A Divorce Apology Letter from a Woman to Her Ex-Husband

divorce apology

By Jackie Pilossoph, Founder, Divorced Girl Smiling, the place to find trusted, vetted divorce professionals, a podcast, website and mobile app.

Ever thought about sitting down and writing a divorce apology letter to your ex?  I’m not saying you have to send the letter, or even show it to anyone. I’m also not saying the divorce is your fault or all your fault. But a divorce apology letter could be  a very healthy and productive way to gain some clarity and inner peace when it comes to your divorce. Here is an anonymous letter that includes a divorce apology, from one woman to her ex husband.

Dear “Joe,”


I’ve been wanting to write you this letter for a long time. As time goes by, the clarity of what happened during our marriage, through our separation and even after our divorce gets better and better.  There are so many things I’ve learned after stepping back and looking at the past with a more unemotional vision.



So, with that said, I first want to tell you that I’m truly sorry for many things. Divorce is never any one person’s fault, and while in my mind, I always blamed you, I now realize there are many things I could have done differently to be a better wife.


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Maybe I could have tried harder to help you through some tough times, maybe I could have been less selfish in some ways, and maybe I could have waited longer before I gave up hope and allow us both to concede.


And then during the separation and through the divorce,I said some hurtful, mean, cruel things to you. At times, I badmouthed you to any who would listen. I’m really sorry. At the time, I was hurting, and I was angry and scared, and I felt like a victim.


I also made legal decisions at times that were made from anger and emotion. Looking back, I realize how unproductive anger really is, and how it can only cause people to make bad, even foolish, decisions. Had I been smarter and thought of our divorce in a more unemotional way, we probably would have saved a lot of time and money.


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After all of that, and even during those times, I tried to be your friend, and was then disappointed and didn’t understand why you didn’t want to be mine. Now I realize I shouldn’t have tried so hard, or even expected anything back then. There was too much anger, blame and bitterness for me to even think that friendship was possible.


All that said, it seems we’ve both moved on. I think that we’ve both managed to get on with our lives and settle into a post marital life that certainly isn’t perfect, but that is working.


So, what I was wondering is, moving forward, would you like to be my friend?



Since I loved you enough at one time to marry you, and you loved me enough to marry me, do you think it’s possible to forgive each other, bury the past and start a new friendship, based on the little things we used to like about each other, and more importantly because it would benefit our children? 


As time passes, and I look back at what it was like being married to you, I remember some of the things that can still upset me. But I also recall the happy times, the times we laughed, and some of the wonderful memories we made. Can we take those memories and use that as the foundation for our friendship, not expecting to be best friends, of course, but just to develop a new relationship? One that includes great co-parenting and a sense of peace?

There will undoubtedly be times of frustration, just as there are in most relationships. But friendship is different than marriage, so unlike our marriage, maybe we can make our friendship work.


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I will always wish you the best. Always. How can I wish anything else for the father of my children? And honestly, at the same time I will probably always harbor a little resentment for some of the things you did and the way you treated me. But I am constantly trying to focus more on the present and the future, rather than things that no longer matter.


The last thing I want to do is thank you. Thank you for giving me the people I adore most in my life. The people who are my life. Without you, there is no them.


In friendship,


Your ex-wife, “Linda”

* I do want to say one thing about writing a divorce apology letter or about putting anything in writing, via email or text. If you are in a contentious divorce, or if you think there might be a risk that the letter could be used against you in a court of law, you might want to run the correspondence by your attorney (or just keep the letter to yourself for awhile). I know that sounds harsh, but it’s reality. What your ex might have appreciated in the past, might be taken and used in a completely different way during the thick of a divorce.


If YOU were writing a divorce apology letter to YOUR ex, what would you say?


Like this post? Check out, “What you need and don’t need to find happiness after divorce” 


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    Jackie Pilossoph

    Editor-in-chief: Jackie Pilossoph

    Jackie Pilossoph is the Founder of Divorced Girl Smiling, the media company that connects people facing with divorce to trusted, vetted divorce professionals. Pilossoph is a former NBC affiliate television journalist and Chicago Tribune/Pioneer Press features reporter. Her syndicated column, Love Essentially was published in the Chicago Tribune/Pioneer Press and Tribune owned publications for 7 1/2 years. Pilossoph holds a Masters degree in journalism from Boston University. Learn more at: DivorcedGirlSmiling.com

    20 Responses to “A Divorce Apology Letter from a Woman to Her Ex-Husband”

    1. Doug, Chicago

      “Joe” responds: “Linda” – … I’ve learned … divorce is never … one person’s fault. I said hurtful … things to you …I was hurting … was angry and scared … felt like a victim. I realize how unproductive anger … is. I realize I shouldn’t have … expected. I … recall the happy times, the times we laughed, and … the wonderful memories we made. I will always wish you the best. I am … the present. I thank you … for giving me the people I adore most in my life … without you, there is no them. – “Joe”

      “Joe” did not add or change a word from “Linda” … just made a series of deletions (guys thrive on fewer words), which helped him see more clearly: Learn, own, acknowledge, accept … and be positive, at peace, present, grateful and loving. I think Joe and Linda are both going to be okay. – Doug

    2. rex

      Joe’s reply: thanks for letting me know you haven’t changed. Appreciate your mind reading to let me know I’ve moved on. Also thanks for the continued blame and finger pointing. I.e. I’m sorry for how I hurt you. But you hurt me first/more.

      Have a nice life.

      Enclosed: restraining order

    3. Melissa

      As you said Divorce is never anyone’s fault, but surely this letter is inspirational. I think I would do the same.

    4. Michelle C.

      The letter to her ex husband is right on point to where i am and how i really do feel about the whole situation. It gave me clarity and also is helping me with the acceptance part of it. Its tough stuff guys when loving someone so much and it had to come to an end .

      • Jean Renel

        that really true when you love someone it is so hard to see end just like that

    5. Trish

      I still love my ex-husband with every fiber of my being and I pray one day God will bring us back together. I plan on writing him a letter when I am certain I have forgiven all and I am able to leave it all in the past or my attempt will be futile. Maybe if the letter goes well I will post it. Until then, I pray and I plead with the universe to give me a second chance to love my soul mate again. I hope everyone finds a love like I had and they respect that love and they treat it like the most valuable gift you can ever receive.

      • Kimberley

        I not only took responsibility, I let him read the letter. He had to hold back tears….I could tell. He saud he beve stopped loving me & I have found in myself that I have not stopped loving him.

    6. Angie

      I still love me exhusband with all of my heart,and I would go back to him right now if he would have me. I hurt him this time and to him I am dead. I am so sorry that I ruined our marriage. Just wish he would listen to me and know how very sorry I am. We were together for 28 yrs and married after 22. I don’t know how to get him to listen to me. Anyone have any suggestions?

      • Bree

        Angie, I am the one that was so hurt by my spouse and I will tell you that all you can do is give him space. As hard as that might be for you, you need to be unselfish and let him go. If you are mean to be together, then one day you very well may. In the meantime, you need to focus on healing yourself, being a better person and finding positivity in your life. Enroll in school, find a hobby, join a club, just don’t drag him into the mess again. I hope this helps.

    7. Kristy

      I too am In a marriage where he is just angry and has always been just the older he gets the worst his anger, resentment, hate he basically acts like he cannot stand me. I don’t know what to do at this point we have 3 kids been together 20 years and I don’t think one day goes by where he isn’t making me cry..

      • Kristy

        Can anyone give me some advice I’m 37 and have been with my husband since I’m 17 it’s hard enough him treating me this way. And we’ve been together so long I don’t even no where to begin to find help..

      • Kristy

        I don’t understand what do you mean by giving him time. Separate for a while are just keep your distance explain please because I am going through a terrible time in my marriage, he used to ADORE ME now it’s like he can’t stand me like I’m his number one enemy I cry to myself in my room just about every day…

        • Ashley

          Of course, we all cry in the room just about everyday..if you’re going through a terrible time in your marriage, suggest do not end it. because it’s not worth it. you can fight to save your marriage by going to a counselor and for your husband need to reject his anger. anger will not help. how can he stay mad for so long as a child? he does not stay anger longer at his own mother, does he? no, why can’t he do the same for you too?.if you both legal separated though lawyer all you have to do is tell your lawyer & judge you want your husband and yourself need to see a counselor to work out and he has anger issues need to tone down and including you too because something ticks him off about what have you done? you better not wear the pants around him. you and your husband can work it out as an adult like teamwork that’s all. you and his need to respect each other and to find out what’s all the fuss is about? you need to slow down and he needs to cool it. do your homework on how to save your marriage and you and husband got to go see counselor trying to understand what caused it? need to fix it in no matter what. Hope it’s working out and be a fighter don’t be a loser like all the divorced women. all you need to do is read a book called “The Love Dare” This book teaches a person how to truly love someone, which I believe everyone needs to know how to do. Also movie Fireproof and really liked it. I think every couple in a relationship should watch it.

    8. carolyn murphy

      Good God don’t ever write AND SEND any kind of a letter to your X! I am 72 years old and have been remarried for 36 years. One day I got this bright idea of writing my X – sort of an apology letter. He took the letter to our adult children and said “guess your Mother is feeling guilty”. I am so mad at myself that I sent that letter but writing it and just sitting on it, wouldn’t have served any purpose!

    9. rita

      Ever since my husband left me my love life was in a mess. And i always through and wish we were together and that he would come back to my life and our love could stay endless. I wanted to fight this war of love without weapons, but then i realize that he has fully made up his mind against me.

    10. rita

      He no longer call nor text me, i stay up through the whole night all alone without him to talk with. I was ready to walk through hell to save and restore peace back to my marriage. I finally thank God and the whole universe for sending.

    11. billybob

      Nice letter for some but to me in the trash it would go just like our marriage!


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