I entered our relationship damaged and vulnerable. Coming off a 3.5 year whirlwind of lies with mere months to heal, I met you sooner than I could have ever expected—and fell even quicker. Our conversation flowed like two old friends from day one. I felt the kind of spark I had been growing too cynical to believe in. I had this renewed belief in fate and soulmates, and all kinds of other abstract, romantic concepts.
The more time we spent together, the clearer it was that we were each other’s “ones.” We grew in love in the most cinematically beautiful way. Days spent in bed, soaked in each other’s sweat from the heat of sex and laughter and love. I looked into your eyes and felt overwhelmingly whole. We learned each other’s dreams and fears. We explored each other’s bodies and craved an intimacy no one could threaten. Our shared presence was otherworldly.
In spite of the love we were building, I still remained reluctant to trust you.
I should have viewed you as a clean slate like you deserved, but I let my anxiety get the best of me more often than not.
I couldn’t shut my brain off from thinking you’d leave me—that you’d find some cool, beautiful girl working in a creative field like you, and I didn’t stand a chance. I harbored this deep belief that you were too good for me. What I saw in you were things I was insecure about lacking myself.
We fought… and fought… and fought. I spewed baseless accusations your way like rapid fire. You never gave up on me, though. You made it your mission to prove to me every day that you’d never hurt me and that loyalty would never be a question for us.
I don’t know what clicked, but eventually, I was healed.
Perhaps not wholly, but I was healed as much as I could be. I reached my full potential as a girlfriend. I reciprocated the trust you gave me and we flourished. Man, did we flourish? Fights were few and far between and each day felt light as a feather. I was the happiest I’d ever been. You were the happiest you’d ever been. We talked about marriage and moving to Italy together. To this day, I am convinced there was no love greater than the one we shared.
One dreary June evening, you went to a company happy hour. You were supposed to come home to me that evening. Hours passed, and your texts grew sloppier as you grew drunker. I was openly upset at the impending ditch I was about to be served. As the night went on, your responses disappeared altogether. My mind wandered to dark places as my texts and calls went repeatedly unanswered.
“He promised to never black out and do this to me again,” I thought to myself, recalling a night we experienced our first month of dating.
A wave of nausea washed over me. You finally answered my call sometime after midnight. “Where are you?” I asked with a crack in my voice. I tried to hide that I had been crying with nerves. You replied, “I’m at the same bar I’ve been. I’m going to crash at my friends.” I asked what friend, and your response was the most piercing news I’d ever received.
“Who is Jess?” I asked.
I immediately began shrieking, sobbing, and hyperventilating. “Please tell me this isn’t real,” I begged you not to do this—not to throw away everything we built and everything we had planned for a blacked out night with another girl. You hung up, and never answered the rest of the night. I didn’t sleep one minute.
Being cheated on is the hardest thing I’ve ever experienced. You robbed me of my trust, love, confidence, dignity, and the list goes on.
You put my fears to rest only to awaken them with your own selfish action. You made me fall in love with you knew deep down you couldn’t fully commit. I look back on our brief relationship and wonder how many times I’ve been unknowingly fooled by you.
Were you really faithful at that bachelor party in Cancun?
Was the earring you found in your bedroom that you thought was mine from a hookup before you met me, or am I just the most naïve son of a bitch alive?
You ripped my heart out of my chest. You punctuated my highest highs with my lowest low. I can forgive you and make peace with it all, but I’ll never get over the man I believed I’d meet at the altar choosing alcohol and infidelity over our perfect love.
In the midst of 100 different “final goodbyes” (because it sure is hard to admit you’re about to lose your perceived soulmate), you expressed that you worry I’ll forget you.
My love, you may have forgotten me that horrific night, but I will always remember you. I’ll always remember strolling through the city hand in hand. I’ll always remember French food and red wine and the breeze on my thigh in your favorite dress. I’ll always remember waking you up at 5 AM just to chat. I’ll always remember the way you loved the gap in my teeth that I was always embarrassed by. I’ll always remember trying to hold hands on roller coasters and cursing the amusement park for the barrier of the lap bar. I’ll always remember record stores and the way you’d guess the names of paintings at the museum. I’ll always remember long car rides back to our hometowns and jam sessions with the windows down. I didn’t tell you enough that I loved it when you sang. You looked so perfectly content and human. I’ll always remember laying there in the park reading, and you laughing at me as I chased strangers’ dogs. I’ll always remember mornings at our favorite coffee shops, and kissing before we got on our subways to work. I’ll always remember laughing. I’ll always remember learning. I’ll always remember loving.
Through you, my capacity to love another human reached new heights. I am sad and broken. I am living my nightmare. But it’s all temporary, and I will bounce back accordingly. I wish for you a beautiful future, and I’m sorry it can’t be spent together.