'A letter to the father of my kids: This is why our relationship must come to an end.'

To the father of my kids:

When I swore that we would always be family, that I’d always be there for you, that our beautiful children would always know the joy of all of us living this life together, I meant every word.

I truly wanted us to be the parents who could co-parent seamlessly, better than what is expected in this narcissistic age.

But the thing is, sometimes things just don’t work. You have been my best friend for the better part of a decade, through everything: the joy, the elation, the defeat, the pain.

I’ve still supported and loved you and I always will. Only from now I will love you and cheer for you silently from a distance.

It’s over… now what? What do you do once you’ve made the decision that your relationship is over? Mandy Nolan explains in our podcast, The Split.

I’m ready to choose myself; I must believe I’m worthy of happiness. I must believe it’s okay to let go even though I will grieve you horrendously and will feel like I can’t breathe without you.

It’s hard losing a part of myself because you’ve always been my person, my friend, my family. But you? You don’t do so well with loyalty, compassion, honesty.

I don’t think you’ve ever tried to hurt me but none the less you do. You hurt our family with your selfish, entitled, angry verbal outbursts. I see sadness in our children’s eyes and I see the way people look at me when you scream at me in the supermarket. I see the way women mouth at me ‘are you okay?’ when you aren’t looking, because your anger radiates through a room.


Please know, my beautiful first love, that if I could take every bit of pain from you, I would. I wish I could change your childhood. I wish I could have been there to stop the one who should have loved you most from taking their anger out on you. I wish I could have been there to protect you from the pure evil of those who attempted to prey on you as an innocent child.

But I can’t. No matter how much I will it, I can’t change your past. You suffered more than anyone should and I am so sorry.

But even though I know it will break my heart, I have to let go. I know you will feel abandoned again, pushed aside, disregarded and that truly destroys me. But I have to put my oxygen mask on first and consider that maybe it’s ok for me to be selfish this time, just this once.

I’m letting go because my love can’t change you, it can’t fix you and I can’t wait anymore. I can’t be trampled anymore by your impulsive, destructive decisions. I want our children to be better, better than both of us, to be kind, understanding, compassionate humans. But mainly I want them to be people who know that it’s okay to let even the most important people go, that they’re allowed to move on from relationships that no longer make them happy without feeling any guilt. 

So, to my dear best friend, my former ally. You are worthy, you are great, you deserve love. I’m always going to be here silently cheering for you, wishing the best for you. But I must let you go.

I must choose to keep myself afloat, genuinely hoping that one day when I look back your head is above water, smiling back at me.

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