This Thanksgiving, we asked HuffPost Divorce readers to reflect on what makes them grateful for their exes. In the roundup below, they share the reasons they’re thankful to have met their former spouses, even if their marriages didn’t last.
1. “I definitely came out of my shell while with him. He helped me to see and experience new things and to be more open to things. I’m grateful for that! I’m also thankful for him leaving me. It made me realize how resilient I am and I am happier than I have ever been.” — Jessica Sprankle
2. “I am grateful my ex-husband said he wanted a divorce. The end of our marriage has led me — unapologetically — back to myself.” — Becky Cavender
3. “The popular answer always seems to be that divorced people are grateful for their exes, because if not for them, they wouldn’t have their children. That’s certainly up there on my list but more than that, I’m grateful to my ex because he truly, madly loved me and taught me how to do the same back.” — Lynsey Mattingly
4. “Of course I’m grateful to my ex for my son. And I’m thankful that he showed me true love during our marriage and showed me that I am lovable.” — Victoria Jo
5. “I am thankful to my ex for our two wonderful and healthy children. And I’m grateful I have a second chance to live life differently.” — Barry Fraser
6. “I’m thankful that he is a loving man who is strong enough to co-parent with me in a way that shows our daughter that broken things can be fixed — maybe not back to the way they were before — but in a way that is still loving and kind.” — Candice Curry
7. “During our 30-year marriage, I begged my ex a thousand times to ‘put down that book and talk to me!’ How ironic that my anguish morphed into the trait I’m most thankful for in him today. My two daughters watched as my ex devoured 600 page historical novels. They saw him lift his head and exclaim, ‘Listen to this!’ and expound on some detail. Today, in their 30s, my daughters are history buffs, passionate readers, and lovers of The Great Books. When I watch them read astounding passages to each other, I know his legacy continues, and I’m thankful.” — Katherine Forsythe
8. “I’m thankful that he was better at the newborn phase with kids than I was. We were in a blissful part of our marriage and I look back at that time with gratitude.” — Vanessa Lee
9. “I’m grateful my ex is a loving and kind father to our son — the kind of father who is present. Even though we were divorced when our son was only 2 years old, my ex never lost sight of fatherhood; in fact, our son was, and remains, his priority. We’ve shared 50-50 custody for over 13 years and our son is growing into a young man we’re all proud of. I know this is because we worked together to make it happen.” — Shelley Wetton
10. “I’m thankful for my ex because I have been able to start my life over again and make changes that have allowed me to become a better person and follow my dreams. Without our divorce, I would not be as strong as I am today.” — Shannon Ferguson
11. “When I got a job opportunity 500 miles away, my ex said take it and allowed me to take our son with me. He pushed for a year to get a transfer with his company and he now lives here, too. He uprooted his life to be close to his son and allowed me to follow my career. We were able to resume 50/50 custody and I had the most amazing life experiences through this job, which is also where I met my wonderful husband. He could have just pointed to the court papers and said ‘you can’t move more than 25 miles away’ but he said ‘you need to do this.'” — Heather Leiva
12. “I am thankful that my ex-husband and I were able to maintain a very positive relationship during and after our divorce, unlike so many other exes. He and I salvaged the friendship that drew us together in the beginning.” — Robin DesCamp
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