He wrote bad poetry – to his ex

“He was a hot posh-boy rugby player who wrote (bad) poetry on the sly. (The signs were all there, I know…) When he begged me to come on his annual family holiday to their house in France, I agreed, despite a niggling feeling that it was a bad idea. (But I was young, poor and it was a free holiday.)

Description: He wrote bad poetry – to his ex

He wrote bad poetry – to his ex

I can confirm that a French country villa, no matter how beautiful, is the last place on earth you want to be when you discover your boyfriend is writing poems to his ex, starting with the immortal lines, ‘Why did I leave you for a fairer flower/ When the fairest flower of all was in my arms the whole time?’

I confronted him, saying it was bad enough that he had dragged me to France on an awkward family holiday, but to be insulted via bad poetry was beyond the pale. ‘You don’t like my poem?’ he responded, crushed. And he expected us to carry on like nothing had happened in front of his parents (and keep having sex, naturally). Definitely the worst holiday ever.” Lydia, 34

He lied that he was dying

“I’d been living in Germany for a year, performing in a musical, when my boyfriend told me he had a terminal illness. I was shocked – I asked him if this was his way of telling me he’d met someone else – but he insisted he was so ill that he was going to end up in a vegetative state. I was devastated, so I quit my job and flew back to look after him. One day, when he was at the hospital having some tests, I called one of his friends. I started saying how worried I was, but he replied, ‘Lisa, what are you talking about? He’s fine.’ I was dumbfounded; he’d made the whole illness up.

Description: He lied that he was dying

He lied that he was dying

I went mad and dumped him straight away, but for the next six months he’d pop up in unexpected places, like my mum’s hose in Scotland, to try to win me back. He gave me two rings, saying one was for our past, and one for our future. He left a letter at my local pub, saying, ‘I’ll never stop loving you’ – the whole thing was absolutely crazy. In the end, I found out through Facebook that he’d been having an affair; clearly, he was a compulsive liar.

The last four months of our relationship were terrible, but now I realize he threw me a lifeline. His psycho ways allowed me to feel happy about being single – and then I fell head over heels in love with my work friend, Chris. We’ve been together for two years, and I’ve never been happier, so I’d like to say a big thank you to my hideous ex.” Lisa, 28

The sex was freaky

“He was an actor. We’d dated for a couple of weeks before having sex. We’d started getting down, when he reached over to the stereo and … put on circus music. We proceeded to have sex like we were on a flying trapeze: there was a lot of uncomfortable rolling and tumbling. It was the most awkward experience of my life. I left the next morning and never spoke to him again. My friends and I still refer to him as Acrobat Boy.” Melody, 24

We were both unfaithful

Description: We were both unfaithful

“I met Mark when I was 19 and working in the City. He was 27, rich and handsome. We quickly fell in love, moved in together after four months and lived an amazing life. But after four years, the attraction was fading, and when he flew to South America for a solo holiday I suspected he might have met someone else – he was a people person, so it was very out of character. One day, I logged on to Facebook on our computer and it automatically went to his account – he must have forgotten to log out before he jetted off. There were lots of messages from a girl I’d never heard of about his holiday – clearly, he was not alone. When he got back, I demanded an explanation and he told me they’d been seeing each other for a few months. I threatened to end the relationship, but he apologized and told me he saw me as marriage material. I loved him, so I stuck with him and I genuinely believe he did end his affair, but I started to resent him. We went for six months without sex, and then I had an affair – I suppose it was revenge. One night he got out of bed and said, ‘That’s it – it’s over.’ My friends tell me the break-up was my fault because I love drama. But looking back, I’m glad we split up – relationships in your early twenties shouldn’t be that stressful. If it’s not fun at this age, there’s something seriously wrong.” Jade, 25

He couldn’t commit

“My ex-fiancé jilted me the night before our wedding day. At 3am, less than 12 hours before we were due to marry, he texted: ‘I can’t do it, I’m in Spain. I love you, I’m sorry.’ At the time, I thought my life was over. He was the love of my life, and he left me stranded with no explanation. I felt worthless. But now, when I look back at our relationship, I wonder if I missed vital warning signs. I would never have wanted him to marry me if he wasn’t sure, but we’d been engaged for two years, so he had plenty of time to think about it.

I had Counselling and then joined the website iloveyouraccent.com, thinking it might make sense to meet a guy who lived abroad, so I could start a new life. Quite quickly I met Phil, a gorgeous American guy, and we started dating. Things got serious quite quickly and he was unfazed by my baggage. Now, I’m living in the US and love my life. I wish that on that non-wedding day I could have realized things really would get better.” Karen, 34

He was too jealous

Description: He grabbed my arm and said, ‘What are you doing?’

He grabbed my arm and said, ‘What are you doing?’

“One night I was at a party with my boyfriend of two-and-a-half years, when he saw me chatting to another guy. He grabbed my arm and said, ‘What are you doing?’ I’m quite headstrong, so I told him t let go and leave. He went home hanging his head in shame, but I realized he was never going to trust me. When I dumped him, he blamed his, ex, saying she’d left him with trust issues and that he loved me, but I stood my ground. It’s only seven weeks and I miss him, but I think it was for the best.” Sarah, 27

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