I’m In a Relationship With the Woman I Cheated With and I Want to Go Back to My Ex.

In a Relationship With the Woman I Cheated With

Evan, I’ve read a few of the posts and responses and can’t quite seem to find the answer I’m looking for, or similar situation, so figured I’d ask you straight up.

I dated a girl for 2 years and felt I was in love with her, yet, couldn’t quite pull the trigger – get the ring, get married and start a family. I felt the pressure, I pushed it off but it continued to hang over me like a dark shadow. It seemed that it became the only thing my girlfriend cared about. Whenever I would give her a gift, surprise her with dinner or a show, it seemed that she was disappointed that it wasn’t a ring and a proposal. We talked about it, again and again and again, but seemed to make no progress.

Then it happened, I met a girl through friends that I really seemed to click with. She, too, was in a relationship and neither of us wanted to cheat on our gf/bf because we cared so much about them and everything that we had built up with them. The need not to cheat didn’t last long – 30 days or so later, we found ourselves alone – the first wrong move – and then one of us leaned in for a kiss and it happened. We slept together, we had sex and it was amazing. It felt like a release on both our parts. We agreed that it wouldn’t happen again unless we both felt that it was time to end what we had.

We kept our promise, but both ended our relationships and 2 weeks later got together and a year later we’re still together. Lately however, in fact for the last few months, I’ve been thinking a lot about my ex. I did early on too, but lately even more. The songs, the restaurants, the friends, the activities, our places, etc., all the same experiences but with a new girl, doesn’t seem to remove the ex from my memory. I then began to think of how I’ve changed and opened myself up to change and if I had been this way perhaps the last relationship would have worked out. – I say to that, perhaps the last relationship didn’t provide me with the atmosphere to get to where I am emotionally today – so I see both sides of it. I find that the thoughts that I continue to have is making it increasingly difficult to move forward.

On top of it, I feel riddled with guilt that I cheated and that I’m still with that person. Am I with that person because I indeed love them, or with them because I feel guilty and responsible for their relationship ending as well and have a need to be in it. How do I distinguish which it is and if I’m in it because I’m in love and not feeling responsible? But the cheating part seems to be tearing me apart. At first it felt like relief and it was exciting to be with someone new and different but then I realized that I was open to different things with this new girlfriend and that they aren’t that different from one another, which is why so many experiences seem so much alike.

I’m hoping you can help me move forward. Stay in, get out, go back, distinguish, remove the guilt, be happy and alive with the not so new. I don’t feel a need to cheat, but I question whether I should be in this relationship, or with my ex, or on my own. In the end, I just want to move forward, somehow and for both of us to look in the mirror and know that we’re in the right place – together or not.

Thanks for the help.


You fucked up, dude.

I’m sympathetic to you — in the way I’m sympathetic to any human being who made an indefensible decision and now regrets it — but I’ve got nothing for you.

You just learned, the hard way, what most people figure out independently:

  •   There is no perfect relationship.
  • There is no sign from above that’s telling you to pull the trigger on marriage.
  • Marriage is a choice to do loving actions every day for a partner; it is not based on those giddy feelings from the first few months.
  • The grass is not greener on the other side. Even if it seems like it is because your new partner is cuter or smarter or funnier, that same new partner will come with some downside that your previous partner didn’t have — like ego, selfishness, emotional unavailability, etc. Every relationship involves tradeoffs.

I’m not sure if you’re looking for absolution or advice. I can tell you that your letter sounds like my wife’s first husband, who cheated on her and later married the person he cheated with. I’ve never talked with him and have no idea if guilt forced him to stay in the relationship. I will say this, however: his loss was my gain. No matter how great his current bride is, I’ll bet he realized that he screwed up and couldn’t do better than his first wife. And that by staying with her, he’s trying to prove to her, to himself, to the world, that he’s not such a bad guy, and that he didn’t cheat because of a mere “fling.” I’m sure it’s complicated, since you don’t even know why you’re doing what you’re doing.

Let your ex go. Your guilt is with you for life. You can’t fix the past, but you can make better choices in the future.

Anyway, here’s the advice part, Jamie.

1. Let your ex go. She can’t trust you. Nor should she. You were willing to break her heart to cheat with another woman, and now you’re willing to leave the other woman to go back to her.

You’re probably not an evil guy, but you sure are selfish, and don’t seem to recognize the consequences of your selfishness until after the fact.

2. Your guilt is with you for life. You’ve earned it. You don’t get to wish it away. Like my wife’s ex-husband, you have every right to rebuild your life, but you have no right to sweep away the destruction you wrought when you cheated on your devoted two-year girlfriend for an entire month, and then dumped her. Hopefully this guilt serves a constructive purpose in the future about the meaning of fidelity — if not with this girlfriend, then a future one.

3. You can’t fix the past, but you can make better choices in the future. If you have no intention of marrying this girl, break up with her. Not to slink back to your ex, but to free your current girlfriend to find the man who wants to marry her.

Any woman that marries you despite your checkered history is willingly marrying a cheater, and therefore overlooking a LOT in order to trust you with her entire life.

If you stay with her, you have the benefit of hard-won wisdom — specifically the idea that no matter whom you marry, you’re going to have to make some compromises.

And so will she.

Any woman that marries you despite your checkered history is willingly marrying a cheater, and therefore overlooking a LOT in order to trust you with her entire life.

Whoever does this, appreciate her, cherish her and hold onto her.

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  1. 41

    I have same situation right now. I had a boyfriend for 6 years. During our 3rd year he dumped me because of one lady he cheated with. After 2 months of their relationship he came back to me and begging. Because i love him so much I accepted him. Believe me the more we crushed down, most of the time we fight a lot   because of trust issues. Now again he left me and go back to the same lady he cheated with. He told me that we could never be the same again and he loved her now more than me. I know later he will also found out himself not contented of what she have. He left him once and anytime he cannot fulfill his need he will leave her again, yes the grass is not greener on the other side. Now I let him go and if he decided to come back I will never accept him again.. The pain of being dumped and cheated will be a scar forever. So I suggest you not to go back on your first girlfriend. If you really love her, set her free.

  2. 42
    Ruth *

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts to us .it will take place on anything else situations where about. Where human being rights? And always been be able unrighteous.
    I don’t know how to explain this things what’s going on. Many majority couple ended into hardly divorce. This case that you share with us. Has anyone seen and read it the article is about give everyone a chance to win of happiness of life.

  3. 43

    wow– it happened to me this past year, was married 9 yrs, had health issues that caused intimacy to hault went to various Dr, for opions and help, he continued to say he was understanding and supportive but this past yr in October he had the grand privelege to move into a apartment hooked onto his bar business and decided he was moving out to try and find himself, ( yea in the arms of a woman he had been toying with b because she could offer so much more, the dreaded words of I haven’t lived you the last 5 yrs and the mental cruielty of no intimacy was the issue,). Wow, yes — for better or worse, sickness and health???   His family supports his infidilety at 63 yrs of age , pretty sad that he still can’t commit because previously he had cheated on ex wife of 26 yrs with co worker but let me take the rap for that and couldn’t be honest— yes he was to be my soul mate, person to be with me till death as he promised my family on day of our marriage– now my world is crushed, self esteem is blown apart my childeren( adult) to previous marriage invested faith in him looked up to him for advice , he filled my intimacy as cruielty to both my kids to my family , ( personal issues) was made excuse to demean me and to tell the story to all his ” friends” he calls them that come to his bar!!! I’m not worthy of time, of loving, of forgiveness, of basically anything in his eyes nor in the eyes of his family and ” friends”, — goes to show that maybe some never grow up and at 63 needs to use a woman of physical limitations as justification to gain sympathy and pure pity– Saddest part— he filed for Divorce, under false pretenses and made a mockery out of me doing so, — now that he feels good about himself, content, and has his wonder woman, –( I still love him, and I pray for him to understand the impact he had thrown upon me, my kids and grandson he became involved with, I still would forgive him and love him to best of my ability, so I guess LOVE, is what I feel and believe in, GAMES, must be what he thinks is love, so sad , very heartbreaking , and yet I will forever be the laugh to his joke)!!! So to think grasd is greener, I know its NOT, its heartache, its demeaning, its crushing, and mentally tormenting another!!! SEX– is nothing, its, real true undying Love that is the glue to a relationship, I wish couples would see that geniune heart is never found twice, you live in a lie believing things to not admit to your wrongs, your fooling yourself, and thus you in time come to be a real idol of Foolishness!!!! So as a 48 yr old woman, I find my world unworthy of another, I feel valueless, and all that he had help build in my self esteem he destroyed more than previously was, I cry daily, I blame myself, I ridicule myself, my depression is thick and my heart is empty beyond all— I hear songs, I go places, I think of dreams we had, — I die more each time, ” I’d not wish this on anyone and I’d hope that someone can think before acting by reading my story”, prayers to all in a similar position but prayers for those whom cry out to God wishing for a change and second chance!!!! — Love genuinely, life can deal us things never to be expected, so Love for all they are not for what you think is always going to be!!!!

    1. 43.1

      Hi Ness,

      I feel your pain and I wish I could take it away or offer you some comfort.

      It sounds to me like, while he was being ‘understanding and supportive’ he, for whatever reason, didn’t alert you to HIS unmet needs. He may have given out no sign whatsoever. His mistake was to avoid confronting the problem between the two of you. This is the core of where you feel let down. You feel so hurt that he didn’t express his needs to you. If he had, then, in your mind, things would be different and you would not be left alone and suffering and still in love with this man. But, for WHATEVER reason (it’s not important here now), he didn’t and you have been severely hurt by that. Your life has completely changed course and has gone out of your current control. Whatever happens now, it feels completely unexpected, unplanned, unwanted and unfamiliar. Any and every situation you find yourself in is a bad and sad one because he is not there and the picture is incomplete.

      Time cannot be rewritten. You can only exist, and by continuing to exist, you will move forward in time. Very gradually, the percentage of your life dominated by thoughts and memories of this disaster in your life will diminish. This happening will gradually allow space to come into your life for new experiences, untainted by memories of the past.

      I speak from experience.

      Once again, I feel your pain, and wish you well.

  4. 44

    I agree break up with your current girlfriend but do so whether or not you see a future with her here’s why you don’t want to be with her.    Would you want to be with someone that was thinking about her ex the way you are heck no!!!   Not fair.   Plus your letter oozes with the feeling that your current girlfriend does nothing but to serve you with a reminder of what a jerk you were and although that’s wrong to assign to her its how you feel and its how you always will feel and its not fair to her.   I    think part of you too wonders if she cheated on her ex with you will she also cheat on you with someone else?   As far as your ex I don’t entirely agree with Evan but I think it was assumed the ex knew he slept with the girl while they were together if she does though that makes this answer easier.   If she knows Evan I disagree I would think it would be okay to reach out to the ex to meet up and talk.   However whatever the ex wants he should abide by this so if she says no he lets her go in real life and   in his heart. You cannot assume she cannot forgive him she may want to.   Cheating is never okay but it sounds like here she was partly to blame for the pressure and he got scared and this is how he reacted.   I don’t think it means he’s a serial cheater or a bad person.      She may forgive him and say so long.   Or it could be that he’s s commitment phobe and as things are serious with this girl now he’s just looking to bolt only he knows. Now if he never told her about the cheating I don’t think there is a need to if they meet up I would discourage it.   But if she takes him back he MUST reveal all and answer all questions she has and if he can’t do that then don’t bother.   Chances are she’s already married and will blow him off but Evan I think you presume she wants nothing to do with him you don’t know that.    I’ve been cheated on I hate cheaters but there are always two sides. The fact that this guy first off ended the relationship with his ex very early on rather than continuing the affair which he could have done and feels guilty tells me he’s not a total screw up.      Finally remember we always romanticize past relationships.    So it’s prob not as great as you are recalling.

  5. 45

    My thoughts are that this fella needs to be on his own for awhile.

  6. 46

    About the Ashley Madison debacle, here’s an interesting article…


    I’ll wager the following. For most women, there is no actual intent to cheat, but circumstances (impromptu chemistry, collaboration, opportunity, and similar) may allow it to happen. Key word: most.

    For most men, they may not be getting enough, or they’re not gettign what they want or need, but they still want to hold on to their relationship. So the quest is more active? In certain cases, extramarrital sex may be an ingredient for continuance, as opposed to termination or divorce.

    Would that make sense to you guys?

  7. 47

    Great post and responses..

    You do sound like an egotistical person, and that’s just the way some people are. Doesn’t mean you’re a bad person.   However, this is completely unfair to your ex, and she shouldn’t take you back..

    From my experience;

    I’ve been with my ex-boyfriend for the Past 14 years, 8 of those were the best years of my life.. The memories, the experiences, and the love was just indscribable… I got into the relationship when I was 15, so it was my first love and my other half (or so I thought)…. We had some issues after 8 years, and then I was the bad one.. I did cheat, once. Not for physical  reasons, for emotional/ affection .. And I knew the person for about 4 years, who kept chasing me and trying to do everything for me. Which I didn’t allow. This, I will completely regret for the rest of my life..I did open up and shared everything with my boyfriend then, and I couldn’t even look at myself in the mirror, And was in tears everyday .. I was disgusted that I caused this pain to my boyfriend, the person I shared everything with.. I wasn’t myself a year after that… Truth is, I fell in love but I still loved my boyfriend. I told my boyfriend if he didn’t want to be with me then we can let ourselves heal and see what happens then.   Those were the most painful months of my life.. I was in pain because of the pain I caused my boyfriend ..I regret allowing myself to get to that point, but it did cheat me to grow up and make more mature choices.   That year, my boyfriend apparently was talking to another girl as @ friends ” just the way it starts.. Shes 10 years older and Was married .. She filled his “pain” as he said. I didn’t do this or cheat on him to hurt him… He started doing it on purpose and then always bringing up my mistake and past.. We still love each other and feel that were inseparable but enough is enough. I did and do still love him but I feel like he never did, it was just An attachment to him. He May say one thing one day, and another another day .. Bottom line is – this began with me and ended with him. He thinks I’ll be waiting for him like I always did, but I’m never looking back .. What I had for him is   unconditional love, and I could’ve been with someoone else, but I stayed with him throughout these 3 years of him torturing me..once respect and trust is lost, it’s very hard to get anything back,. I feel like he’s still apart  of me because we share a bond that is indescribable,.. But I know if allow myself to go back then I will get hurt again..how can something Change if it hasn’t for 3 years ?…the only thing I want to do is move on and release this love and attachment I have for my ex.

    I do believe people deserve a second chance,   because we are human and aren’t perfect, but this all depends on ACTIONS. And as we all know; actions speak louder than words. Never believe anything someone tells you if they keep letting you down..

  8. 48
    Mary Daniels

    Could the problem be in our society where men get all the goodies of marriage without the marriage commitment? Instead of being with a woman that started out with sex and trying to figure out if she is the one, try dating without sex and get to know the person better.If she’s not the one you could see yourself getting married too then don’t get tangled up in sex.Same goes for women.Having sex with a guy for two years and waiting around for him to propose to you is painful.Take the sex out of the equation and you are free to see other people and not be tied to one until you are married.Then the sex and relationship will mean more because you made the commitment before you have sex.And your not trying to decide if this is the right person while you are emotionally and sexually involved.

  9. 49

    I know I am probably not the best one to give advice I am in the middle of a divorce and my heart is broken. But when I read your story and the comments I thought this might help. You are back and forth with the girlfriend that you cheated with and still thinking about the loyal girl. I definitely think you should be honest now with both girls. There is one thing men fail to realize about women 90% of the time we know the answer of the questions we ask you. I am a 33 year old women and very understanding let me go further into that well of trying to understand the reasoning for the action. So I believe if you want to know talk to her and tell her you miss her and you made a terrible decision that you are suffering with everyday. Even if she doesn’t take you back or you want her back she at least deserves that and your guilt might be lifted


  10. 50

    Oh man. I just have to say that these are all great stories and sadness for sure.   I BELIEVE in you and if you think you can really change and look at the person you love and say sorry and actually really MEAN it…see her hurt and want to try… And if she actually FORGIVES you…then that’s a world I would want to live in.

    You ou made a bad choice. There have been consequences for everyone and it was selfish. Cheating is wrong. Read it again. Why are you so important? To take away days in someone’s life that they deserved to live and not live a lie.

    This is your life. Not any of us that are responding to this. Quit asking for advice and worrying about what people think and be healthy.

  11. 51

    wow Evan, fantastic response to this letter on so many levels. As someone who finds it really heartbreaking and most days all too hard to navigate this world filled with so many unawakened selfish narcissists like the letter writer, it’s just a comforting thing to read your honorable words.

  12. 52

    OK, this guy has learnt the hard way (i.e. the only way…by experience) that running off with his “pressure-release valve” did not result in a fairy tale ending for him. Contrary to just about everyone here, I think that his first relationship is salvagable. He messed up, he knows it and he admits it. Kudos to him for that I say. He needs to take himself out of this relationship   (which is doomed anyway), be alone and put all his effort back into winning back the one who loved him in the first place. She, of course, has every right to refuse to take him back, be angry and hurt, have trust injuries from his behaviour that he needs to be man enough to soothe each time they rear their heads (and they will), and she also needs to set some new boundaries in their relationship.

    In short, he has to woo her back.

    I saw this work with my neighbour and another friend and their “new relationships” (which is what they are)   are much stronger than they ever would have been if the infidelity hadn’t been committed. The infidelity was wrong, yes, but if we learn from our mistakes we can try to fix what we broke.

    It takes a strong man to admit his mistakes. We are all human and to be human is to make mistakes.

    My neighbours had a situation where they broke up after he failed to commit and cheated on her when he didn’t properly value what they had. They were both unhappy at the time with the stalemate of their relationship and something had to give…and did. It was not immediately productive and was a possibly unforgivable, heart-breaking and selfish choice of behaviour. In time he too realized what he had lost. “Too late!” most of you will cry. It’s only too late if both parties believe that to be so. Your perception is your reality. Forgiveness, communication and a heart that figures out where it went wrong and is determined to win back the love of his life are admirable qualities.

    Contrary to popular opinion, you can go back and work at creating something new and better than you ever thought possible. Knowing your own mind, regardless of the other party, is the key.

  13. 53
    you stupid

    those werent very helpful advices.

    the problem is the guy, you jamie. have you ever thought about the girl your with now. do you think she thinks about her ex? how is it that you get to miss your ex, but the new girl has to be loyal to you? assuming you guys are still together she must be doing something right on certain occassions. i bet if you went back to your ex, you would start talking about how miss your other ex( the one you cheated on) and how you wish you can go back to her.

    the problem is YOU jamie. you need to find what makes you happy after spending some alone time. meet more different and variety of people, take a lot of time to yourself to think. dont bring anyone else into your confused mind cause your confusion will lead to others peoples demise. stop being selfish you prick.

  14. 54
    A M L

    Okay. So I’m the ex-girlfriend in a very similar situation, except that the ex and I started having sex again (really good sex).

    The notion that the experience of an affair caused emotional growth that would not have happened otherwise rings so true! In a weird, twisted way I’m thankful it happened, because it opened my eyes to my own role in the degradation of our relationship. And if I can’t use that new insight to love better with him, at least I can use it going forward with someone new, whenever he might show up.

    But- like the author, I’m not sure how or in what direction to go from here. We admit that we still love each other, and our once insurmountable issues now seem very manageable.   But he won’t leave her, and I just tolerate it (although I’ve asked him to be honest with her about our continued sex, because come on, she deserves to know).

    I wonder if he has the same questions about his decisions. When you fuck up like this, how do you fix it without doing more harm? He has to quit one of us.

    It was a very thoughtful read. Thank you.

  15. 55

    You said   after Dating someone for 2 years, you met another woman through friends, (friends who evidently didn’t see either for themselves or through you, that your relationship of 2 years was indeed a relationship.)      You and the Other Party were  both already  in relationships that were more than just ‘dating’.   You go on to say “I met a girl through friends that I really seemed to click with. She, too, was in a relationship and neither of us wanted to cheat on our gf/bf because we cared so much about them..”  Evidently *insert throat clearing noises here* your ‘caring concern’ for your then significant partners was not enough to stop you from Not wanting to cheat anyway, and the ‘clicking’ you mentioned you experienced turned into the sound the bedsprings were making, or kitchen counter top (those pesky keys).

    and a year later we’re still together. Lately however, in fact for the last few months, I’ve been thinking a lot about my ex..” First off, anyone who is “thinking a lot about their ex’ is Not “together” with Anyone. Being ‘together’ in that sense is more than in the same domicile.   In reality your issue is that after one year of being with someone you cheated with to get away from someone else, you find yourself in the last few months with someone who now wants the Same commitment: the ring and the proposal etc, that you so vehemently complained about and rejected in the first non-relating ‘relationship’. The very things you never wanted are being presented to you again, and gently pressed and you want out of it (again).

         Because you have a 2 year history with your previous semi-significant other, you are contemplating making attempts to slipstream back into her world again, taking up where you left off. And this after having little to no contact with her, after slipstreaming into a sordid relationship with someone else who also cheated on their partner.

    I question the validity of your use of the term ‘guilt’, and whether you in fact actually Know what that word means other than by verbal definition. Kicking a word around doesn’t mean you Feel anything, it takes more than shared songs and restaurants to make a relationship that is real.     You do not seem to Feel other than the quick and lofty falling into bed type feelings of lust. You make no mention of the first 2 yr relationship other than ‘dating’ for 2 years, don’t say if you were both living with each other, or any feelings you had that were positive or negative about the first partner other than what you didn’t like, which was the mention of commitment.

    You don’t say you broke any news to her telling her of your affair, the impact it surely had on her, and intention to suddenly move into residence with the person you cheated on her with  who is the person you’re wanting to leave now. You’re wanting to leave now has to do with your being  presented with  something you didn’t want to start with. Early in your query you refer to marriage/family/children as ‘pulling the trigger’, but make no mention as to  ‘pulling the trigger’ on what. You are now in another semi committed relationship that you want out of, just as you were to start with. Suggestions:

    Prostitutes: The very nature of their servicing is not conducive to any kind of ‘commitment’ other than transitory, Use a condom, hopefully you are using several condoms now as if one of your lovers gets pregnant, you Will find yourself  committed indeed.                                                                        

    Porn: Cheap and efficient,  flexibility solely based  on what you’d wish to spend and not on how well you can bend. 😀   In magazine form, you have the most choice, variety and consistent prices. You don’t have to ‘dress up’ or even leave the boudoir,  they don’t say anything and you can throw them away when you’re done.





  16. 56

    I have been in your exes place many times every guy I dated actually did this I thought I was nothing and no one would ever love me as long as I lived but men get their karma and you got what you deserved karma is a bitch and you must pay for your sins no matter how much a girl may look cute or smart or whatever cheating is a sin no matter what

  17. 57
    Kathleen Holt


    All i can say,is that everything that you said was…..Spot on!

  18. 58

    I was in this exact same situation. I was the woman who was cheated on and kicked to the curb. Luckily, a kindly medical doctor retrieved me from the curb and we have been married 15 years.

    It’s amazing how some men can be so stupid.   When I first met my husband, he was talking about marriage only six weeks after meeting.   He was head over heels and knew a good thing when he saw it.   Whenever my ex comes up,   my husband laughs his head off because he thinks it’s comical how stupid my ex was.   But, I think it was all meant to be.   I’m so grateful for my husband and our family each day.   It’s really nice to be with someone who understands your value.

    Meanwhile,   my ex married the other woman who is quite ugly according to my husband.

    My ex is kept on such a short leash that he cannot talk to women let alone look at them.   The other woman is smart enough to know that he cheated with her and could easily cheat on her.   I have heard she is hyper controlling and aggressive and he is miserable.

    Karma is a real thing.

    This should be a lesson to any would be cheaters.   On the other hand, if you’re someone who is prone to cheating, it’s best that you cheat on your partner before the marriage so that she can dump your sorry behind without investing her whole life in you.   Cheaters do not deserve to be with people who have integrity and ironclad morals.   Cheaters deserve to be cheated on just to see how terrible it feels and understand what a life altering situation it is.

  19. 59

    My life on paper. He’s been with her since they cheated a year ago, and still shows up occasionally wanting me to alleviate his guilt, saying how miserable they are, how sorry he is and how I never deserved that. I will never trust him enough to go there again, he ripped me apart, slowly, and now I’m too busy trying to heal, learning to live without my best friend, n lover, to help him through his realisations and lessons.

  20. 60
    Redhead arab

    My ex-husband wants to get back with me but l say to him you must proof your love to me, you must kill yourself, thats why after broken heart, l dont want accept him, cause every secret of me he say to his mistress now wife, l really hate him until, l cant appoligize act like this, we could be friend like keep other secret save, l refuse to reconcile he mad at me and tell all the secret that he knows abbout to his mistress now wife, bastard white men, l really hate men

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