1. I was only twenty-five. I had never lived with someone. I had never talked about marriage and meant that it was actually a serious possibility, that I was ready for a step like that. I had never dealt with someone sacrificing so much for me, for the relationship. I had never been married. I had never been that committed. I hadn't learned the lessons that you had. I didn't have your perspective, your experience. I was young and invincible and opposed to listening to the wisdom of my elders, especially those whom I was in a serious relationship with. Yes, I was a pain in the ass. Yes, I was overly confident.
But I was twenty-five, twenty-six, twenty-seven. I was a baby compared to you, both in age as well as life experiences. And you expected me to function at your level, with your history and your lessons learned.
2. I am not a bad person. I did the best that I could with the resources that I had.
3. I never wanted you to be unhappy. Even now, in the wake of everything that's happened, all I wish for you is happiness in life. Fulfillment. Confidence. Satisfaction, personally and professionally. I want you to find someone who makes you feel alive, who makes you feel the way you've dreamed of, the way you keep searching for in your relationships.
4. You are a good person. I want you to know that, too. I want you to know that I believe in you, the person inside of you, who is always willing to help when and where needed, always willing to put aside personal differences in order to do the right thing. I know you feel like that person is long gone, but I disagree.
5. I wish you would stop blaming everyone else. Even if you eventually acknowledge that you are, to some degree, also to blame, it's always too little, too late. The world is not out to get you. You are not perfect. You cannot escape blame. You do contribute to problems. I wish that I could make you see how much pain and heartache you might avoid if you just accepted this. "I'm sorry, but..." is not an apology. An apology does not place blame on the party to whom you are apologizing.
6. You made me laugh. Side-splitting, heart attack laughter - at myself, at you, at everyone. That's an amazing gift. Please hold onto it and use it liberally. Everyone needs a little bit of laughter.
7. You sweep your emotions under a rug. You say you've dealt with things, that you've moved past your low points in life, but I don't agree. There's no shame in needing help. There's no shame in admitting that things are more difficult to deal with than you'd originally anticipated.
8. You see the world in black and white. You expect everyone else to react in the same manner as you, to have the same emotions as you, to see things from the same perspective as you do. The world is written in shades of grey. You have to accept this. Things cannot always run according to your timeline, your ideals. You have to give and take.
9. If you don't understand why it breaks someone's heart to no longer have a dog, a particular dog, be part of their daily existence, then you will never understand human emotion. And if you do understand that, and you're lying when you say you don't, I ask why you'd lie about it.
10. You were my best friend. I trusted you like I've never trusted someone before. I felt unconditional love for you, and I felt that you loved me unconditionally in return. Even if it wasn't meant to last, thank you for that. It gives me faith I never thought I'd have.