She left me for her …

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Hi Meredith,

My first relationship after my marriage ended was with a lovely woman who was divorced with no children. We were very compatible, both intellectually and romantically, and our relationship lasted almost two years (we are both in our 50s). We never had so much as an argument the whole time; it was a very positive and fulfilling relationship.

It deteriorated rather quickly, though. One day I felt a coldness in her that I had never felt before, and we had a long talk about our status. We decided we would stop seeing each other for a time. We reconnected a few moths later and she told me she was traveling to Europe with the new man she was seeing. I was shocked that she had moved on so quickly and had committed to an overseas trip. I asked her if this was someone she knew already. She denied this, and we haven't spoken since. I ran into a mutual friend months later, and they let me know who her new love interest was. It was her chiropractor. She had often talked about him in glowing terms – in a professional way. When I found out that this was the person she left me for, I was both shocked and disgusted. My question to you is, should I let her know that I now know the truth?

– How's Your Back?


"Should I let her know that I now know the truth?"

I do have to wonder whether you hope she reads this letter, or that someone she knows will send it to her. Maybe that'll happen. I almost put "chiropractor" in the headline, but I decided that was too much. (Sorry.)

What do you win by letting her know you've learned the truth? Nothing, I'd argue. I understand why you're upset that someone who was in her professional, care-giving life became the new boyfriend. But would you be any happier if she'd found a stranger? A different acquaintance? This was going to hurt no matter what. It would have also felt awful if she'd left you for no one.

I think it's healthier to focus on healing, and what kind of relationship you want next. If this experience has you feeling like you won't be able to trust anyone new, what kind of help do you need? Do you want to talk about it with a professional? Even just to have a place to work out the disappointment and anger? Consider it.

My last thought is that you have no idea how her relationship is going and whether this mutual friend is even giving you accurate information. The romance could be over by now. Maybe it barely happened. Don't fill in the narrative of the love affair with any details – because nothing you come up with is real. All you know is that she's no longer there for you and that it's time to move on.

– Meredith

Readers? How do you move on from this kind of information? Would it feel good for the LW to tell the ex that they know?