Open Letter to the Other Woman

Love triangles are overly prominent on TV shows & movies. Honestly, no one wins when a relationship begins or ends with a love triangle. The lasting relationships form when two healed & self-sufficient individuals come together as equals, ready to ensure they can & will go the distance. This is an open letter to the other woman.

Choosing or accepting being in a love triangle is not better than being alone. Finding my inner strength to walk away 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. In my journey of shadow work & healing, remorsefully apologizing to the other women is the best next step.

Number 1: I’m sorry for hindering the growth of your connection.

If it’s any consolation, the last time we were supposed to see each other, 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 outside, because I knew how much he still loved me. He called me a couple of weeks after I moved too. I was temporarily back at home that weekend, but I didn’t want to face him since I already had a new boyfriend. He was still trying to pretend that he wasn’t deeply hurting.

I know that he ran to you to make me jealous, but I don’t know if you even knew about me. I’m sorry that I affected your connection. I never intended to hurt him. It was a Summer fling because I never planned to keep a boyfriend back home. I was his first love. If his heartbreak was even a fraction of my worst heartbreak, I’m glad that he had you to give him hope again.

He wrote me a letter a few months after you two broke up. I never responded, because I didn’t want to give him false hope. If you did know about me, thank you for carefully handling his broken heart. 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.

You gave him what I didn’t want to give him in the two years that we were together. I didn’t want to give him my body in that way. But I felt like a prude for wanting to stay a virgin until I was ready. As a blond lifeguard, 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. It was comforting after the mess he made. But in all honestly, with all of the secrets & lies, we both lost in the end. You got married & divorced. Since it wasn’t meant to last, I hope you found 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. I went home & checked out his Facebook. While I should have walked away from him right then & there, I’m sorry for choosing to be the other woman. If I could go back in time, I would have kept my distance & stopped myself from pursuing anything further. I’m sorry for the hurt I caused because I didn’t know if you were still together, broken up, or 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 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 I was a gold digger. I hope you found true love with someone who respected & valued you.

Number 4: I’m sorry for sneaking behind your back, while you were such a good friend.

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 let go, I felt so bad about the on & off again drama he put you through. We were actually still really good friends for a while afterward. You were 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. 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 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 so jealous of your close friendship & insecure that I may never live up to the bar you set. It was 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. You got a new job in LA. I hope you found true love with someone better for you, have a very successful career, & create an amazing life for yourself.

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. 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 days after our breakup. I appreciate & respect that you kept your relationship private & 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 unfair of me to show your pictures to my friends so that we could judge you based on nothing. I discovered you on Instagram after we had been broken up for a few years. He wanted to give me the world, so I wanted to see who picked up the shattered pieces of his heart. He hoped to marry me & start a family because his own family was so broken.

Thank you for loving him in all the ways I could never grow to be able to. You gave him hope again & the family that he always dreamed about.

Number 8: I’m sorry for my jealousy. We are so similar & our resemblance to one another is uncanny.

There was a time where I considered you to be my evil twin. 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 you know that I helped & supported him while he was unemployed? I was so ecstatic for him when he finally landed a new job. Somehow during his month of onboarding, you two started dating, & I was heartbroken & left out in the cold.

You seemed so smart & ambitious. I honestly thought you could do so much better. When he changed his Facebook relationship status with no warning or consideration of my feelings, 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.

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 I let him juggle us both.

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’m still surprised that you unfriended & blocked me on Facebook. But I guess that means that you knew about us too. He picked Number 8 in the end. I hope you find love & happiness with someone better because neither one of us deserved poor treatment from him.

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. Those public Venmo payments were a warning sign for me to back off, but I ignored my instincts & let him come & go as he pleased.

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 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 needed to approach you with compassion & kindness. That’s why I wrote that blog post to you all those years ago. I enjoy the MTV show Catfish, but I never expect those situations in real life. From what I can tell, you found your happiness with someone else, which I’m so happy about. You deserve to be genuinely loved.

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

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 older, had a successful career, & so much going for you.

Were you 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 hope your marriage lasts & 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 chose 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. 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 that you were very Conservative & fought a lot 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 excited when I met him at the Labor Day camping trip. It was shocking to see you tagged together on Instagram. I did the math & realized how much younger he was than me. He’s so young to have already been married once. I was very skeptical of his intentions, so I didn’t want to date him at first. In the end, I spent our entire relationship trying 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, 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?

You actually remind me of myself when I was younger. I see why he fell hard for you & why he expects & hopes 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 to find love again.

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

We broke up in early December & got back together only a few days after. I don’t know if your New Years’ plans were decided while we were dating but not exclusive. All I focused on was that he was upfront & honest with me about you. I trusted him since I was going to be in Las Vegas for Lady Gaga’s Enigma residency while you were in town.

When you were suddenly no longer friends, 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 sorry for the hurt & pain I cause. You didn’t deserve that. I need to be better about setting my boundaries & walking away. 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 sorry for drunk messaging you, especially during such a monumental moment in history that we all as a nation were 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 fun & an 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. Imagine me home alone, hair & makeup done, wearing a cute, new outfit, clutching my brand new frolf disc set, & crying because he didn’t come back.

That’s why I lurked your IG stories. I wanted you to see that I existed, & I knew about you. While I was concerned, we reconciled. We 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 you posted those IG stories on his balcony & on his couch. The last straw was the public Venmo he sent you for gas. My heart & world shattered that day.

Instead of our typical cozy date night, you are the new me. You watch the sky change colors as the sun sets over my apartment building, only a block away. He encouraged & helped me to move in only four months earlier. But you are 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 by memories in that apartment. Cooking, making sandwiches, playing MarioKart & Animal Crossing, & him laying his head on my chest as we watched the projector with my fingers in his curls.

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

Did you know that he was still texting me? 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. 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 wanted to break up with me, I wouldn’t have given him a birthday present. I would have walked away gracefully with my head still held high, no turning back, & no remorse.

It was shocking when you messaged me in December. After blocking you, I only unblocked you to apologize. But since you blocked me back, it was too late to say sorry & take back my actions. Why unblock me to message me, warn me to stay away, & tell me to move on, then immediately block me again?

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’m still healing my heart. You forced the pain of him leaving me to date you to come rushing back. It added salt to my wounds, realizing that he obviously let you read the heartfelt emails I sent him because you quoted my words verbatim. Was that your intention?

Even though I jumped into a new relationship with a liar who wasn’t looking for a serious relationship, I forgive you both for hurting me. As much as I still love him & don’t want to walk away, I love myself too much to feed into the 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. After you messaged me, I blocked you & slowly blocked anyone else that I knew from his social circles who may try to hurt me for my own peace of mind.

I want you to be happy. In my email, 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 reached out to tell me that he was blocking me. Thank you again for showing me who I don’t want to be. You forced me to look at myself in the mirror & gave 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 reconnecting on Instagram, I told him about my breakup & that I was still healing from my ex. But a few weeks later, he insisted on visiting me for his birthday. In retrospect, I should have stopped him.

Don’t worry – his kissing is terrible. I’m not in contact with him all anymore. I ended up crying alone in my bathroom that weekend. Because I still love & miss my ex. He knows where my head & heart are at. I put an end to it, & blocked him on everything after that weekend. I’m happy that you two look really happy together.

Three is NOT company! If you rationalize your lies, manipulation, sneaking around, & cheating emotionally or otherwise, it’s time to walk away. You’re honestly doing yourself a disservice when you put yourself into a love triangle. If you have strong, healthy boundaries, you won’t let someone else put you into a third-party situation, nor should you put yourself into one. Don’t let someone you know get hurt by staying in an unhealthy third-party situation either. Don’t settle for anything less than you deserve, just because you’d rather be a third wheel than alone.

XO Denise

The Importance of Apologies & Forgiveness

I’ve always hated the popular phrase “Sorry, not sorry.” Admitting when you’ve done something wrong or hurt another person by your actions is difficult. While I’m sure we all secretly wish that we were perfect & never have to apologize for anything, it’s just not the reality of the world we live in. Plus, when you’re genuinely a good person, the guilt alone will wear you down until you finally decide that you have to do something about it. As I’ve grown older, apologies haven’t gotten any easier, but knowing when I need to take responsibility for my actions definitely has.

Here are the two main components of a good, heartfelt apology:

Acknowledgment of what you did

Consider all parties involved & admit fault for the role you played in hurting others. If someone is accusing you of something that you actually did not do, you can still acknowledge how they feel & apologize for making them feel that way, even if it wasn’t your intention. You can choose to agree to disagree on the situation, but know that apologizing is the first step to reconciliation. If a relationship is important to you, apologizing, forgiveness, & moving forward on a new positive path is more important than your pride, ego, & ensuring that you get your way.

Decide how you intend to fix the issue you caused & commit to it with changed behavior

Promise to make it up to the person you hurt. Buy them flowers, candy, or even a small heartfelt gift that will really mean something to them & touch their heart. Assure them that you won’t do it again, but only if you actually intend to follow through with your promises. If you’re offering empty promises without changed behavior to be forgiven, you’re just manipulating the person that you hurt & setting them up to get hurt again. There’s nothing worse than realizing that someone you care about was just telling you what you want to hear so that they can stay in your life.

A real apology involves remorse, followed by silence, space, & showing your changed behavior, whether or not the other party accepts it. Learn to forgive yourself for the hurt you caused, & forgive others even when they refuse to apologize & take personal accountability. Try to act from the greater good for everyone concerned. It’s important to apologize as well as have empathy & compassion for others because even strangers deserve to be treated with kindness & respect. Think about the last time that you were mistreated by a complete stranger. It didn’t feel great, did it?

We’re all the main character in the story of our own lives. While we don’t know everyone’s unique story, it’s still important to do your best to not be another villain in someone else’s life. There’s a reason why a complete stranger may have been mean or rude to you at an inopportune moment, but instead of sinking down to their level, take a deep breath & try to show some compassion for what may be happening beneath the surface.

Only hurt people will hurt people. No one would send hate & darkness someone else’s way, if they weren’t deeply hurting themselves. There’s most likely a story behind their behavior & actions. But like I said in a previous blog post, how someone treats you is their karma. How you choose to react to their treatment is yours. Be mindful & present in your emotions. Do your best to apologize & take responsibility for your actions as needed. Then choose to forgive & let it go for your own peace of mind.

XO Denise