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To the woman who was never supposed to be in my life:
I want to thank you for destroying a relationship that was painful and hurtful—doomed to fail from the start. Because much like yours, it started out as a secret.
Because of you, I no longer lay awake at night wondering where he is. I no longer check his phone, emails, or Facebook. I no longer wonder if I can trust him. I no longer have to walk on eggshells when he is around or worry about what might set him off.
I no longer have to please someone who has no interest in pleasing me. I no longer have to wonder if someone else is on his mind or keep things from my family and friends because they don’t need another reason to hate him.
I no longer have to wonder who he’s texting or why he’s smiling. I no longer have to worry if he’s talking to another girl on his way home from work. I no longer have to suffer in a relationship I tried so hard to fight for.
When I first found out about you, I was angry. I was hurt. I was confused. He and I were supposed to be working on our relationship. And suddenly there was you—a third wheel. I had no idea who you were or where you came from. All I knew was that I was destroyed.
I put the pieces together. I uncovered the secrets. I discovered your name and contact information. When I called, you denied being in a relationship with him. But I knew it was a lie.
Then you called back and told me everything. We were both being played by the same man.
And we let him. We couldn’t give him up, could we? We wanted to continue sleeping with a man who was sleeping with someone else—a man who was lying to the both of us.
For months I remained tangled in that love triangle, yet so did you.
For months I hated you, and I hated him, but I could not let go. So I didn’t. Part of me held on and continued to see him just to hurt you out of spite.
Slept with him to hurt you. Went away with him to hurt you. Dated him to hurt you.
All I wanted to do was hurt you. To make you feel my pain. And I did.
What I ended up doing more than just hurting you, though, was hurting myself. I suffered for months as he lived with you. Slept with you. He told you he loved you. Shared his life with you.
We believed his lies. You believed he and I were over. You believed that you were the one he wanted to be with. And I believed when he said you were just a rebound. I chose to stay and fight for a man that frankly doesn’t deserve either one of us.
Without you, I would still be doing the things you now find yourself doing day in and day out.
Because of you, I finally opened my eyes to see. See past the rose-colored glasses I used when looking at the relationship he and I once shared.
Because of you, I am happy. I can laugh again. I have begun to discover who I am and what I like.
Because of you, I found things in myself I never knew were there: strength, independence, security, self-esteem, and self-respect.
Because of you, I’ve learned I deserve better.
I will no longer allow a man to treat me the way I had been treated. I deserve more, and that is what I will get. I have the chance to find a man who will truly love me.
A man who will have only me on his mind—day and night. A man who will accept me as I come. A man who will fight for me—me alone. A man who is proud of the woman he is with.
So amidst all the hurt and pain, I do thank you. Thank you for coming into my life and showing me what was already broken. Thank you for giving me what I did not have the strength to give myself: freedom.