Artem Podrez

An Open Letter To The Other Woman: I Should Hate You, But I Forgive You

You should be someone that I hate, but I don’t hate you anymore. You were introduced to me as the intern who had confessed to my former boyfriend. At that point, I did not read much into it, as I believed and trusted that he would honor our relationship.

However, as your name and picture came up one too many times, I couldn’t help but question the nature of your relationship with my former lover. “I’m busy,” “I’ll see you next week.” But minutes and sometimes even seconds later, I’d be greeted by Instagram stories of the two of you having a pint or cocktail at a posh bar or club. Unbeknownst to me, this gnawing anxiety that kicked in on every Friday was only the beginning. 

For the longest time, I detested how you were so calm to openly showcase you being out with someone’s man. Looking back now, I think the reason why I hated you was because of the attention you received and the small details that downplayed the significance of my relationship with him. The seemingly nice and exotic restaurants he would whisk you to were the same places that he brought me. The restaurant for our first official date, my first birthday dinner with him. The magic that came with these memories eventually lost its spark and inevitably fuelled my anger for you. 

You should be someone that I hate, but I slowly stopped hating you. Looking back, what was anger and resentment have now been replaced with gratitude. Gratitude for accelerating the demise of my relationship. Whether you were aware of my existence, you catalyzed the process of me leaving a relationship that only served to destroy my self-esteem and exacerbate my anxiety. 

You should be someone that I hate, but I don’t hate you anymore. Today, I do not hold any grudges against you. Today, I thank you for replacing me. Today, I thank you for helping put an end to the painful and slow death I was subjected to through the many years of gaslighting and verbal abuse from the narcissist. My journal entries were once riddled with words charged with anger and revenge. My journal today is full of entries proclaiming self-love and gratitude. Through the pain, I’ve learned to gain a deeper appreciation of myself. 

Through the process of healing, I’ve rediscovered my worth and found beauty in my strengths and flaws. Through this process, I no longer hate you for being with the man that I thought I was going to marry. You’ve released me from hell and I’m now able to start another chapter in my life with a man that I love and reciprocates my love in ways that I could’ve never imagined with your lover. 

You should be someone that I hate, but I have forgiven you. I’m writing to you because I remember how dangerous his presence was. I’m writing to you because I remember constantly questioning my worth and reality whenever I was tormented by the beast’s degrading words. I’m writing to you because I hope you remember how brilliant you are and that you’re strong enough to pick yourself up should he be unable to handle your precious heart. I’m writing to you because I hope you have the strength in you to stand up for yourself and your beliefs, something that the old me was too weak to do in fear of losing his love. 

You should be someone I hate, but I hope the very best for you. I hope that your partner always remembers your worth and beauty. I hope you have a partner that honors your relationship and will never let it go.