An Open Letter To My Ex-Husband’s Mistress

Here’s my open letter to my ex husband’s mistress one year and almost five months after discovery:
“Thank you for being the catalyst. Thank you for helping me realize that I had lost me when I was married and for being the driving force behind me leading a better life now. And that will be my only revenge against you – gaining a new and better life. 
For drama is not my cup of tea. Peace is what I seek. Unlike you, I do not threaten to kill myself to make a man stay. Because like you, I have a little girl watching. Watching my every move. And some day, that little girl will grow up to be a woman. And if there’s anything that I want to teach her, it’s that if a man shows you that he doesn’t want you, you don’t beg. You walk. With your head held up high. And that applies to every situation where you are not shown appreciation – relationships, friendships, work… 
In the beginning, it hurt like a motherfucker. Sometimes it still does. The realization that you never mattered much to the person who mattered so much to you. The realization that the person who claimed to have loved you for the past couple years was actually also saying “I love you” to someone else and planning a life with that person. I wondered – will I ever get over him? And the best advice I got from someone who’s been through it is – “Love comes and goes.” Another good advice from Chump Lady is that the pain is finite. It takes time to fall in love – it takes time to fall out of love. 
I saw the text messages from you to him where you referred to me as “fat, dumb and ugly” and that I make a lot of money and should use the money to undergo plastic surgery. You were right. I was dumb. I bought the lies he fed me. I was blind to the red flags. But I am (and all women should be) defined by more than my physical attributes. If anything, thank you for being part of the experience that will teach me to be smarter. Thank you for the experience that will teach me to build boundaries between myself and other people. I’m not fully there yet. But I will get there someday. 
You apologized to me at first. And then later on you were triumphant in your win. I wonder what your win is? That you got the man in the end? Girl – look carefully at the man you got. Really? Yes really. 
You told me you feared being alone after your divorce. Yes I have that fear too. But unlike you, I’m choosing to conquer the fear head on. Because fear makes you make bad decisions. Fear puts you down as a victim forever. Facing your fear is empowering. So I am determined to be comfortable being alone. Eventually we all grow old and become alone anyway. 
There are many single men in the world. I am sure there is a thrill that comes from competition with the wife when you are with a married man. Sure I am flattered by the attention too. But to me, that’s just what it’ll stay at – flattery that a married man finds me attractive. I cannot do this to another woman and her kids. 
I have a relationship with God but I don’t go for mass often. I took a break from going to church in the midst of my move to NYC. Last weekend I started going again to pray. I pray for strength and peace. I pray that I will find true happiness in being alone. And I pray that someday I will find the strength to forgive him and be at peace with him so that we can effectively co-parent. 
So thank you for being the catalyst for me gaining a life. It is not an easy road to recovery. I have my good days. I have my bad days. But at least I’m living authentically now. Life according to my terms. And that is the best revenge.”

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