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‘My ex finally unveiled the reason for dumping me on our wedding day’

After last week, Melanie spills on what happened after her ex got in touch and asked her to meet him after five years of hurt…

As I approached the corner table where we had sat so many times over so many years, I recognised his shape instantly.

Although he had his back to me and the restaurant itself is vast, perhaps a sixth sense told him I was there because he turned and watched me walk towards the table.

As I looked at him for the first time in five years our eyes locked as I studied his appearance. Shoulders still broad, face no more crinkled than the last time I’d seen it, and a smile on his lips that was gut-wrenchingly familiar.

Damn him, he looked good. Maybe this was going to be more difficult than I’d expected.

Melanie Blake finally met with the ex who left her at the altar

I reached the table and he stood up and, as usual, he towered above me. His height (6ft 4in) had always been one of the things that had made me feel safe in his presence, and yet it had turned out that all along I had been housing an unfriendly giant in my heart.

I plastered a smile on my own well-made-up face to match his and took a deep breath. He leaned out to embrace me, but I gently swerved it and moved straight into my chair. Then he began to talk.

“Thank you so much for coming tonight, Melanie,” he said in a tone that was much less the cheeky-chappie, Cockney-style banter that I’d known and loved about him.

Columnist Melanie gave her ex the chance to explain himself after five years of hurt
Columnist Melanie gave her ex the chance to explain himself after five years of hurt

His tone sounded sombre as if someone had died and I guess he wasn’t far wrong because there had definitely been a death between us – a death of the future we’d once planned.

“I’ve been wanting to see and speak to you all these years,” he said.

“But after you said you never wanted to hear from me again after what I did…” he continued, hanging his head with what looked like shame.

“I thought the least I could do was respect your wishes. But when one of my friends told me about your column, I started reading it and I was shocked to find that our story had made its way on to the pages.”

Melanie's ex got in touch after reading about their relationship in Notebook
Melanie’s ex got in touch after reading about their relationship in Notebook

It was at this point that the maître d’ arrived. He’d been at the restaurant many years and used to serve us at this very table weekly – a jovial man, always full of fun and warm greetings, he was uncharacteristically reserved in his manner, perhaps he sensed this was no ordinary reunion dinner.

After taking our drinks order just like the old days – a mimosa for me, a Peroni for him – I gestured for him to continue.

“I’m not going to lie,” he said, “it ripped my heart reading the way I treated you.”

Now my lips were moving and words came pouring out before I intended to speak. I’d wanted to hear everything he had to say, but I just found that I couldn’t keep this phrase in.

The ex finally apologised for the pain and humiliation he caused
The ex finally apologised for the pain and humiliation he caused

“You mean dumping me at the altar,” I said. He took a pause and looked at me, then he replied, “No, for everything, not just that – for everything.”

I stayed silent and sipped my drink as he proceeded to tell me the full story of what had led up to that fateful day. He recounted how as soon as he’d asked me to marry him he’d regretted it.

With two failed marriages behind him, he felt sure that marriage would ruin what we had. He added he’d wanted to tell me the night before the wedding when he had turned up at my house with the tattoo of my name on his chest, but couldn’t find the words.

He explained that he had stood outside the registry office for 20 minutes trying to steal up the courage to come in and tell me that he still wanted to be with me, but he didn’t want to get married.

Melanie still has plenty of questions for her ex
Melanie still has plenty of questions for her ex

Then he admitted that he just didn’t have the balls and had left the venue like a coward, in a black cab and went off on a drinking bender trying to make sense of his actions.

As I listened to his explanation I thought back to five years earlier when he’d not only left me humiliated at the altar, but he left me waiting in excruciating silence for a full seven days before contacting me.

After a few more moments to take in what he’d said, I studied the still-handsome face that I’d been prepared to say “I do” to.

Now I found myself ready to ask him some questions that I’d been waiting a long time to hear the answers to…

• Would you meet up with someone who broke your heart to hear them out? Email us at [email protected] and tell us your story, and have your say in the comments below


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