To the Father of My Children, My Partner in Parenting:
I know that I haven't always been grateful. And I know that there was a time in our lives when I could not think of a nice thing to say to you. There was a time when I was filled with so much hurt and anger that gratitude felt like an impossible idea. But that time has passed.
We've had our moments - but we had a lot of good times, too. For more than ten years, you were there for me. You were there for me in the dark hours when my dad was sick, and you were there for me when my father passed away. For that, I am grateful.
You were also there for wonderful memories. We went on trips together, and we grew up together in a lot of ways. We explored new faith communities together. We shared a life together, and for that, I am grateful.
Together, you and I created an incredible family. Words cannot even begin to describe the depth of my gratitude for that.
I'm writing this letter to tell you how much I appreciate you. When I look at you, I see a true partner in parenting. I am grateful for the simple things. I am thankful for your punctuality, so our children are not ever left waiting to see if you're going to show up. I am grateful that you follow through on what you say you're going to do.
I want you to know how much I appreciate you accepting my husband into our lives. I don’t imagine you will ever be friends, but your acceptance matters to me, and it matters to our kids.
I want to thank you for teaching our children that family always comes first. I appreciate your flexibility when my in-laws come into town. I appreciate your flexibility when it comes to family vacations and holidays, and all of those other special moments.
I know that it's not always easy to parent our kids together from afar, but we are making it work. The other day, the children's school principal stopped me in the hall to say how nice it is to see us attend school events together. Sometimes it's easy to show up at these events, and other times we show up biting our tongues - but it matters, and I appreciate you more for it.
While we may not agree on everything, let's face it, we never did. The one thing I think we can agree on is that the past is in the past. We both made mistakes, and we will likely make plenty more. I take ownership of my mistakes and offer a sincere apology, asking for nothing in return.
I want you to know that I look forward to our life together. It may not be the life I imagined when we married 15 years ago, but it is still an image filled with future graduations, weddings, and an ever-growing family. I'm glad that you will be part of our family's future because we created this family together.
Our divorce may have ended our marriage, that chapter of our relationship, but a new chapter has begun - an episode filled with new parenting challenges that we will resolve together. And, again, I am grateful.
Your Partner in Parenting
There is so much power in focusing on the positive. Can you list ten things for which you are grateful to your ex? Share in the comments.