To my ex,
When you sent me the papers, I cried all night.
It wasn’t like I hadn’t conciously made the decision. I think we were both in agreement on that. I think I cried because it was so final – so real. And I wanted to write this letter because I feel like I still have so much to say.
First of all, thanks for the true companionship. Being your best friend has been a privilege, probably the best experience of my life – and giving you up was honestly the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make. You know, during these last seven months of being alone, I’ve really realized a lot about myself and about life.
I realized that our relationship for me was largely spent in survival mode. I lost my sister shortly after we got together, one of the few people I honestly ever felt loved me enough to want me around. But you were there for all of that. You held me through the breakdowns and the crisis. You were so sweet and so loving.
I think that tragedy, mixed with the fear of truly being alone, cemented our bond for me. We got along so well, that even if I didn’t feel a real burning fire about our romantic relationship, I knew I was never going to leave. It wasn’t a conscious thing – because to be honest, I just always thought there was something wrong with me on a intimate level. Because you offered me an unconditional and thoughtful love I had never felt – and it was safe and warm. And I was scared and wounded.
Now I know that it just wasn’t a fit romantically.
You should know that I have and will always love you. But when you’re so young and you have your personal traumas, it can be hard to differentiate between types of love – between romance and just a deep rooted friendship. And when I finally had the courage to acknowledge the difference, I knew I couldn’t fight it or pretend I didn’t notice it.
I think it’s safe to say that we grew up together. We learned how to be adults, buy a house, work through our problems. We got through some serious life issues together (some too complex to even describe, but we know what they were). I learned how to be a wife because of you. How to share my life completely with another person. And it was all really beautiful when I look back on it.
Going forward, the truth is that I’m really scared. I’m scared that I’ll never find someone that loves me as much as you did. I didn’t think I could survive on my own without you. And now that I know I can, I just have to be brave and keep trying – trying to find love and happiness, and to make this life all that I can on my own. Facing the fact that I no longer have that support system, that shoulder to cry on, has been the absolute hardest to come to terms with.
When I found out you had a new girlfriend shortly after we split, it hurt quite a bit. It made me feel like I was just so easily replaceable. Like this person I had built my life around didn’t care enough to even mourn the loss of me. Like this new girl could just become part of my friend’s and my family’s lives so quickly, like I never existed. These were all selfish thoughts, I’m aware, because you deserve to be happy.
You deserve more than what I was able to give you. You deserve a special romantic kind of love – to feel desired, someone that can’t take their eyes or hands off you. And you deserve to start a family with that person.
I hope you get those things.