My Post-Divorce Dear John Letter

We recognize that sometimes the things we feel we can’t talk about are the things others also feel unable to discuss – this post has been published anonymously as part of a series to engage our community in those difficult conversations. Click here to read more posts from this series.

dear john divorceIn a world consumed by options, it appears we find ourselves unsettled. Believing the grass is greener is on the other side of the fence. We all post the 10% of our lives that looks beautiful or humorous on social media as if to say “life is always perfect”. Yet, we know it’s not. 

Relationships are tough stuff ,and if I could do it all again, I would change some things, including how I treated you.

Dear John, 

I look back on the years we spent and replay each moment. We were happy once. I daydreamed about you. The way you touched me. The way you said hello. I couldn’t have imagined my life without you in it. My girlfriends would ask about you, and I was the giddy girl from high school again. I flirted, batted my eyes, felt sweaty palms, not sure what to say. I was nervous in your presence. I loved the butterflies.

So, where did it all go wrong? How did we let it spin so far out of control? It’s easy to recall the tough times and think we couldn’t have made it…but in my head I wonder. Looking back, I feel it important to point out that love was once our mantra, and I’m so thankful that it was. It’s forever a part of my heart, and even though the memories will begin to fade, I want to always feel love in my heart for you. 

There were many times you made me laugh. Times you would grab my hand, and I would melt. You held me on tough days, and you talked to me on the phone until I fell asleep. You were the strong arms I wanted to lie in. Everything felt safer with you. We got married. I was over the moon. Life threw us some curve balls. Times got tough and we weren’t prepared. We didn’t have much support, and we weren’t navigating well. Somewhere we stopped reaching for one another. Words were said. Feelings were heart hurt. We let each other down. I stopped believing in us. I wanted to hurt you back for abandoning me, yet I too abandoned you, and for that I am so sorry. 

I’ve had years to gaze back at my own reflection in the mirror. Time to spend with myself quietly combing over the details of our time together. I hate that so much of our past is negative, because after rereading journals of our beginning, I have to believe that we had more good than accounted for.

After our time apart, I find myself content in our decision to part ways, and I am sincerely happy to see you joyful. I often find myself wondering what my days would be like if you were still a part of my world. Would we have children? Would we travel? Where would we live? What would our goals be? Would we laugh late at night again like we once did? Would I fall asleep in your arms each night feeling as safe as I once was in the beginning? Would we grow old together? What would we have talked about on a porch swing at eighty?

So many questions will always remain unanswered. Time heals all, but it isn’t without lessons. I pray it has done the same for you. I can only imagine how you felt through the divide. I am sorry I never asked, because I wish I had. Know this, I will forever cherish moments of my life that you were a part of. Thank you for each one. Your time and your presence will always be valued and I simply wanted you to know that when I said I loved you, I meant it.

Sincerely grateful,



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