The following story is long, and probably boring if you don't know those involved.
There is a long and horrible history behind this, as with the death of any long term relationship, which all finally caused the emotional carcrash just under 3 years ago on May 28th 2001. My 25th birthday, and best day in the history of mankind! I will mostly be skimming over this relatively briefly and leaving out a lot of the details, as any good (and by good I mean bad) breakup needs at least a short novel to describe it, and the surrounding circumstances, properly.
Anyway, we were living seperately. She made a male friend, and never quite got round to telling me she was fucking him. She was in favour of open relationships, in both meanings of the term (tell the truth/polyamorous) and wanted to take things further. Then a couple of things happened: I noticed a half-used jumbo pack of condoms that I had no part of, and she mentioned he was moving to our city.
When I put this jigsaw together, I could not handle the full picture. It wasn't jealousy, let me make that clear. I was just horrified, and then dejected. I confronted her, she admitted it. No, admitted is the wrong word. She proudly vaunted it. and made it clear that she resented the implication that there was any wrongdoing on her behalf.
I cried. I cried a lot. I love her deeply to this day but I didn't know what to do, and so I did nothing but despair... It was over but no-one wanted to put the relationship out of it's misery. This went on for 3 months. It's a sad and sorry state of affairs, but that's ambivalence...
In early May I got a phonecall that IIRC went like this:
Her:"Do you want me to spend the night on your birthday? Only It's a holiday weekend and <guys name> wants to come up."
Me :"Do what you want to; It sounds like you've made up your mind already." (I probably said this quite harshly)
Her:<unintelligable but upset sounds> <click>
Come to think of it, I always wondered exactly what she said, but when I rang back a while later her phone was engaged. She was probably talking to him for comforts sake.
My bday comes around, she comes to visit, I ask if she's staying. no. He's staying, and he's coming to picker up later. I then get my birthday call from my parents, whom I tell that it's over with my g/f. I inform her and she says "telling your parents is pretty final." Another good one from that night is "I knew you were upset, but I didn't know you were in mourning."
Eventually she went home.
I was serious about her, and I would have liked to spend the rest of my life with her, but sometimes things just aren't meant to be. Quite frankly, even though I don't think it would work out, if she was single and asked me to come back to her I would. In a second.
I visited them with my flatmates in their new car. She's still with the same guy, and they've set up house together as of about a year ago. I've forgiven her for breaking my heart, and I think she has forgiven me - I did a few regrettable things too, although not out of spite.
It was pretty weird. Well it would be, wouldn't it - To see them in this little domestic setup, the little affectionate shared glances, and just generally how comfortable the whole thing was.
We chatted, he showed off a PS2 game he's been playing, she showed me round their house, including its extremely narrow staircase. I reminisced about the day she accidentally headbutted me and broke my glasses, which she didn't remember - although she remembered charitably donating some money towards the replacements out of charity, and generally an entertaining time was had by all...
It reminded me how hollow my life is without someone to share it, and that the person I want to share it with is her. It could have been me there instead of him, living like that. It's a feeling of regret with a piquant hint of remorse. Life could have been so different.
But It wasn't. Well, fuck it, tough tittifilarum.