Relationships end for all kinds of messy reasons, and what happens after the relationship ends is equally unique.
One woman on the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit, for example, wanted to end things on a positive note.
Redditor AllLost65 decided to clear away all negative feelings that were leftover from her relationship with her ex-husband.
But when the conversation upset the new wife, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if she had overstepped.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for accidentally messing with my ex-husband’s marriage because [his wife] read the letter I sent him?”
The OP decided to reach out to her ex-husband about some tough subjects.
“My ex-husband and I were together for a little over 10 years.”
“Since then he has become even more of a household name, and I’m happy for him. I have no wishes to ruin his family (we co-parent one son) or to get him back. All the emotions I feel for him are platonic and familial, because he is a good dad, even though he wasn’t always.”
“I write letters to those closest to me. Maybe it was instilled into me by my mother, but it is something I do.”
“My ex-husband, who I will call Ronald since that is generic, hit a rough patch with drugs. We divorced after ten years mainly due to the fallout from that, and a couple of years later, he found another woman.”
“I encouraged this! I was happy for him and had a boyfriend at that point anyway. We kept in touch regularly because, well, we have a child together.”
“One of our biggest arguments during our marriage included the fact that it often felt like he did not love me or his son enough to get clean and away from the superstar lifestyle. I now know that addiction is a disease, and is not the fault of the addicted.”
The OP decided to detail everything in a hand-written letter.
“A week or so ago, I sent him a letter (we also used to write to each other while one of us was away), saying that I am happy for him.”
“I apologized for something I said during that argument that we never brought up again. I told him he was a good father to our son (who will be thirty soon) and that I regret making him feel like addiction was all his fault.”
“I also mentioned that I used to resent him and that it felt like I was a stepping stone he had to cross to become a better man, (both things he knew) and I basically mentioned that I am glad to have known him.”
“I wished him the best of luck, because I’m not doing the best mentally but it is not his fault, and said I am proud of his career and getting clean.”
“I said I will never regret having met him, and that I will always love him, not romantically but as the father to my son and a good man and friend who I could lean on.”
But the letter was not well-received by all parties.
“His wife – who I will treat is an amazing, wonderful, career woman – found the letter.”
“She reached out and accused me of trying to get back with him or slander her name, to which I said no, I just write letters for heavy topics and have been doing for 40 years now.”
“She asked why I am bringing old things back up, and I said it was because a part of me felt guilty for treating him badly during his addictions.”
“I repeated that my love for him is nothing more than friendly, and that we always kept in touch, but she said it was different since it was co-parenting.”
“She told me she will burn the letter if she wants to, and sent another message I haven’t opened yet.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some thought the letter was a kind gesture and thought the OP was NTA.
“NTA. The letter you wrote sounds lovely, and I imagine that your ex would really appreciate your apology and your praise for him as a father and a survivor. None of what you mentioned crosses a line into flirting, and it is completely appropriate for you to share your candid feelings with the father of your child.”
“His wife is out of like snooping in his correspondence, and she sounds like she is responding out of her own insecurity.” – Kittysnowpants
“I agree the wife is just being insecure. You clearly have a great co-parenting relationship OP and that in itself is truly commendable. You went through his addiction with him and reflected how proud you are of him and how far he has come.”
“I admire your candidness and you clearly share a wonderful child together. The love you hold is clearly towards him being the father of your child. There is nothing remotely untoward about your exchange.”
“IMO there may be something going on between the wife and your ex or something in her personal life making her feel this way. I would say she lashing out at you because you are so kind and albeit an easy target. Just leave the messages to rest and don’t engage, I am sure in time it will pass.” – Gracillar
“NAH, I understand that you didn’t intend this to cause him problems but you do need to respect the boundaries that need to exist there.”
“This actually sounds more like a way to reconnect than a platonic goodbye or even just a status update, I’m sure that was what she got from it too.”
“So even though neither of you are wrong, you should each apologize and move forward.” – RLB406
Others thought the OP was overstepping in someone else’s relationship.
“Ehhh. Some things don’t sit right with me.”
“OP’s son is 29 now so realistically she wouldn’t have much of a co-parenting relationship with her ex. I get they can still be civil and bump into each other from time to time but it’s not like they have to navigate parent-teacher evening or sit down to discuss little Johnny’s future. So why is op still so involved with her ex?”
“She sends a Whitney Houston style ‘I will always love you’ letter to someone who has long moved on and has a new partner and is surprised with this stirs up stuff with said new partner. Platonic or not, I don’t feel like it’s that insecure of the new partner to be peeved.”
“To me at best ESH because the new gf went through the mail and at worst YTA or so naive to the world it’s almost impossible op.” – Plus-Kaleidoscope900
“OP, you could have called your ex and told him that you were sorry for misjudging him while he was an addict and he’s always been a great father. You did not have to bring up your issues or the fact that you still love him. This changes the spirit of the letter (man, how could I let you get away. I’m not doing too well, is there still a chance for us?).”
“As a matter of fact, unless it involves your son and his family, you shouldn’t really be reaching out to your ex like that. He has moved on and has a new family. You are part of his past and don’t need to be stirring up trouble in his present. You are an ex for a reason and your season together has passed. Leave the man (and his wife) alone.” – BreuckelenWoman
“Not gonna lie, I’m a little confused by the timeline, so pls walk me through this. If I read this right, you ‘coparent’ a 30 year old, but were together for 10 years, which is at least 21 years ago? And he has been married to his wife now for almost 20 years, give or take? And you recently wrote him a letter apologizing for a comment you made, when? When you were married?”
“I do think this is a bit much and YTA for dredging up ancient history out of the blue. I get that it was probably cathartic for you, but if I’m correct on this timeline, it was weird to send.” – AnotaCocktail
The subReddit was very divided on this one, largely due to the OP’s intentions. She may have simply wanted to clear the air, which is harmless enough, but if she intended to cause drama or confusion, that’s another issue entirely.