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'I forgave my ex for cheating with his colleague. Two years later he left me for her.'

The author of this post is known to Mamamia but has asked to remain anonymous for privacy reasons.

My partner of 10 years ago left me for another woman. This is my letter to him, one year on...

Hey,

It’s been a year now. It's weird that for almost 10 years we lived in each other’s pockets and now I barely hear from you. 

I do still think about you, but it doesn’t feel like someone’s punched me in the stomach anymore. Even when I hear what you’re up to, it doesn’t hurt, not even a little. That’s what time does, and that’s a good thing.

The first time you cheated we had just bought our first house together. You always said she was just a work friend, that you were her superior, you just got along really well. 

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She was a few years younger and "immature" was the way you described her (super original hooking up with a girl from work, by the way). 

As it turns out, she knew you had a girlfriend but didn’t care. She pursued you anyway. 

She tagged you in things on Facebook sent you Snapchats and messages, but I wasn’t jealous because I knew you loved me. 

You were never possessive of your phone, you never acted any different. I was worry-free.

When I found out the truth, my stomach dropped. I went into a full on rage. 

I have never been so angry in my life. 

I sent her messages, I called you and could barely speak. 

You ended it immediately with her, apologised profusely and told me she meant nothing to you.

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I moved out for a few days but I loved you so much I couldn’t bear to be away from you. I came home. 

My anxiety was at a level I didn’t even know it could get to. I cried most days for two years, sometimes having multiple anxiety attacks a day because I was so scared of losing you.

Two years later, almost to the day of the first time you cheated, you called me on your way home from work. 

I will never forget the moment you said we needed to talk. 

I crumpled instantly. Deep down I knew you had cheated again, but this time it was different. 

This time I had noticed it. I'd noticed it and I had ignored the changes in the way you touched and spoke to me. 

My first reaction was to think, we can get through this, we can do this again and come out the other side. But when you walked through the door that night with your ashen face I knew you had already decided that we couldn’t. 

You told me you had been sleeping with her again for the past nine months.

I asked if you loved her, and you said you weren’t sure but you weren’t in love with me anymore. 

You packed a bag silently with tears streaming down your face as you explained to me it was the guilt from the last time that “made” you do it. 

This time you had pursued her and told her I no longer existed in your life. 

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You had never forgiven yourself and this was your response. You wanted to give me the future we had planned since we were 17 but you just couldn’t see yourself marrying me and having kids anymore.

You apologised profusely, over and over, but they were just empty words. 

I desperately messaged my mum multiple times to come and get me while trying to keep my tears under control. I needed her and when she walked through the door she instantly knew what had happened. 

I don’t think I even noticed when you actually left. I’ve blocked that part out of memory. 

Mum drove me in my pyjamas and dressing gown back to the family home I had grown up in, to sleep in my childhood bedroom. 

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I refused to tell my brother and my dad what had happened – I know in my heart they would never have hurt you but I still loved you and was terrified of their reaction. 

I always knew that I loved you but I never realised how much until the day you said we were done.

The day after you told me that you didn’t want to be together anymore I remember being so weak from crying in the shower and not eating or sleeping, I could barely stand and wash the shampoo out of my hair. 

I ate air. I drank constantly until I passed out. I cried on Mum's shoulder. 

I got myself out of that toxic apartment that we shared with the help of my family and friends and I was off work for weeks while you gallivanted around in Europe with her not realising the damage you had done.

My friends and family were more supportive than I could have ever dreamed. 

For a while after we broke up, I used to go over and over what I could have done differently to make you stay in love with me for longer. 

I tormented myself until I finally realised with the help of a psychologist, that I couldn’t have done anything else. I was good enough. 

Stomping along the esplanade (no one can tell if you’re crying while you’re wearing sunglasses and stomping as quickly as I did), getting the fresh ocean air and smashing it out at the gym became my thing. 

It brought me back to life. It gave me purpose again and I found the person that I had been hiding for so many years. 

I love the “me” that I’ve found, I don’t think you’d recognise her at all. I exude confidence, I’m decisive and I barely cry (I know!).

You were great for so long, and I have many fond memories of growing up with you as we navigated our teens and early-mid twenties. 

I'm so grateful for the relationship that we had but also glad you did what you did. It made me grow as a person. 

I now know there's nothing I could have done to make you stay even an hour longer. I know it was a decision that you had to make, but that doesn’t mean I did anything wrong and it definitely doesn't mean I wasn’t good enough.

I just loved you more than you ever loved me, and for a lot longer.

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