Open Letter to the Other Woman

Love triangles are overly romanticized on TV shows & movies. Honestly, no one wins when a relationship begins or ends with a love triangle. The strongest & longest-lasting relationships form when two healed & self-sufficient individuals come together as equals, ready & willing to ensure that their relationship can & will go the distance. I’m not proud of the times that I willingly chose or accepted being in a love triangle, because I thought it was better than being alone. It was in finding my inner strength to walk away from the third-party situation that ultimately brought me peace & happiness every single time. I apologized to my past loves a few weeks ago, just in time for Valentine’s Day. And in my journey of shadow work & healing my inner darkness, I know that remorsefully apologizing to the other women that I’ve hurt in the past is the best next step.

Number 1: I’m sorry for any role I played in hindering the growth of your connection.

If it’s any consolation, the last time we were supposed to see each other before I moved, he stood me up. I stood there alone outside of his apartment complex confused & disappointed about what had happened. I even tried calling him while I was locked outside, because I knew how much he still loved me.

When he finally called me back, I could tell that he was drunk & pretending as if I no longer mattered to him. He called me a couple of weeks after I moved too. I was temporarily back at home that weekend & could have seen him, but I didn’t want to face him since I already had a new boyfriend. I knew that he was still trying to pretend that he wasn’t deeply hurting.

I know that he ran to you to make me jealous. I don’t know if you even knew about me, but whether he told you about me or not, I’m sorry that I affected your connection. I never intended to hurt him. It was supposed to be a Summer fling, because I never planned to keep a boyfriend back home unfairly waiting for me for 4 years. I know that I was his first love, & if his heartbreak was even a fraction of my worst heartbreak, I’m just glad that he had you to comfort him & give him hope again.

He wrote me a letter a few months after you two broke up that I read but never replied to, because I didn’t want to give him false hope that we could still reconcile. If you did know about me, thank you for carefully handling his broken heart when it came to the hurt I caused him. I just hope that you were able to find true love with someone better for you in the end.

Number 2: I’m sorry for not letting him go gracefully, lurking your Facebook, & talking behind your back to my friends every time you came to visit him.

You gave him what I didn’t want to give him in the two years that we were together. I knew that I didn’t want to give him my body in that way, but you basically made me feel like a prude for wanting to stay a virgin until I was ready, engaged, or married. You were the perfect, blond, lifeguard at the gym he worked at… you represented everything I’ve been insecure about my entire life.

In the end, I liked that you defended him when I messaged you on MySpace. I tried to befriend you & joke about his flaws, but you quickly called me out on my BS, which I respected. I don’t know if you actually loved him or if you did only choose him because he was your quickest option to get a Green Card. Regardless, I didn’t know you well enough to judge you, & it was completely unfair of me to meddle in your connection.

In the wake of our breakup, he told his roommate about what he did to me as well as our mutual friends. It was comforting knowing that people were on my side after the mess he made, but in all honestly, with all of the secrets & lies, we both lost in the end. I know you got married & divorced shortly afterward. Since it wasn’t meant to last, I just hope you were able to find a new lasting love in the end with someone else.

Number 3: I’m sorry for not respecting you just because you were a stranger.

I didn’t even know that you existed until after we danced together at a party then I went home & checked out his Facebook. While I know now that I should have walked away from him right then & there, I’m so sorry for choosing to be the other woman in your life. If I could go back in time, I would have kept my distance & stopped myself from pursuing anything further with him. I’m so sorry for the additional hurt I caused you just because I didn’t even know if you were still together, broken up, or just on a break. I truly don’t blame you for creating a fake Facebook account to lurk me. If I were in your shoes & I saw me suddenly enter my ex’s life with no warning, I would have been deeply hurt & upset too.

You were beautiful. If you two were high school sweethearts, I completely understand why he chose you. We were never in a real relationship, & he could barely hold a conversation with me, which made our breakup a lot easier. I also didn’t realize how “comfortable” his lifestyle was until after we broke up, just in case you were worried that I was some gold digger. I hope you found true love with someone who respected & valued you.

Number 4: I’m so sorry for sneaking behind your back with him, while you were being such a good friend to me.

I only befriended you at first to keep you close. You had a boyfriend back home, but you were still really good friends with him. If the moment presented itself, you would have loved to breakup with your hometown boyfriend to be with him instead.

When I finally did let go of him, I felt so bad about the on & off again drama that he put you through. We were actually still really good friends for a while afterward. You were such a genuine & good-hearted person. You even invited me into your home, cooked for me, & let me vent to you about my own relationship issues with other exes in the years that followed. I hope you found someone to give you all of their love because we both knew he was still too heartbroken from his first love to come around to either of us.

Number 5: I’m sorry that my jealousy & insecurity caused me to blame you for the issues in our relationship.

You were so genuinely beautiful inside & out. I completely understood why he fell in love with you & why it was so hard for him to get over you after your breakup. There was a time that we finally became cordial with one another. I’ve already admitted to you that I honestly never disliked you. I was just so jealous of your close friendship & insecure that I may never live up to the bar you set. It was so kind of you to offer to drive me from the Bay Area to go visit him while he was still in school after I graduated. I was just too stubborn at the time to accept or appreciate it. In the end, he just didn’t want forever with me, & I needed to accept that & let go of him gracefully.

We haven’t caught up in years, & I unfollowed you on Social Media during my recent purge. Nothing personal, just for my own peace of mind. From what I heard through the grapevine, you got a new job & moved from the Bay to LA. I hope you found true love with someone better for you, have a very successful career, & create an amazing life for yourself in LA.

Number 6: I’m so sorry for the mean Facebook message I sent you after he broke my heart. You didn’t deserve that. 

We never got to form a deep friendship, but since you were on the same dance crew as him, we had so many mutual friends & hung out on several occasions. I considered you to be like family to me. I had my suspicions that he liked you, & our mutual friends even confirmed it after we broke up. Regardless, it still felt like a knife to my heart when I realized that he was already pursuing you in the days after our breakup. I appreciated & respected that you kept your relationship private for so long & never made a huge public display out of it.

Even after you two broke up, you always showed me genuine kindness, which I still admire to this day. You are such an amazing human & an incredibly talented dancer. I hope you found your own true love & happiness with someone better. I learned so much from you.

Number 7: I’m sorry for judging you when I honestly didn’t even want him anymore.

I never met you, & it was so unfair of me to show your pictures to my friends so that we could judge you based on nothing. I just discovered you one day on Instagram after we had been broken up after a few years. He wanted to give me the world when we were together, so I guess I just wanted to see who had picked up the shattered pieces of his heart. He hoped to marry me & start a family with me because his own family was so broken.

At the end of the day, thank you for finding him & loving him in all the ways that he needed to be loved that I knew I could never grow to be able to. Thank you for giving him hope again & for giving him the family that he always dreamed about.

Number 8: I’m sorry for my jealousy, just because we seemed so similar & our resemblance to one another was uncanny.

There was a time where I considered you to be my evil twin. lol We looked so similar that it was weird not to think about it in that way. After your car accident, I don’t know if you even knew that he took you to the car dealership that my brother worked at. And when my brother saw you, he literally thought the same thing. You could have been our sister.

Did he tell you that I stood by him & supported him while he was about to be unemployed & was frantically job searching? I was so ecstatic for him when he finally landed a new job. All I knew was that you two worked together, & sometime during the month that he was getting on-boarded, you two suddenly started dating. And I was the one heartbroken & left out in the cold.

You seemed so smart & ambitious, & I honestly thought you could do so much better after all the hurt he caused me. I had to find out about you when he suddenly changed his Facebook relationship status with no warning or consideration of my feelings, so I was naturally livid. He spent time with my family, & we all watched a movie together just a couple of weeks prior to when he became official with you. I was completely blindsided.

The bottom line is that someone who loved & respected me wouldn’t have done what he did. I know that you guys broke up, & you’re already dating someone new. The breakup seemed to be pretty amicable, so thank you for teaching me about being more gracious when walking away from someone, who clearly doesn’t love me anymore.

Number 9: I’m sorry that I knew that he was juggling us both & never said anything to you.

We knew each other from college. It was a very short & brief encounter, but enough that we were friends on Facebook. He had brunch with you in Sacramento the week before he broke both of our hearts. From what I could tell, you two weren’t exclusive either, & you were still on & off again with your ex-boyfriend.

I was so surprised when you suddenly unfriended & blocked me on Facebook, but I guess that just means that you knew about us too. He picked Number 8 in the end. Even though we were never good friends, I hope you found love & happiness with someone better, because neither one of us deserved that type of treatment from someone who was supposed to care about us.

Number 10: I’m sorry for not walking away when I knew he wasn’t over you.

You were right. He did still hold a torch in his heart for you. I knew that those public Venmo payments you sent him were a warning sign for me to back off, but I ignored my instincts & let him come & go as he pleased.

I know now how hurt you must have been to see him go back to me again & again. If it’s any consolation, we were never exclusive. I still can’t believe you created that fake online dating profile to impersonate me & put me under a negative spotlight. You even stole my actual pictures & mentioned somewhat accurate details from my life, which could have done long-term damage to my career. And just FYI – I’m not Mexican, I’m Filipino.

When you changed your Facebook profile picture to Harley Quinn, I knew that I needed to approach you with compassion & kindness, & that’s why I wrote that blog post to you all those years ago. I’ve always liked the MTV show Catfish, but I never thought that I’d ever be put into that kind of situation in real life. From what I can tell, you found your happiness with someone else, which I’m so happy about because after how hurt you were after your final breakup, you deserved to be genuinely loved by someone.

Number 11: I’m sorry for judging you when I never met you, I didn’t know you personally, & I didn’t know any of the messy details surrounding your relationships.

While you seemed to have tried your best to keep things a secret, my intuition about you & him was right. I still don’t understand how you could cheat on your fiancé then proceed to still marry him & have his baby. You were much older, had a successful career, & seemed to have so much going for you.

Were you just scared of this next chapter? Why did you also choose someone so much younger than you to cheat with? Maybe to rationalize that it could never turn into something more so you could live with your conscience?

Whatever your reasons, thank you for teaching me that no matter how perfect someone’s life may look on the outside, we all have our own issues, secrets, & lessons to learn. If you came clean to your husband, I do that hope your marriage lasts & that you create a loving home environment for your child.

Number 12: I’m sorry for letting my jealousy get the better of me when he chose you over me.

We were never actually exclusive. I was just fooling myself. You were so successful & well off. You could have chosen anyone, & from what I heard, your close friend was in love with you too. It just took you getting into a relationship with someone else to wake them up. I couldn’t understand how or why you would choose him when you had an entire ocean between you, but I know now that it was never my decision to make.

I’m sorry for creating that fake Instagram account to message you & let him think that Number 10 sent it, instead of me. I’m glad that you were able to forgive him. It hurt a lot to see you visiting him, but luckily, I finally already let go when he moved from the Bay Area to live with you. He confessed to me that you were very Conservative & couldn’t stop fighting after moving in together, which is why you ended up breaking up in the end. I’m so sorry for meddling in your connection, just because I wished he chose me instead. I hope you found someone better for you in the end.

Number 13: I’m sorry for holding you responsible for breaking the love of my life’s heart & blaming you for him not being ready to give his heart to me.

We never met, & I probably will never meet you. I was so excited when I met him at the Labor Day camping trip, & I was really shocked & taken aback seeing you tagged together on Instagram. I then did the math. I realized how much younger he was than me & how young he was to have already been married once. I was very skeptical of his intentions & didn’t want to date him at first, so I ended up spending our entire relationship trying to not to fall in love with him, sabotaging our connection with my own insecurities.

But no matter how much distance & space I tried to keep between us, I just couldn’t stay away from him. He told me about you on our 1st date, which I totally respected. He only mentioned you one other time during a road trip the entire time that we were together, which I took as a very good sign, but I always knew that he was still healing from your divorce. After 6 years together, how could he not be?

From what I observed on Social Media, you actually remind me a lot of myself when I was younger, which is why I understood why he must have fallen so hard for you & why he expected & hoped to be with you forever. You seem to have made a very happy & loving family dynamic for yourself. Thank you for giving me hope that even after my worst possible breakup, it’s still possible for me to find love again.

Number 14: I’m sorry for not choosing to walk away when he told me that you were visiting him for New Years.

We broke up in early December & got back together only a few days after. I don’t know if you both made your New Years plans during the time we were broken up or in the months before hand while we were dating but not exclusive. All I focused on was that he was being upfront & honest with me about you in that moment, so I chose to trust him since I was going to be in Las Vegas for Lady Gaga’s Enigma residency while you were in town.

I saw that you were suddenly no longer friends with him shortly after my birthday, so I could only assume that you didn’t know about me. I also know that he tried to reconnect with you while I was on vacation in Hawaii. I’ve already personally apologized to you once, but I’ll gladly do it again. I’m so sorry for any hurt & pain I caused you. You didn’t deserve that. I know now that I should have been better about setting my boundaries & walked away as soon as he told me about you, so that neither one of us got hurt. Thank you again for your grace & kindness. I wish only the best for you & your daughter.

Number 15: I’m sorry for drunk messaging you on Instagram while I was crying & heartbroken.

I am so truly sorry for drunk messaging you, especially during such a monumental moment in history that we all as a nation should have been celebrating. I’m sorry for letting my emotions get the best of me. It was not my place to message you, & if I could go back in time to stop myself, I would. I should have continued to address the situation with him directly & leave you out of it.

Did you know that he asked my permission the night before the boat event? I knew you were there, since you put him in your IG story. I gave him my permission, because I trusted him. It sounded like a fun & exciting opportunity. I wanted him to enjoy it, even if there wasn’t enough space on the boat for me to join him. He promised to be home by the afternoon for our date night that he planned for us earlier that week. He asked me to block off Sunday for quality time with him, but he stood me up instead. I was left home alone, hair & makeup done, wearing a cute, new outfit, clutching my brand new frolf disc set, & crying because he didn’t come back in time like he promised.

That’s why I started to lurk your IG stories after he followed you. I wanted you to see that I existed, & I knew about you. While I was generally concerned, we still reconciled then went on two amazing trips together in the weeks & months after the boat incident, so my fears quickly subsided.

I didn’t consider you a threat to our relationship until his birthday when you posted those IG stories on his balcony & on his couch. The last straw was my friends & family seeing the public Venmo he sent you for gas earlier that week. My heart & my world was shattered.

You replaced me. You were the one now watching the sky change colors as the sun set over my apartment building, a block away, that he encouraged & helped me to move into only four months earlier. You were the one now laughing & smiling next to him on the couch that I sat on nearly every weekend for 13 months.

My emotions were uncontrollable that night. My tears were fueled with our memories together in that apartment: cooking dinners, making sandwiches, playing MarioKart & Animal Crossing, & him laying his head on my chest as we watched shows & movies on the projector while I ran my fingers through his curls.

In all the times that I’ve messaged someone, woman to woman, to inform them of the situation at hand, you were the only one to ever dismiss me, insult me, & be unnecessarily cruel & malicious. Thank you for being the hard slap in my face that I needed to finally never make the same mistake again.

The night before his birthday, he told me that his friend was coming to town. I truly thought he was taking alone time & space to focus on school, because he was graduating soon. And if he wanted to have fun with his friend, eating Raising Cane’s chicken for his birthday weekend, it was fine by me. Besides, I was already cutting back on fast food, & I didn’t want to disrupt my new Peloton workout schedule. If I had known the week prior that he actually wanted to break up with me, I wouldn’t have given him a birthday present. I would have been more prepared to walk away gracefully with my head still held high, no turning back, & no remorse.

I was shocked when you messaged me in December. After blocking you, I only unblocked you to apologize, but since you blocked me back, I quickly realized that it was too late to say sorry & take back my actions. I was so taken aback to see your DM. Why unblock me to message me, warn me to stay away, & tell me to move on, then immediately block me again without being open to having a constructive conversation?

I look at Instagram content for inspiration, & I use the explore tab to deep dive from account to account. I do not doubt that I watched a friend of yours’ IG stories, but how would I know that you were mutual friends, since you blocked me? How would viewing their IG story for inspiration affect your relationship in any way? I do not have the time or energy to look up people who have blocked me, put my nose in business where I’m clearly not wanted, see who follows who, & consider whether or not I should be viewing a stranger’s IG story.

Even though a full month had already passed, I’ll admit that your DM triggered me. I was still healing my heart, & you forced the pain of him leaving me to date you to come rushing back. And it added salt to my wounds, realizing that he must have let you read the heartfelt emails I sent him since you chose to quote my words verbatim. Was that your intention?

Even though I jumped into a new relationship with someone who turned out to be a liar that wasn’t looking for a serious relationship, I forgave you both for hurting me last November. As much as I still loved him & didn’t want to walk away, I love myself too much to feed into immature drama, & I refuse to allow anyone to treat me as if I’m easily disposable. I let go to allow your relationship to grow without my interference. And after you messaged me, I ensured that I blocked you & slowly blocked anyone else that I knew from his social circles who may try to hurt me in the future for my own peace of mind.

I want you to be happy. I promised to never bother either of you again, & I’ve kept that promise for several months now. I loved him too much to settle with a place in his life as just a friend. Please promise to take care of his heart. Support him in all of his endeavors, & never let him doubt himself. He’s an amazing man, & I know in my heart that he’s going to do great things in his lifetime.

Since you read my emails, you know that I left the ball in his court. After drunk messaging you, he only texted me to let me know that he was blocking me. Thank you again for showing me who I don’t want to be, forcing me to look at myself in the mirror, & giving me the strength & courage to finally change my life & who I am for the better.

Number 16: I’m sorry for using him as a band-aid to heal my broken heart.

I didn’t even know you existed until he changed his profile picture to the two of you after he visited me in the Bay Area. After we reconnected on Instagram, I immediately told him that I was still healing from my ex, but a few weeks later, he was still insisting to visit me for his birthday. In retrospect, I should have stopped him.

Don’t worry – whenever he tried to kiss me it was terrible. When he tried to hook up with me, I realized that I wasn’t attracted to him. I ended up crying alone in my bathroom, because I still loved & missed my ex, who was probably with his new girlfriend down the street. I told him the truth about where my head & heart were at, ended it, & blocked him on everything soon after that weekend. I’m just happy that you two look really happy together.

I’ve finally learned that three is NOT company! If you have to rationalize your lies, manipulation, sneaking around, & cheating emotionally or otherwise, it’s time to walk away before anyone gets hurt. You’re honestly doing yourself a disservice when you put yourself into a love triangle. If you have strong, healthy boundaries, you wouldn’t let someone else put you into a third-party situation, nor should you put yourself in one. Don’t stand by & watch someone you know get hurt by staying in an unhealthy third-party situation either. A strong, healthy relationship is made up of two mentally strong & healthy individuals, who are ready to love each other with their whole heart. Don’t settle for anything less than you deserve, just because you’d rather be a third wheel than alone.

XO Denise

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