This is the letter that Adam Coates found sitting on his kitchen counter the day his wife left him:
I’m sorry this is going to come as a shock to you. I’ve tried to figure out how to tell you, and I just haven’t been able to.
I want you to know, first of all, that I admire your dedication to your job and the business that you’ve built, and that you get up every morning and you work hard.
But I guess what you don’t see is it was a single-minded dedication, and you’ve neglected your family in order to be a success.
I know I should have said something sooner, and the fault is mostly mine, except you are never here.
I didn’t feel like this was a conversation we should have through texts.
You don’t know it, because you haven’t been around, but I was laid off from my job six weeks ago.
Maybe you don’t remember, but I used to talk to you all the time about how much time you spent at your job and how I felt alone and neglected.
We didn’t fight. I just tried to talk to you, and you would tell me that I was being dramatic or that it was what you needed to do in order to be successful and didn’t I want you to be successful?
So yes, of course I did. So when I asked you to go get ice cream with me and you told me to do it by myself, when I asked you if we could have a date night and you said you were too busy, when I asked you to mark on your calendar Sierra’s field trip but you couldn’t because you were already planning to go somewhere else for your business, when I asked if we could take a weekend away and you didn’t have time…when you forgot my birthday, when our 20-year anniversary came and went and you never said a word, when you took me out the last time and spent the entire time we were in the restaurant on the phone with one of your business associates…I didn’t say anything.
I guess I’m saying something now.
I’m moving into the beach house. I’m taking Sierra with me. I’ve already withdrawn her from school here in Pennsylvania and enrolled her at Blueberry Beach High.
I guess I would have told you I was doing that if you had been here.
I’m not angry, and I don’t hate you, and I hope you don’t hate me, but I’m tired of being alone. Tired of being a single mom. Tired of being married and washing your clothes and doing your shopping and cooking your meals and raising your child, and yet I don’t have a friend or companion or someone to talk to or even someone to help me change a freaking lightbulb.
I’m not asking for divorce. I’m just moving to our beach house, and I’ll figure out what to do with my life there.
I would have talked to you about that too, if you had been here.
Of course, I understand if you don’t want me and find another woman to neglect. I won’t fight it.
I’d thank you for the twenty years together, but it’s been more like fifteen years alone.
I wish you the very best.