Let's Part on Good Terms While We Can. (It's Time to Go Our Separate Ways.)

Letter #1


When my brother was a little boy, he used to bang his head against the wall whenever he was frustrated. My father would tell him that the best thing about banging his head against the wall was that it would feel so good when he stopped. I think it's time that we stop banging our heads against the unyielding wall that separates us, and maybe we will feel better, too. Five years, two separations, six months in counseling, and countless screaming matches have proven that we are hopelessly incompatible. This isn't necessarily a negative reflection on either one of us, but rather proof that the combination of fire and petroleum will produce a combustible mixture with predictable regularity.

I'm afraid the passionate natures that brought us together in the first place are proving our undoing now. But life is too short to live with so much tension and stress, my Dear, and I'm sure it's unhealthy to do so. That's not to say that we still don't have our good times, but they continue to get fewer and farther between. Even when we are getting along fairly well, the anticipation of our next blow-up hangs over our heads like the sword of Damocles. Perhaps this is because we always feel like old issues have never been completely resolved.

Years of trying and numerous counseling sessions have not been able to teach us to speak the same language and understand what the other one is trying to say. If we attempt to have a serious talk about something, one of us usually gets offended where no offense was intended and the conversation goes downhill from there. Soon we're having another nasty scene filled with tears, tempers, and slamming doors. I don't believe it's possible to maintain a healthy relationship without productive interchanges and a certain amount of intimate rapport, do you? Unfortunately, we have proven many times that neither one of us can contribute either one of these peace-making abilities or anything else that is needed to live in peace and harmony.

I think it's commendable that we have both stuck it out as long as we have, but neither one of us is happy or satisfied in this relationship on any level, and it should be clear to both of us by now that we never will be. Let's part now while we can still leave on reasonably good terms and wish each other well. I certainly wish you better luck in choosing your next love. I'm sorry I wasn't the right one.

I propose we make a pact to meet one year from today. Let's see if each of us is happier at that point than we are now--it could be a real eye-opener.

Fare thee well.

Letter #2


I know that we just decided (again) to work things out, but I just can't do this anymore. I had hoped that spending some time apart would help us gain a new perspective on our relationship and a greater appreciation for each other. When we decided to try again, I really thought that it had at first, but these last three weeks have proven otherwise. Things just aren't working for me and, if you're honest with yourself, you'll probably admit that they're not really working for you, either.

I had hoped that we would get back together and treat each other as we did when we first started dating. We treated each other so well then and put each other first in the relationship. We didn't let little things come between us then, either. After a few days of being back together, we're already squabbling again about stupid things--even more than before, it seems. Now we're hurting each other all over again and blaming each other for the problems between us.

I know that living this way is hazardous to our mental well-being, and I'm not willing to do it anymore. I'm sorry. I really wish that things could have worked out this time. But we're not any better at working through our problems than we were before--we just don't seem to be able to understand each other or see eye-to-eye on anything. Whatever common ground we once shared has eroded.

I know that separating again (for good this time) will be hard on both of us. I regret the pain this letter will cause you, but it's the only way that we can find any lasting peace. I honestly believe we will both be much happier in the long run if we just end things now. It's clear we're not meant to be together, and the sooner we accept it, the sooner we can start rebuilding our lives.

I wish you the best, I really do. You'll always have a place in my heart. Maybe we can get together some time in the future, maybe this time next year, and catch each other up on our lives. We may be very surprised at the good that may come from this. Whatever happens, good luck, and take care of yourself.

Letter #3


I'm going to try to say what I think we have both been feeling for a long time. We've tried to make our relationship work--we've tried to the point of exhaustion. We've experimented with separation; we've employed a counselor; we've tried tiptoeing around each other--we've even tried screaming. But when every attempt at reconciliation has been said and done, we still end up in the same place where we started--miserable.

I look in your eyes these days and see only frustration and fatigue. You're unhappy; I'm unhappy. We're both suffering some health problems. Poor sleep, loss of concentration. I've been feeling tightness in the chest and you have complained about stomach disorders. We are killing each other! Our communication has become so destructive that now we say little or nothing at all.

You know where this is going. We can't stay together. We both know it, but one of us had to say it. This is our opportunity to preserve the good memories and have a civil conversation about parting gracefully. This is our chance to make a positive decision that will help each of us remain friends, regain our health, and move on with life. Despite all that we have gone through in recent years, we are not enemies and we must never become so. This is our time to make sure that we maintain something positive and step away from each other in dignity.

Let's don't prolong the inevitable any longer. Let's sit down and discuss our parting with the remembrance of the love we once shared. Then, let's move on with life positively--no more tears, no more hurt feelings, and no more accusations. Let's give each other what we both need most--peace and a new start.

And I hope we can stay in touch. No matter what our differences, you are a big part of my life. I will always be interested in your happiness. I hope we can communicate once in awhile and let the other know how life is faring. Maybe we could meet one year from today. I'll leave that decision up to you.

Letter #4


You know what? I'm surprised that this relationship has lasted as long as it has. I have never seen two more incompatible people in my life. It's like that old saying about trying to put a round peg in a square hole. It just doesn't work. And this relationship certainly hasn't worked. I think we both know that by now.

We're so different. We can't agree on the simplest things, like even what to eat for dinner. You like Mexican; I like Italian. It seems like we fight more often than not. If it's not a full-fledged fight, then we're just constantly bickering. We don't like to do any of the same things, so we're spending less and less time together. Our opinions are so different that any attempt at communication seems to dissolve quickly into an argument.

Living like this is not healthy for either one of us. There's constant tension in the air whenever we're in the same room. I know that you feel the same way. We let this relationship go on too long as it is because neither one of us knew quite how to end it. But, now it's time we did. We need to go our separate ways and leave the stress behind us.

I'll be packed and out by Monday morning. Let's just try to remember the good times and wish each other well.