After 5-plus years of no contact after a devastating divorce (no children) due to infidelity, a longtime ex that I had moved on and away from suddenly appeared in my inbox.
The note told of their new life, marriage, and included a picture of their baby, wishing me well – and how they still think of me/us. I wonder why they would do this, especially now, and it has left me a bit distracted. Are they expecting a full life update from me? Would you reply telling them not to write or simply ignore and delete, hoping they get the message?
– Message Received
You can ignore, delete, or file it away in a "to be evaluated many years from now" folder.
If you get a second note – or even a third – you can block the address or ask this person to stop. It does sounds like it might have been a one-off – some kind of test to see what response they might get. Without attention, they might move along.
As for the motivation behind the email, who knows? Maybe they want validation or forgiveness. Maybe they wrote it and hit send without even thinking about how the message might be received.
At worst, they're trying to develop some kind of romantic connection now that they're with someone else.
My uneducated guess is that it's all of the above. It probably felt exciting to write and send the note. I think this person wants attention in any form. Maybe they miss you. The sentiment doesn't make the action any less insensitive.
I'm sorry it it rattled you or set you back. If you're seeking permission to put it out of your mind, you have it.
Readers? Would you write back? Why would someone send a note like this? Have you ever sent a note to an ex after five years, and if so, why?