"Selfie" a few hours before being broken up with

"Selfie" a few hours before being broken up with

I was broken up with this past May. Little did I know, my ex had been cheating on me with another woman for over a month. 

A month after the breakup, I found out my ex had cheated on me for (minimally) a little over a month. When he broke up with me, he said, "I just don't have the time for a relationship. I shouldn't be dating anyone." I now know he said this while already in a relationship with someone else. I now know he was fucking her when he came over for Easter brunch at my parent's house. They met at his work. He told her he was single. She graduated from my same high school in 2010. Learning all of this took the breath right out of me.

A week ago, I found out he is also addicted to cocaine, and has been doing "tons" of it. I had suspected some alcohol dependency issues, but not fucking coke. I never saw him do it. But now I think back... he complained about having allergies; he sniffled off and on; everything is questioned in my mind. People have asked me, "How could you not know?!" Addicts are people, too. Addicts are not a monolith. 

He has already broken up with the woman he cheated on me with, because, evidently, she wouldn't give him money for coke. I reached out to her, because we have an acquaintance in common, and the acquaintance seemed to think this woman would feel good about my extending an olive branch. And truthfully, I felt like engaging in some community accountability regarding this man. I messaged the other woman saying, "I'm sorry my ex hurt you, and I'm sorry he hurt me, too." I sent her a friend request, too, because I wanted to make sure she saw my message--and since Facebook does that thing where, if you message someone you're not friends with the message goes into their "Other" folder, I decided to friend her. She never responded, but a couple of hours later I received a text from my ex: "Really? You have nothing better to do than to try to friend my friends? Stay clear." Obviously, "the other woman" contacted him. Also, it’s quite clear that he doesn’t know who his friends are, since she is how I found out about his cheating, lying, and coke using.

I texted him back saying, "I really, really, really hope you get the help you need for your addiction. I'm sorry you felt the need to cheat on me with her for all of April. And don't worry, I won't try to friend any of your friends. I want nothing to do with you. I hope you get help before you hurt anyone else or yourself." I waited. No response. Then I blocked him from all forms of communication.

I felt like I wanted to help this 22-year-old; this young woman; this baby who was intoxicated by a 36-year-old man who seemingly had his shit together. I felt immense compassion for this woman. I don't know why... maybe it was just because this man fucked me, and then went and fucked her, and vice versa. Maybe I felt her there. Maybe I felt her still lingering.

Part of me regrets contacting her, but I know I would regret it more if I hadn't. It felt necessary. People rarely have compassion for "the other woman"--she is to be hated. But how could I hate someone who was also being lied to? If I'm going to hate anyone, it's him. All the way, him. He broke my trust. He broke it all. She was just along for the (coke-fueled) ride.

I'm not sure how she feels about me, but I wish her no ill-will or harm. She is human. She took my breath away.

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