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A letter to the woman who took my husband of 19 years,

It’s been a little over two years now since you came in and like a thief in the night, took what I held dearest to me. My husband. Rather, that’s how I saw it. 

I’ll never forget finding out about you, and you would be just another one he’d found. I was bound and determined to tell you to go away, and you would listen. 

But you didn’t. 

And he chose you over our newborn baby girl and four other children I had with him during the 20 years we had put in together. 

I could not understand how someone was okay with hiding in the shadows knowing what a woman’s husband was doing to his wife and his family. How you were okay with his “husbandly duties” even though he was coming home to me and telling me he loved me without any indication you were there, lurking and waiting. 

The thing is, you cannot keep any man who doesn’t want to be kept. You can’t love them harder, do the counseling, or just do more to get them to realize what they have. It’ll never happen

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I was brokenhearted and filled with hate and disgust—for you and for him—when he finally left me for you. Then, you both did the unimaginable and decided to not only move in together immediately upon our separation but bring a new life into this world when he had just dumped the family he created with me. 

It took up until now for me to finally let go of the hate. I still don’t like you or him, nor what you’ve done. The damage you’ve both done to not only me but my kids. 

But . . . thank you. I can say that clearly and confidently today. 

Thank you for what you’ve given me. Besides the heartache and grief, you’ve given me the chance to become an improved version of myself. I’ve learned to stand tall, to see my worth once again, and to enjoy life to the fullest. You took him away even though there was kicking and screaming—I wasn’t letting go without a fight. You removed me from a terrible environment and marriage that I would never have left on my own. 

Thank you for taking my place. I no longer have other women messaging me to tell on my husband. I no longer have the anxiety or worry about him being on dating sites. No more holding my breath at my doctor’s appointments, worrying I might have something he brought home that soap doesn’t remove. No more crying in my bathtub or in bed next to him praying for God to just help him be a better man. 

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Thank you for making room in my life for new friends and for old ones to be in my life again since he had isolated me. Thank you for taking me off his list of people to ridicule, belittle, and abuse when he was angry. 

And thank you for making me make room to be ready for the right love to find me and to be thankful for it when it did come. 

You, and what I had once thought was ruining my life, actually saved me so much and gave me the keys to get the life I deserve and so much more. 

So, you’ll never know how thankful I am for you and the way you ultimately gave me back my life to live once again. 

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So God Made a Mother's Story Keepsake Journal

Ashley Travous

Ashley is a 39-year-old mother of five, starting life over again after 18 years of marriage. 

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