Dear Cheating Ex,
Thank you for giving me an out. For moving out but leaving all of your stuff in my apartment and writing your email password down in your address book so that I could hack into your Yahoo! inbox and find that letter to her about the paternity test and your undying love. Your infidelity allowed me to finally cut the ties between us and get out.
I couldn’t break the cycle before. I kept thinking things would change. I kept thinking it was my fault because I wasn’t understanding enough, fun enough, patient enough, when really I should have been saying enough is enough. I should have known in Cambria that my disgust with your continual spitting (seriously, who does that) and irresponsibility and ex-girlfriend baggage, paired with all the tears I shed, were big fat warning signs that I needed to flee the situation.
But I stuck it out. My pride wouldn’t let me leave. I told too many people that you were my match. How could I go back on that?
Thank you for making me reconsider. For prompting me to go to counseling to “fix” all of “my” issues—and changing your mind about coming with me even after you promised to make a go of it. Therapy provided me with clarity and a renewed faith in what I deserved from a relationship. It helped me see that I didn’t need to be fixed. And I didn’t need to keep trying to fix you. I needed to believe that the right person was out there. Just not in you.
Thank you for sneaking in to get the rest of your stuff after I told you I knew the truth. I’m glad I didn’t have to see you or talk to you. I’m also glad that you never wanted to forge friendships with my friends. It made the separation a lot easier. It was like one day you were there and the next you were gone and I could go back to my life as it had been before I met you.
Thank you for filling me with so many hurtful, downright icky memories of our time together. Focusing on the negatives helped me wade through the pain at the end. I was able to spike the dismay right back across the court every time it was served to me.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you for not proposing to me in Paris. I cannot imagine how much uglier the situation would have been if there’d been a ring involved. If only you had the guts and decency to break up with me when we returned from that trip.
But I feel no more anger towards you—the things you did or didn’t do. Because every stinging word, heart-wrenching action, and betrayal led me to where I am today. You gave me the gift of freedom. And now, a year after we officially ended, I am happier than I think I’ve ever been. I am with the best person in the world. He fits me to a T. He lights me up inside. He is everything that you are not. And I’m so, so grateful to you for leading me to him.
A few nights ago, I had a dream you and I were on vacation together. I came back to our hotel just as you were leaving. Leaving me again without a rightful explanation. And I shouted after you, ”Please don’t do this! Don’t leave.” But, even in my semi-conscious state, I caught myself and remembered that your departure was the best thing. Because Mr. Wonderful would be there when I woke up.