or scream violently, leaving you to calm our girls, protect me from me and take the barrage of words I spewed your way. There were months in which darkness consumed my mind, keeping me from living life, leaving you to work all day only to come home and care for our girls…… for this and all the things not mentioned, I’m so very sorry!

Despite the many years of darkness that consumed me, you loved me to the best of your ability. You encouraged me to chase my dreams and did your best to support me as I started to pick up the pieces of a very broken life. You watched helplessly as I started to bloom knowing that who I was becoming wouldn’t be able to remain contained in the box that was our marriage. Despite your best efforts to grow with me, the pace at which I was growing could not be matched by you. And so it stood on a cool September afternoon. I bid you goodbye one last time.

I’d like to believe that if I could go back in time I’d do things differently. Maybe hold off marrying you until I love myself. Be more mindful of my actions, the words I spoke, the choices I made. But I don’t know that this would be true. For I was broken and while I don’t condone my behavior, I did the best I could as the person I was at the time.

As I look back on our time together and the subsequent years apart, I know that I am in part who I am today because of you. Because of your love, your ability to see what I could become when all I did was hate myself. There is no doubt in my mind that despite all the ups and downs that made up our marriage, I am better for having been married to you. For this, I am forever grateful!

Once the proceedings were over, I held the door for you as you exited the courtroom. I was excited at the prospect of being able to look you In your eyes after more than two years of not doing so. But when I did all I saw was hurt, mistrust and maybe even a bit of anger. In this moment I knew for sure that despite my best effort to make our divorce as easy as possible for you, it would be a while, if ever, that you would be able to look me in the eyes and not feel betrayed. This truth makes me sad but I do understand. I can only hope that one day you’ll be able to see it from my perspective.

Walking out the courthouse, newly divorced I couldn’t help but think, damn….. I was blessed to be loved by you. Once again reminded of my sad truth. Despite your love and support, to fully learn to love myself, I had to let you go. This fact will always bring a tinge of pain to my heart.

As I prepare to conclude this letter I want to make two final promises to you. Ones this time, I know I can keep. First, I will work daily to become a better version of myself. I will push beyond my comfort zone and reach past the stars with the hopes of achieving everything I know I’m capable of and more. Who knows, maybe I’ll even become the version of myself that you once saw and loved in me. Secondly, I promise to love our girls. To empower them to be themselves, move through fear and chase their own version of happy. I will push them to forgive easily, love all and to always remember that their dad loves them.

From the depths of my heart and soul, I loved you then, love you now and I will love you always…..

Kerri Jeanne

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