Leaving Your Marriage with a Note

leaving with a note
Worthy Staff

By Worthy Staff | Mar 12th, 2024

Below is a story taken from the blog Since My Divorce. 

A few things happened for IronSpineSally while her husband was deployed with the AirForce. The first was she was forced to take more responsibility for the household. But the challenge became a learning experience that taught her she was far more capable than she’d thought. The second was that IronSpineSally began a relationship with another man that was never physical but did become inappropriate. 

IronSpineSally decided to tell her husband about the relationship. She wrote, “I wasn’t going to pursue that relationship because I wanted to try to save the marriage, but my husband latched onto that rather than address that we both had issues. He was going to just sit with that and accuse me of things, so it wasn’t worth it.” 

She ultimately left him in the worst way possible – in the middle of the night, leaving a note behind. 

IronSpineSally’s departure, however, wasn’t spur of the moment, out of the blue. She had done, or at least tried, to do the work to save her marriage. After her husband came home from his deployment, she wrote, “he had started getting angry all the time and he would throw things. He never hit me or anything like that, but he was overly angry about simple things, and it wasn’t PTSD.” 

IronSpineSally decided to try to talk to her husband when things came to a head. He shared all the things he resented about her to which IronSpineSally replied, “Let’s try therapy then, and see because obviously there’s a problem with the two of us communicating and maybe we can fix this.”

Her husband, however, refused. He believed his wife’s therapist had brainwashed her and that there “was no way [he was] going to pay someone to sit there and tell me [he was] wrong about everything.” 

IronSpineSally shared that her husband could be manipulative, gaslighting her and controlling everything in their relationship. When she made the decision to leave, she knew that if she tried to have another conversation with her husband, “he would either talk [her] into staying or talk [her] into thinking this was all [her] and there was nothing for him to work on.” When she eventually tried to have a conversation with him, he said , “All we need to do is have more conversations like this. If you just sit there and listen to what I have to say and do what I tell you to do, then everything is going to be fine.”

Finally, IronSpineSally sat down and put pen to paper. She wrote down everything she had wanted to say in a conversation in her letter. She told him she was going to stay with a friend and to not contact her for a few days. She told him that if he did want to work on things, to make an appointment with the therapist and she’d meet him there. 

And then she signed her letter and left. 

Mandy’s Response

There are some that would say leaving a letter is a coward’s way out but I think it’s important not to pass judgment. If you know you have to end your marriage then you have to find whatever way is possible for you to leave. That might mean leaving on your lunch hour, or getting your girlfriends and movers to help you move out in an hour, or telling your husband you need a few days away. None of these may be considered the best option, but they are what works for some women depending on the circumstances.

In all cases, there needs to have been some discussions about the problems in the marriage – their SBTXs cannot have been unaware of the issues. There is always the possibility that they just hadn’t been listening or had discounted the seriousness of the concerns but should still certainly be aware of them. 

I think it is important to try and identify the underlying causes of the problems. That helps to bring understanding and clarity about the possibility for change. If your spouse is receptive, you can offer resources to help.

If your spouse is not receptive to the help, then putting it bluntly, they are choosing to accept your relationship as it is. Knowing that will help you make your decision.

Worthy Staff

Worthy Staff

The Worthy Blog is a place for inspiration, insight, and advice for all things surrounding life's greatest transitions - divorce, losing a loved one, retirement, and so much more. You can find us on our blog, Instagram, and Facebook.


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