I told him to never speak to me again.

And so he didn’t. Because he knew the only words that could come out wouldn’t be strong enough to reach my ears.

And I told him to never look at me again.

So he avoided my image. Because he knew his gaze would find me suffering.

I told him to never say my name.

So his lips went silent. Except in the early morning light when he whispered it into his pillow as a sort of surrender to the weight of the guilty night.



To Megan,

Lately I’ve been thinking about the last time I spoke to him:

His shoulders hung as he avoided my gaze from the doorway and muttered, “There are a lot of better men out there than me.”

A deep rooted laugh tainted with loathing and sarcasm erupted from my voice as I replied, “I know. And I will find one and be so happy with him that I won’t even remember your name. But you– you are going to remember me for a long time. And you will lie awake at night for the rest of your life thinking about me and what you did to me.”

I don’t know where those words came from. They seemed disembodied as they slithered from my mouth.

But even now, I can’t help but wonder if they’re true.




When you first told me about his betrayal, you said you felt “stupid.” Not sad or angry, but stupid. And you worried that the other people around you would think of you as such.

I remember feeling that way too at first.

I remember calling my parents betweens sobs, and muttering the words “idiot” to myself while they patiently listened on the line. I remember my father’s voice rising as he told me, “Do not call yourself that. You are not the idiot here.”

But I couldn’t help it. I went back to every misstep, every bright, neon sign that could’ve been a flashing warning of his infidelity. I retraced his actions, scolded my oversight and danced with the “if onlys.”

My self-pity evolved as I suddenly saw myself as “that girl”– you know, the one you hear about through a friend over lunch, whose boyfriend had been cheating on her for months and you both ask, “How could she not know?”

I became paranoid that strangers looked at me with sympathy and I interrogated every friend that could’ve possibly known before I did– the shame I felt for not foreseeing his behavior ate at every morsel of confidence I once had.

It took me a while to accept the fact that there were probably a few people that knew about the affair before I did, and maybe some of those people shook their head in pity at me while keeping their mouth sealed. But hindsight is 20/20 and to go back and blame myself for not seeing it sooner became exhausting.

The truth is, both you and I loved these men– even when they didn’t text us back for hours or came stumbling home at 5:00 am. Their suspicious excuses and assured lies fell like poisonous apples from their mouths, and we ate them, because what else were we supposed to do?  Sure, I could’ve kicked him out the first night he came home late– I could’ve listened to that gut feeling that whispered to not believe his apology. But sometimes it’s hard to convince your heart of what your brain already knows.

So I believed him. I believed him when he said nothing was going on and that he wouldn’t come home late again. And I’m no longer sorry or ashamed of that. You shouldn’t be either. There are some awful people in this world, Megan, and they will deceit you and take advantage of your goodness. But don’t be ashamed of that goodness. 

You are not the idiot, Megan.



Dear Megan,

I’ve compiled a list of songs, many cheesy and tortured, but with just enough relevance to make us feel understood.

To listen to when you’re riding the train home at night and you’re too tired to convince yourself you don’t miss him:

  • “Burning House” by Cam
  • “You’re Not Sorry” by Taylor Swift
  • “Love” by Daughter
  • “The End of the Affair” by Ben Howard
  • “I Forget Where We Were” by Ben Howard
  • “The Boy That Blocked His Own Shot” by Brand New
  • “Winter Song” by Sara Bareillis
  • “Give Me Love” by Ed Sheeran
  • “Twin Sized Bed” by Death Cab for Cutie
  • “Empty Room” by Death Cab for Cutie
  • “Can’t Make You Love Me” by Bon Iver


To listen to when you’re applying mascara before a big night out, despite him lingering in the back of your mind:

  • “I Look So Good Without You” by Jessie James Decker
  • “Should’ve Said No” by Taylor Swift
  • “Seventy Times Seven” by Brand New
  • “This is Gospel” by Panic at the Disco
  • “Blue Skies” by Noah and the Whale
  • “Best Thing I Never Had” by Beyonce
  • “We Are Never Getting Back Together” by Taylor Swift
  • “Best Days of Your Life” by Kellie Pickler
  • “Gonna Get Over You” by Sara Bareillis


P.S. Many more Taylor Swift (and Adele of course) songs could’ve been added to these lists… but I figured you’d already have their albums downloaded for these reasons.





Hi Megan,

I’m going to tell you something that will probably make you angry, but what you surely already must know: she didn’t steal him from you.

I know, it’s so easy to want to hate “the other woman,” call her nasty names that feel good on the tip of your tongue. Our society has cultivated a villainous archetype of this dangerous woman. We hear of her in songs and see her in movies; she’s the “home-wrecker” we all love to hate, a siren we find pleasure in shaming. But she doesn’t exist. She is just a mirror of our insecurities, a scapegoat for a man that doesn’t want to take responsibility.

Still, you’ll show her Facebook picture to your friends and you’ll all laugh with wicked intentions, mocking her weight or limp hair– anything that will make you feel superior.

But it won’t help. The hate and jealousy you emit for her will leave you feeling even emptier, eventually. Because she isn’t to blame here, and you might have to reinforce this fact into your mind several more times.

Even if she knew he had a girlfriend, even if she knew who you were personally, if she wasn’t a friend of yours then she didn’t owe you anything.

But he did, don’t forget who the real enemy is here.



To Megan,

You’ve been asking me, “what happens now?” now that he’s gone and you’ve been left to stumble around in a fog of confusion and betrayal, trying to piece together the warning signs and “what-ifs.”

Well I’m not gonna sugar-coat this for you, Megan. The next few days can’t be summed up in simple words or feelings. So I’m gonna break it down into stages, the stages I went through, and soon so will you.

Stage 1) What happens when you find out the person you love betrays you: 

Continue reading “To Megan,”