I Wrote This Open Letter To All Of My Exes (So You Don't Have To)

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I Wrote This Open Letter To All Of My Exes (So You Don't Have To)

To all of my ex-boyfriends,

I know that you never meant to hurt me or make me feel the pain you did, and I forgive you. I know that (most of) you loved me and wanted things to work, even if you weren’t really willing to put in the necessary work, and I forgive you for that too. I've felt genuine joy when I've learned you found someone who makes you happy.

I wish you the best, and I mean that.

I’m sorry I couldn’t be that person for you, whatever the reason was — whether it was my decision to leave you, or you were the one who broke my heart, I’m sorry and so I offer these words of forgiveness to you.

If I had the chance to tell you just one more thing (which I guess I do right now), it would be this:

To the one who couldn’t keep a job ...

I forgive you for not trying harder to support our little family. We were both young and immature. Neither of us grew up with great role models of the perfect family and it was doomed to fail from the beginning.

I forgive you for not doing more to keep things together and I forgive you for not keeping yourself together.

I’m sorry I didn't love you as much as I should have and that I inevitably had to leave. I’m glad you have managed to find someone who does love you and who seems to make you happy.

Despite our differences — and your inability to care for your child — you deserve to be happy.

To the one who had no ambition or sex drive:

I forgive you for not wanting to sleep with me more than once every 6 weeks. I forgive you for how that made me feel about myself. It was never your job to make me feel any type of way about myself and I should never have blamed you for those insecurities.

I also forgive you for your lack of ambition. It was just so hard to watch someone with a genius IQ do absolutely nothing with it. You are the smartest person I know and probably have ever known, yet you chose not to utilize that intelligence for anything of value.

I won’t pretend that I understand it, but I do forgive you.

I recognize that we are not the same person and that while I am the type of person who continually tries to increase my success and wealth, those things just aren't important to you, and I’m sorry for making you feel guilty about that.

I’m glad you've managed to find someone for whom those things are not important as well — someone who makes you feel happy.

You and I will always be friends and I will always care about you. You deserve nothing but love and happiness in life and I thank you for filling in where the one mentioned above, who couldn’t keep a job, lacked, i.e., with our daughter. I’ll never be able to repay you for that. It was and is a priceless gift.

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To the one who broke my heart:

I forgive you for not loving me, for not wanting to be with me. I forgive you for not being attracted to me once I gained weight and for no longer considering me to be a valuable person. I forgive you for all of the mean and hurtful things you said to me along the way.

More importantly, I’m sorry. I’m sorry for being insecure and feeling that I had to lie to you. I’m not a liar, that much I know, but insecurities caused by our relationship and later, by our break up, definitely turned me into one and I’m so sorry for allowing that to happen. You absolutely deserve honesty.

I also want to thank you for not sticking around.

I know now that you never really loved me and were merely settling for me because you didn’t think you could do better. I don’t want to be the girl who is settled for. So, thank you for recognizing this before we moved in together and for cutting your losses then.

I won’t pretend the wounds you left behind aren't permanent because the scars remain and won’t go away anytime soon. But I do forgive you.

I hope you are happier and have found someone who makes you happy. If not, I hope you find someone who does. If anyone deserves happiness, it’s you — even if you don’t believe that.

I’m sorry for the drama and anxiety I caused in your life. You didn't deserve that. It was my reaction to the hurt I was feeling. I wish we could be friends, but I understand why you don’t want to be.

To the one who came after the one who broke my heart:

I forgive you for leaving so abruptly. I’m sorry I wasn't over the one who broke my heart yet and brought insecurities into this relationship as well.

Thank you for recognizing that and bolting before things got any more serious.

I wasn't ready for a serious relationship yet and I should never have allowed myself to be in one at the time. I really do hope you can forgive me for that.

I hope you are happy with the new woman in your life and that she’s exactly what you need. You are a good man and deserve nothing but the best.

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And last but not least, to myself ...

I forgive you for all of the mistakes you made in all of the above relationships and more.

You are a kind, loving, passionate person and you do deserve to be loved. You've made mistakes, but who hasn’t? You can’t beat yourself up forever for the mistakes you made in the past.

I forgive you for putting the weight back on that you worked so hard to take off. It happened due to your own laziness and I’m not going to make excuses for you, but you certainly had a lot going on that made you feel tired and worn down.

Now you are working to get back to the weight you felt most comfortable at — and you will get there. Don’t get discouraged. It’s not going to happen overnight.

You are happy now and you deserve to be.

You are a good person. Never forget that.

Please know that above all else, you have value — and one day someone will see that.

Forgiveness is a healthy thing, and I hope that one day, all of you can forgive me, too.

The lessons I have learned from these relationships are priceless. I will always be honest with everyone. I always am honest with everyone now. So, thank you for that.

Nothing is worth losing my integrity over and I’ll never compromise that again. I don’t care what the consequences are — I will always speak the truth.

I will also never again settle for less than I deserve.

I’d rather be alone than with someone who is not on my level or someone who does not truly love me.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for the time we shared and the lessons you taught me.  

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Carrie Budd is a writer with a passion for helping others. She finds great joy in empowering women to find the strength to forge ahead when all hope seems lost.