“When Kevin*, my boyfriend of four years, asked me to move to Hong Kong with him, I jumped at the chance. He had recently been posted there on a three-year work contract, and neither of us wanted a long-distance relationship. We planned the move such that he would get there first and I would join him four months later, after he had settled in.
Sacrificing all for love
In the meantime, I had to quit my job in Singapore, pack all my belongings and prepare for the move. It wasn’t easy letting go of everything I held dear, but I told myself that my relationship with Kevin was worth the sacrifice.
The hardest part was leaving my job. I had a great position in an amazing company, was earning good money and was in line for a promotion the following year, so when I submitted my resignation letter, I felt like I was giving up a lot. There was no way I would get a similar job or salary in Hong Kong, and that’s even if I could find a job to begin with.
The next difficult part was saying goodbye to my friends and family. Having never lived overseas before I was worried about feeling homesick, but everyone promised they would come see me in Hong Kong.
During those few months waiting to join Kevin, I spoke with him multiple times a day. He reassured me that I would love Hong Kong and we talked about all the fun things we’d do together once I got there. He took me on a video tour of his new apartment, sent me photos of all the main tourist attractions and told me about his favourite eating spots. By the time it was my turn to leave Singapore, I was beyond excited.
The first signs of trouble
My first couple of weeks in Hong Kong were blissful. Kevin took a few days off and we did all the touristy things together. I managed to secure some projects with a few companies in Singapore that allowed me to work remotely, so at least I had something to do during the day.
I was finally feeling comfortable in Hong Kong when my relationship with Kevin began to sour.
First, he started working late on week nights and spending time in the office on weekends, which I expressed my dissatisfaction about. Then he began making lame excuses as to why he couldn’t hang out with me. For instance, when my best friend and her boyfriend flew to Hong Kong to see us, Kevin told me to take them sightseeing without him. The reason: he was busy, and they were my friends, not his.
He also stopped wanting to try new restaurants with me because he felt he had put on weight. We fought a lot – more than we ever had when we lived in Singapore – and our sex life soon became non-existent because we hardly saw each other.
Despite all the drama, I was determined to make my relationship work. I could have easily called it quits with Kevin and moved back to Singapore but I chose to stay. I didn’t give up everything back home only to walk away from our new life in Hong Kong.
Spotted with another woman
Thinking that Kevin’s lack of interest in our relationship was due to work stress, I tried not to take his horrible attitude personally.
But something definitely felt very, very wrong.
Kevin seemed distant. He stopped asking how my day went and acted as if I was a burden to him.
One morning, I was grocery shopping near Kevin’s workplace when I spotted him with another woman. They were walking together down the street so I followed them.
When they got to the front of a building around the corner, they said goodbye to each other. Imagine my shock when I saw the woman throw her arms around Kevin and kiss him passionately on the lips! As I witnessed Kevin return the kiss and hold her close to him, I felt sick to my stomach.
When Kevin came home I acted as if everything was fine, but inside I was seething. While he was in the shower I went through his phone and found countless texts from a woman in Hong Kong whom I’d never met. I was certain it was the same woman from earlier that day. Most of the messages were sexually explicit, but what horrified me the most were the ones that talked about them being together. This woman, Min*, knew a lot about me, and Kevin reassured her that his relationship with me would be over soon.
I wasted no time confronting Kevin when he got out of the shower. I practically exploded, which was uncharacteristic of me. When I showed him his phone he turned pale and grabbed it from me, but I’d already seen all that I needed to see.
He apologised and tried to explain himself but I refused to hear him out. When I told him that I saw him with Min that morning and described in detail what I observed, he went quiet. He did not deny the story.
Betrayed – and ready to return home
I finally understood why Kevin had been acting strange in the months before. My only regret is that I didn’t find out about his relationship with Min sooner.
Later, I found out that he’d started dating Min before I even arrived in Hong Kong – they had met through a work colleague and began a relationship almost immediately. She wanted to be with him and threatened to tell me everything unless he broke up with me. That was precisely when our relationship became strained and Kevin’s behaviour changed.
It was pointless for me to remain in Hong Kong. I had nothing there, Kevin didn’t try to make me stay, and I didn’t want to be in a relationship that was unsalvageable.
I was happy to return to Singapore. It had been several months and I was pretty homesick. The only thing I dreaded was starting afresh. I had to look for a new job, accept the fact that I was no longer in a relationship, and basically rebuild myself emotionally.
Being cheated on is humiliating enough but to find out that your partner loves someone else is absolutely heartbreaking. It’s something I am still trying to get over.”
*Names have been changed