Dear Ex-Husband

I have longed to tell you everything on my mind for the longest time, but honestly, you wear me out. I spent years being emotionally battered by you, that every time I think of trying to even compose the thoughts in my head to get them down on paper, I start out fine, but give up a few minutes later, just tired from the effort it takes to reflect on all the horrible years we had. I know that you won’t read this, but I have needed to do this for the longest time. Especially since you live under the guise to others that see you as a “hero” because you wear the Army uniform; however, I know the truth about you, and I believe that the truth will all come out in the end eventually.

You are not a hero at all. You are a coward. You live your life for yourself, and are one of the most self-serving individuals I have ever known. In the past 10 years that I have known you, you have exhibited all the symptoms of a narcissist and I am so thankful that I left you when I did. You will no longer control me anymore. I will no longer let you have any power over me. Our daughter, unfortunately, I cannot keep away from you, no matter how much I hate it when she even talks to you on the phone, but I only hope that one day, she decides for herself that she no longer wants to even see you anymore. It is coming.

You are currently deployed in Kuwait. Prior to this, you have been out of our daughter’s life for 20 months because you chose to leave your good-paying job as a helicopter technician in order to pursue some childhood dream you have of being a pilot, and left our daughter to attend flight school 8 1/2 hours away. This wasn’t required of you; you just chose to do it, without even asking me first if I would be okay with taking on being a full-time mother AND father to our child. I have no doubt that you feel that you are serving your country proudly, and feel that this deployment is out of your control; however, your flight school situation was not, and I have made every effort not to hide this fact from our daughter. She misses you so much, but every month that passes, I see the admiration for you draining from her. She no longer asks to call you, and doesn’t want to write. Don’t you notice these things? Probably not, but I suspect you would never find  blame within yourself for your actions. You are always the victim. Always have been, always will be.

As for your new wife…please tell her that, while I appreciate the fact that she wants to take your visitation while you’re gone for a year, both you and she have seen our child a total of 52 days in the past 2 years. Do you really understand how little time that is? Does she? To add insult to injury, you get upset with me and start throwing threats around if I don’t agree to letting her have your visitation schedule while you’re gone?? Do you understand that I have no idea who she is? I don’t know her name other than what it is with your married last name, I don’t know how old she is, I don’t know where she comes from, or even what she does for a living. I have never spoken to this person, and you have made zero effort to make any initiations for us to meet. EVER. You knew about this deployment one month before you got re-married, and almost a year before you were scheduled to leave. In that time, you could have thought out arrangements while you were  gone, but you chose to ignore it. I have nothing against her. Hell, I have no reason to have anything against her. She is a stranger to me. But I know one thing – she will NOT have visitation with our daughter while you are gone simply because she is her stepmother by proxy. She knows our daughter about as well as you know her now, which isn’t very well at all. Plus, I have a hunch you want to give her something to stay busy while you are deployed so that she won’t leave you before you get back. Well, our daughter is NOT a hobby to pacify your wife, and she certainly DOES NOT ask to spend time with your wife. She doesn’t ask about your wife at all. Only when you happen to call once a month, and even then, it’s only because you happen to say something to her about it.

We have joint custody, week-to-week, and you left to chase your dreams and abandoned our parenting plan. Money was sent each month, thankfully, so we (my husband and I) were able to take vacations with her to places that you were always too busy to go, or didn’t want to spend the money. Work, and your cars always came before she and I while we were together, and I hope your new wife has patience I didn’t to sit on the back burner for the rest of her life. Be prepared, as well. We will be modifying our parenting plan based on your life in flight school, and I will be awarded full custody because of this. Your deployment won’t even be a factor. You could have done more while you were in the states, but you didn’t.

I don’t think you need to be concerned with our daughter’s life here with me, and how you’re not in it. I think you need to be focused on keeping your new marriage together during this year-long deployment. You are on number 4, and every marriage (including ours), you have been in has lasted a year or less. You got lucky with me that I stuck around for almost 5 years to take your crap and be your child’s mother, your housekeeper, your secretary, and anything other than your wife, and an equal partner, with no commitment from you. You have only been deployed 2 weeks, and our daughter should be the least of your concerns at this point. She has been well-cared for since you left, and will continue to be cared for. She is my pride and joy, and I have never left her side since the day I found out I was pregnant with her. I have been her only true parent, and you know this. I’m not even going to get into detail here about your behavior when I found out I was  pregnant. That is water under the bridge and I have let all that go a long time ago.

I’m sure there is much more I need to say to you, but this will do for now. You are an ignorant man, a selfish man, and I hope that you reap what you sow. I am not a hateful person, spiteful, and every action I have toward you is done in every effort to be an example of fairness and maturity. However, you are not capable of caring of anyone else but yourself, and I know that one day, our daughter will see this and judge for herself. I just hope it isn’t too late for you.

Your Ex-Wife

p.s. I never told you, and have always wanted to, but will probably still never unless the situation arises…but my new husband told me when we got engaged 2 years ago, that he feels that our daughter is more a daughter to him than you, and if something were to ever happen where you wanted out or you were no longer around, he wants to adopt our daughter for his own. He is, and will be, a more involved and loving example of what a real father is than you could ever think to be. She told me yesterday that she wants to call him Daddy, and doesn’t want to hurt your feelings.

~ by Stepfamily Letter Project on June 16, 2009.

3 Responses to “Dear Ex-Husband”

  1. What a beautiful and heartbreaking letter. As a mother, I feel your pain. It would be terrifying to leave my child with a woman I didn’t know. Most likely I would refuse to just the way you are. As a stepmother, I know how complicated things can be and how she might be feeling a sense of responsibility and helplessness and rejection. Tough situation! I think it’s completely rational that you want to protect your daughter from the pain her father is inflicting on her. Someday she will decide for herself how she wants him to be in her life. As for your relationship with her stepmother, I think if you reach out to her to find out more about it, it would only help. Perhaps you can find an ally in her.

  2. I completely echo the previous comment.

  3. It seems like all of the letters in the “from exwife” catagory are from the same person. I understand the point of this site but, gezz. Move on lady, you are remarried, receive child support and the new wife isn’t causing you grief. Don’t fight with the ex when he calls. Give your daughter the phone. But DON’T ruin what little relationship she has with her father. Remember she is ‘half him’. Don’t trample that half of her.
    Also, he may have been an awful husband, and a not so great father, but that does not take away his sacrifice for his country. And give they guy a break for wanting to better himself. Honestly, if I had to endure your constant squaking i’d probably sign up for flight school too.

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