5. Amicable break-up letter

I’m grateful for all the good memories we‘ve built over the past five years. You have taken great care of me and have been there when I’ve needed you.

However, I feel that our relationship is headed into a direction that I’m uncomfortable with. It would be best for both of us to take some time and truly contemplate what we want to get out of life and out of our relationship. 

The purpose of this letter is not to point any fingers at anybody. I truly wish the best for you. However, I believe that I’m no longer in the position to provide you with the type of life partner that you desire or need. I’m not saying that I haven’t done anything wrong nor that I am without my own faults. Im definitely not blaming you for everything that I am currently dissatisfied with. 

I’m aware that it is possible that there are areas in which I can improve. However, my priorities at this time conflict with my capabilities of becoming the perfect partner for you. 

I was initially happy to work and provide income while you stayed at home and looked after the house. I know that you always fed me and looked after me whenever I was swamped with work. However, as you know, my workload is seasonal. I spend majority of my time figuring out how to make a living for us. 

I’m not sure how to put this delicately, and I sincerely hope you don’t take this the wrong way, but the following are some points that must be addressed:


I think I’ve put up with a lot of stuff (and I know you have too). It’s understandable considering your schizophrenia diagnosis that you’ll behave erratically at times. I’ve tried my best to try and accommodate your random mood swings, random outbursts of rage, delusions and paranoia. 

I’ve reached my breaking point. 

I’ve tried to build a good relationship with the kids but it’s extremely exhausting when it feels so one-sided. I feel like most communications I have with the kids are mentally draining, especially because it doesn’t feel like they want to interact with me at all. I have really, really tried. 

Relatedly, you seem to be unable to take anything remotely close to criticism when it comes to your children. Even if I’m not criticising them, you act like I am. Therefore, it’s difficult to speak to you about the kids at all without having to worry about you getting offended for no reason. 

Please remember that this letter has been composed with the best of intentions. The following points are not criticisms. They are merely observations. 


You’re always saying you’re “busy” and “tired”. The entire working class is busy and tired. But we all need to pick ourselves up and get off the couch. We need to stop wasting our lives watching mindless television. 

At almost 40 years of age, I believe it is unhealthy to watch television for hours on end. It’s definitely a great release and nice way to relax occasionally, but I believe you have the potential to make something more of your time and your life. I have heard your worries about being “sore” and “tired”, but these conditions will only worsen if you remain stagnant most of the day. 

I have also noticed that you periodically lie to me. At the beginning of our relationship, I have made it explicitly clear that I cannot tolerate dishonesty. However, I have made numerous exceptions for you because I somehow thought it was worth it. 

Perhaps sometimes your statements are true, but the stories are quite far-fetched. For example:


There have been previous instances when I have felt depressed about the small comments that you make. For example, when you say that I don’t help out around the house, how you say I never do anything to help you, when you accuse me of being lazy. 

I take pride in working hard and am confident that I’m one of the most hardworking people I know. Perhaps you don’t always notice the ways in which I help, but I’m not going to tap you on the shoulder and report to you every single time I clean or help out around the house. When I’m not cleaning the house or working, it’s typically because I’m recovering from spiralling into depression. It’s paralysing and I can’t do anything to help myself. 

You’re probably aware that you’re extremely controlling financially, emotionally and pertaining to my social life and social circle. I seek to have the freedom to socialise with whoever I want to, within reason of course. I hope you understand your insecurities are not something that should be projecting on to me. Hopefully you can receive the help for your issues and deal with them in a more mature manner. While I am aware that I also have issues with lack of security and control, I believe that I afford you much more leeway than you provide me. 

I have cut out a large proportion of my social circle in order to maintain a good relationship with you. I understand that you dislike a lot of my previous friends, but I hope you can see that isolating me from my support network was an incredibly manipulative thing to do. I am not accusing you of doing so intentionally, but this is the reality of the matter. At the same time, I thank you for allowing me to weed through the “friends” that I’ve had previously. I know that some of them were terrible influences and I’m glad I have cut ties with them. However, I do regret cutting out a lot of my other friends. 

The above reasons are why I feel it is best to take a 1 month break, so that we can critically analyse and evaluate our priorities. If after 1 month, you feel that you still wish to continue our relationship, we can engage in further discussions. If you believe after 1 month that we should go our separate ways, I will respect your decision. 

Again, I’m grateful for the years you’ve spent by my side. Thank you for feeding me. Thanks for making me laugh. Thanks for running errands for me when I’m preoccupied or otherwise unable to leave the house. Thank you for being patient with me most of the time. I also appreciate all the small things you do for me, as well as the large gestures. Most of all, thank you for helping me mature. 

I hope that you will read this letter with the same level of care and thought that I put into writing it. It hasn’t been all bad but I think it hasn’t been great for either of us recently. Take some time to think about what I’ve said and please understand that this was not an easy decision to make.