She loved you, you know. She really did. She loved you even when everyone told her not to, when everyone said you were the wrong one for her.
And still, she loved you.
Not only that, but she chose you- because she had other choices. She could’ve stayed single, exactly as she had planned. Or she could’ve taken up those others vying for her affection right alongside you. But there was something about you that swept her off her feet. Something she couldn’t quite shake. You told her she was the only girl in the world for you, and her resolve completely faded away.
So she went for it. She loved you, and she did it without restraint. You loved her, too. At least, she thinks you did. You really seemed to at the time. Yet the way she loved you always felt, more, somehow- as if you were holding yourself back. Or, more accurately, spreading yourself too thin.
You’ll never know what it was like for her to receive that first message. The one from the other girl, telling her in painstaking detail the love affair you carried on outside of the two of you. How you were doing it even now, even though you were in a committed relationship. You don’t know how hard it was to keep it together, and how she almost didn’t.
You’ll certainly never know what it was like for her to receive all of the other messages, too. How she started to become numb when they appeared, which was far too often. She didn’t want to be wrong about you- she wanted to believe you were who she thought you to be. She kept hearing in her memories when you said how she was the only girl you wanted. How she was the best thing that had ever happened to you. How she was the one you hoped to spend forever with. But she knew, she had been wrong about you- because someone who was in love the way you claimed to be couldn’t keep doing these things to her, time after time. She kept telling herself to leave you, and she couldn’t seem to go through with it, because it just didn’t make sense on how this person she loved so much could be so willing to do anything like this. Eventually, you walked away from her because you wanted to explore your options- you wanted even more than you already had.
That was your mistake. You realized that once you let her go. She walked away from you, finally free, and your life became a little emptier, no matter how many others you tried to use to fill up the space. You had once had someone who loved you consistently and honestly, a little too much- she stayed through things she didn’t have to.
So, you try to convince her to come back. You tell her you’ve changed. That you’ve learned. That you will never hurt her again.
Maybe you have changed, maybe you haven’t. Yet the truth is, she can’t come back. You destroyed her trust, her hope, her belief that you two could make a relationship work. Even after she stayed, you walked away, and with it you shattered the hope that it could ever be put back together. She had chosen to hold on even when you had given her every single reason to let go, and still you chose to open your hands in hopes of holding others.
When you let her go, you released her from that cycle of pain she had been trapped within. It took her time and honestly, her heart is probably still healing from everything you put it through. She’s working on putting herself together again and learning to trust, because for the longest time she’s going to see your mistakes in the eyes of every man she might ever love. You have no idea just how much damage you’ve truly done, regardless of how many times you might claim you do- you broke her down to her lowest point, and now, she’s learning to recover.
So when you walk back into her life and try to convince her to give you another chance, that you know better now, you have no idea how much she wishes she could turn around and run back into your arms again. She would love nothing more than for everything to be okay, to go back to how things were before.
But it can’t. You completely destroyed that bridge when you let yourself stray outside of the love, trust, and commitment you had made to her. Nothing about you is familiar, nothing about you is home. She can’t look at you and see the man she once loved anymore- only the person who broke her down to her core. She can’t hear your voice and all your declarations of love without picturing how you said the same things to someone else. She can’t read your messages without the words from those other women still slamming around inside of her head. She can’t allow you to hold her in your arms without the realization that this space was also given freely to another while she sat at home, waiting for you to call her and tell her goodnight.
So no, she can’t go back. Even if she wishes she could.
Now, she’s determined to move forward and build a life without you in it, and maybe someday make room for someone who will love her the way she’s supposed to be.
And you? That’s something you’re just going to have to live with.