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Ever been dumped by a boyfriend or girlfriend? Was it a total surprise, or something you saw coming? Tell us your best worst breakup story. Never been the dumpee, always the dumper? Relate the story of a friend who got unceremoniously kicked to the curb. Change the names to protect the innocent if you must.

I fell in love with my best friend, a guy I met in my last year of university. We both had significant others, and he was planning to marry his. No ring yet, but those were lean times. We formed a friendship bond early on in our relationship and looked to each other for support and advice in our love lives, both of which had some flaws in them. At some point we realized that we were overlooking that obvious, and realized that we were meant for each other, and our friendship became a romance.

Obviously this presented a problem. While I didn’t have an “understanding” with my boyfriend, he did care about me and I about him. My husband had a greater problem; he and his girlfriend/unofficial fiance were supposed to be planning a future, though they hadn’t gotten as far as planning a wedding etc. No “save the dates” had been sent out only to be a source of further embarrassment. We were all graduating and leaving our college town at the same time, and the future was uncertain as we went our separate ways — for a time, anyway.

I went to university in Scotland, and after graduation stayed up in St. Andrews to work in a hotel through the British Open 1970 golf championship. Great fun and a nail-biting outcome! After that I left to move to London, where my husband had found a job and was living. I stayed with my husband while looking for another place to live, but the arrangement turned out to be permanent. Life was going smoothly. We both had jobs, just enough money, and a large flat to live in with two other renters.

Meanwhile I had traveled to another town in England one weekend to break it off with my boyfriend. It was sad, but inevitable. He had been reluctant to commit to anything more permanent, and I think he realized then that commitment was necessary in a relationship.

The inevitable occurred in a massive, hysterical scene one weekend. Paul’s girlfriend was in London, and came to visit him. I was there, of course, and hid out in the bathroom when she arrived. Meanwhile he talked with her, broke the news that he had found someone else. She was vocal. I knew she had a temper and she used it to full force that day yelling, screaming, and using some unrepeatable phrases. Suddenly, she burst into the bathroom breaking the flimsy lock and when she saw me she exploded even further, calling me names I can’t remember fortunately. I left her to the bathroom and escaped to our bedroom. She left shortly after, but both of us were shaken. Glad it was over, we still felt guilty because it had been handled badly, and another person had been hurt. Someone always gets hurt in these situations.

It’s ironic though, I was none of the things she called me. My husband was my first love. I hadn’t been intimate in other relationships or one night stands, and what happened to us as a couple, falling in love, just happened.

I can still vividly see the look on her face when she leapt into the bathroom. I never want to see a face like that again, feel the anger and hatred, nor do I want to ever inflict that on anyone else, or feel that way about them. Hopefully after 40-some years of marriage, we won’t break up and end it all in a hateful yelling match!