Dear ________ (Insert Ex-Boyfriend’s Name),
I am writing this letter to thank you. It occurred to me today that, without you, I wouldn’t be the woman I am. Your choices, while at the time were heartbreaking, have led me down a path that has been lined with sweet-smelling roses.
See, _______, I was young when I met you. I didn’t have much confidence in myself as a woman. The one thing I did have confidence in was my brain. It didn’t take long for me to realize that you were smarter than me. More worldly. You spoke about travesty and human rights, and I listened. My heart grew to love people that spoke other languages. And my desire to travel the world became a number on the bucket list that you critiqued. “Why would you put this on your list?” you questioned, reading “Swim with dolphins.” “This one is good,” you continued, adding a star beside, “Run a marathon.”
The thing is, while breaking up with you never crossed my mind, it was always on your mind, ________. I was a bandaid. You held me tightly to keep from bleeding out, and I learned another important lesson. Stitching up one’s wounds can leave you with your own scars. Scars are a sign of strength though, and in giving to others, I learned take what I needed along the way. That wasn’t robbery–merely a silent system of bartering. You taught me that no matter the pain, sharing a father meant that we forgive. Family ties made in heaven can’t be broken along with hearts.
And broken hearts, __________, they may never completely heal. But that is okay. Because without being broken, I may have never made the choices that led me to where I am. You inadvertently taught me to trust in God with each painful lesson I learned in not trusting you. Praying for you was easy, _________, because I saw you in each Proverb I read. Praying for you was easy, because I knew that if our relationship wasn’t forged in heaven it wasn’t one that I needed. Praying for you was what I did every time you ran across my mind–and that was easier than crying for you, pining for you, waiting for you…
See, dear ___________, I look upon my time with you fondly. It was with you that I learned more about me. This letter, written from that cracked and bruised heart, is to thank you. Cracks and bruises aren’t anything to be ashamed of. You gave me courage, because being broken was never an option. I woke up this morning with a grateful heart. I snuggled my baby, kissed my husband, and sat down with the workers to eat breakfast. My life is different than it was when I was with you, ____________. It isn’t the thing that dreams are made of–because never did I dream a life like this.
When I say, I wish you the best, please know that I am wishing you the same pleasure with your families that I get from mine.
Footnote added February 13, 2015 FYI: While I never thought my exes would ever read this, it isn’t anything I am ashamed of. It isn’t written to one ex in particular, but rather references several of my most memorable boyfriends. It isn’t a note declaring my undying love, but rather this letter was inspired by my realization that without my exes, I wouldn’t be here (in Mexico with my family).