To my ex-wife: One man's ode to his painful marriage

Marriage, and divorce, can be messy. Source: Getty

Starts at 60 is revisiting some of its most popular pieces of the past few years. Here’s one of them for you to enjoy.

I saw the anonymous post called ‘To my ex-husband’ and it made me immediately want to respond. Like many blokes out there, I have an ex wife, and she caused me much grief. And I can happily say that I was not the instigator.

If I was a woman, I would never have behaved the way you did during our marriage. I wouldn’t have carried on and picked on every little thing you did. I would have never been a terrible liar and disappear on you with the local accountant. I would have never have argued with you and made you feel pathetic, over the most stupid things. I would have never withheld affection from you because I didn’t feel like it.

If I was a woman, I would have taken care of you, I would never have made you get a taxi to a heart operation while I got drunk next door. I would not have left you behind as you lay in a hospital bed and pretended you were dying to get sympathy from other men. I would have had your children and wanted them to be like you. I would never have a hysterectomy without asking you.

If I was a woman, I would love you tenderly, not leave you to wonder why we were ever married. I would get married to you because I loved you and not because my dad told me to. I would kiss you on the lips and not be repulsed by the very sight of you. I would introduce you to my friends proudly, I’d never take other men to functions instead.

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Read more: To my ex-husband: One woman’s searing post-divorce letter

If I was a woman, I’d be with you through the good and the bad, not fail to turn up to your mother’s funeral with no excuse. I would hug you and cry with you, not tell you that “we all knew it was coming”.

If I was a woman, I would be strong but also kind. I would never make you feel scared and emasculated in my presence. I would never mock you. I guess you never loved me. If I was a woman, I wouldn’t just leave a note saying you were leaving with the accountant. I would talk things out for hours if we needed to, but we wouldn’t. Because I’d never marry someone just because.

If I was a woman, I would be as beautiful as I could be around you. I would dress up for dates, instead of acting like I didn’t want to be there. I’d wear my wedding ring on my hand with pride, instead of conveniently losing it. You were not a woman, you were the shadow of one. And you still haunt me, years after we divorced.

Do these thoughts echo any of your own? Or do you believe there are two sides to every story?