The short version:
I just discovered my partner of 7 years has been having an affair for 2, and so he dumped me. I trusted him implicity and was completely blindsided and am in shock.

The very long and hopefully cathartic to write out version:
Partner and I got together 7 years ago. Moved in together 6 years ago and have a home together ever since. It’s always been super easy and wonderful between us, never had any reason not to trust him and we were always (from my perspective) able to talk about things through—even personal difficult things in our relationship—honestly and easily. Life has kicked us in the butt a couple of times, most noteably on two occasions, but we got through with each other and it seemed only to make us stronger. I thought—and he said—that we were life partners.

Life’s ass-kicking #1 was just after we moved together the first time, while we’d moved closer to his family he had a hard time getting a job, ended up with severe Bell’s palsy and was unemployed, severely depressed (and facially paralyzed) for the better part of a year. I supported him financially, things got better, life was good.

Life’s ass-kicking #2 was just over two years ago when after several months of constant ER visits I ended up needing surgery, losing my job during the recovery, getting rejected from every doctoral program I’d applied to that year, and got a stress-induced flair-up of my chronic illness. I was majorly depressed and nonfunctional, and he stepped up to the plate. He helped me re-apply, paid the bills, and found me a tutoring gig. We started fostering a special needs dog whose strict medication and care schedule gave me something outside of myself to care for, and I distracted myself/made myself useful by researching and filling out applications for terminal degrees in his own dream field in which he’d worked but never yet been able to pay the bills with. I got better and we both got in; me to one of my middling choices and him to the best in field.

Flashforward to this summer: We’re both on break from our programs, we’ve had only a few weeks of real together time since we started, and we were having fun. (His program was where we were living, mine was not, but we’ve spoken every day, and are totally in on each other lives and such.) Spent the past few weeks going out to fancy restaurants we’d never managed to visit, seeing friends we hadn’t seen together in ages, taking the dog (we foster failed) to new and exciting parks, etc. It’s was amazing.

Then a few days ago, we’re at the in laws’ several hours away to give his kid sister the really big present we’d bought together for her, we plan out some major trip-based Christmas with them, we set up her present. While I’m on his phone looking up relevant instructions up pop’s a “Let’s break up. Delete my pics.” message alert.

Turns out he met someone online during that ass-kicking #2 and has been playing long distance boyfriend/girlfriend with her ever since. We left his parents right away and I gave him a choice: Hand over his phone, computer and a harddrive to copy to the moment we get home and I’ll take the dog to my mom’s for a week then we’ll talk, or I leave that’s it. He chose the latter.

So now here I am, cheated on and dumped, stuck in one room at my mom’s ‘cause her boxer won’t stop trying to kill my little terrier. I’m 400 miles away from the place I’ve made my home all this time. (And, cliche time, I know:) My whole view of what my life has been, what my life was going to be, is shattered. The person I loved and trusted most in the world is the one hurting me. All my coping mechanisms involve him: talking things out, hugging, him getting me the stupid comfort movies or us eating comfort food. Everything I do just seems impossibly intertwinned with memories of him. (Even all my pet names for the dog are the same ones I used for him.)

Also, I lost my second family—his family—the family we actually lived near all these years. They haven’t said goodbye or that they cared or anything. Bonus fun: Looking at the “I’ll miss you thank you for everything” email I sent them in the immediate aftermath... it honestly (and unintentionally) looks rather like a suicide note.