How could you leave a man and his child with absolutely no warning or explanation?
I do know you're out there, somewhere. I know you're alive and going about your life in the world. We've never met and that's a big reason why I'm writing this.
I'm aware you've moved on. But I'm also aware of what you left behind.
When you leave someone without telling them why, don't say goodbye, and don't ever look back, it impacts them. I'm sure you're aware of that fact but you don't know the rest of the story. I'll fill you in.
When I first started dating your ex-husband, you'd already been gone awhile and his life was basically in shambles besides his love for his son. He was a single father. He was working around the clock and scrambling just to find childcare. His home (your former home) was being repossessed and he was struggling just to make ends meet. You left a toddler behind who was afraid his father was going to leave as you had.
When I was first started dating your ex-husband, I cleaned out your clothes from the closet that you left behind; he was too distraught to do it. They'd been hanging there for quite some time. The house was a horrifying mess which left me with serious doubts about dating him. But I helped him clean up the mess, move out of the house he loved so much, and throw away many of the things you brought into the marriage and home.
It was almost like everything had been frozen in time in that house since you left. I have no doubt your ex-husband was certain you'd return. He loved you. He had hope. He respected and cared for you. It took another few months before he was even able to move on with our own relationship. I understood, gave him time, and hoped he would recover.
After all, I came from a failed marriage. I stayed in that union, trying over and over again to make things right until the relationship became detrimental to my own physical safety.
But no one understands why you left.
Your ex-husband's son wasn't your biological child bu, from all accounts, when you took this child under your wing when he was a year old, you were fully committed to him.
My husband is loyal, gentle, hard-working, generous, charming, and handsome. I'm actually not sure you could find a better partner if that's what you're looking for. He is by no means perfect but he does his best.
It still mystifies him why you left. He thought you were happy. He signed the divorce papers sent to him without really knowing why you wanted one. By then he knew you were never coming back.
I understand relationships are hard, people can be difficult, and parenting — especially parenting someone else's child — can be a tremendous challenge, especially if you don't have children of your own. But in the absence of adultery, physical abuse, substance abuse, emotional or mental abuse, I can't fathom why even an explanation or a simple goodbye wouldn't have been in order before you left.
For two people that depended on you so much as a wife and mom, it infuriates me that you didn't give either of them closure. If you simply fell out of love, fell in love with someone else, or had problems that were overwhelming you, the least you could do is explain yourself.
Because you left the way you did, I had to be 100% sure I committed to this man and his son. They had been left before and I refused to bo be another woman who let them down.
You made me a stronger person because I truly contemplated my own feelings/intentions/desires/etc before I committed to this life. You left a very important lesson amongst your clothes, pictures, and memories.
I hope if you ever leave someone again, I hope you'll be wiser and tread more carefully with the hearts of others.
There's a child who has a brief memory of you. And a man that will never know what he did wrong.
In any case, he's moved on as well and life keeps getting better. I'm not going to wish you well and all that mumbo-jumbo because, quite frankly, I don't know you or your reasons.
But I can say without doubt, your ex-husband is amazing.
Originally a Vancouver Island native, Michelle Zunter now resides in California where she is an ex-corporate slave, writer, artist, mother, stepmother, and wife. Join Michelle as she explores society, parenting, step-parenting, relationships, and much more.
This article was originally published at The Huffington Post. Reprinted with permission from the author.