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Kelli María Korducki

Leaving a Good Man Is Hard To Do

Getty / Collage by Katie Kosma

Kelli María Korducki | Excerpt adapted from Hard To Do: The Surprising, Feminist History of Breaking Up | May 2018 | 13 minutes (3,558 words)

Several years ago, in the immediate aftermath of the prolonged and heart-wrenching breakup that persisted in destroying my entire life over the course of many months, a friend sent me an essay she thought I should read. She was also in the middle of a breakup — a divorce — and we had met a few years earlier through the partners we were simultaneously losing. As one terrible summer faded into an even bleaker fall, we became Gchat pen pals in an ongoing correspondence of mutual despair.

I was officially single and deeply ashamed. To me, my breakup had constituted a karmic injustice that I could have stopped — against my wonderful former partner, against our respective families, and against the scores of women throughout history who’d been denied the love and respect of a Good Man. My friend told me she looked at this must-read piece from time to time, whenever she was feeling scared about the future. I still wasn’t sure that I might have one.

Go, even though you love him.
Go, even though he’s kind and faithful and dear to you.
Go, even though he’s your best friend and you’re his.
Go, even though you can’t imagine your life without him.
Go, even though he adores you and your leaving will devastate him.
Go, even though your friends will be disappointed or surprised or pissed off or all three.
Go, even though you once said you would stay. Go, even though you’re afraid of being alone.
Go, even though you’re sure no one will ever love you as well as he does.
Go, even though there is nowhere to go.
Go, even though you don’t know exactly why you can’t stay.
Go, because you want to. Because wanting to leave is enough.

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