It was May 22, 2015, a somewhat typical day that took a turn for the worst when she received an e-mail cryptically entitled ‘Your husband’.
It was from his mistress.
"A year ago today you hit send on an email that had a monumental effect on several people’s lives," writes Carlie in an open letter addressed to the other woman.
In the viral letter, which first appeared on the Australian website Mama Mia, Carlie reveals how receiving that e-mail changed not only her life, but also her "husband’s, my daughter’s, both our parents and families, our friends".
"I often wonder what was going through your mind at that moment, how much of it was revenge against a man who broke your heart and how much of it was you trying to do the right thing for his wife.
"The level of detail that you went into, felt like it had been curated to inflict pain. You knew what a wife would need to hear to get her to the point of no return in her marriage and you delivered it, blow by blow."
In the letter, Carlie, who's a life coach and writer, wonders how much the other woman knew about her: did she look her up online, read her blog and view her pictures?
She also wonders whether the unnamed mistress knew the new mom would be at work the day she sent the e-mail.
"I wonder whether you refer to him as your ex-boyfriend now. It’s so bizarre for me to think that this man I know so intimately had this significant other person in his life that I didn’t know about."
The writer also admits that "deep down" she didn't think "it could happen to us".
"We were rock solid, him and I. I really thought that. We had a six month old baby and he was away a lot with work. Of course things were tough and we weren’t as connected as before but I needed him to hang in there for me, until things got easier. He would have I think, if you had not come along at that moment."
Carlie and her daughter's lives changed forever when she received an email from her husband's mistress. PHOTO: Facebook
She also wonders how much of the affair was "him trying to find what he had lost in me".
"I was once a cute blonde in a short skirt behind the bar at his favourite pub. Ten years later I was the mum in the yoga pants with the silver regrowth and bags under her eyes from being up all night with a sick baby. He was supposed to love that version of me too. And he did, but he missed the girl who had nothing but time to dote on him. That’s what you gave him.
"In some ways I’m actually glad. I felt bad for him spending all those nights alone in a hotel, away from his family. But he wasn’t alone. He was with you. He spent his birthday with you. You comforted him when we put our beloved dog down. I love this man enough to feel glad that he was able to find love at those times, though it wasn’t from where I wish it had been."
Although Carlie does not mention the other woman's name, she reveals that she shares the same name as her daughter's friend, which means she hears the name "a lot".
"Just like the old cliché, you believed he would leave me for you. But he didn’t.
"He let you down. Our daughter got older, stopped nursing and started sleeping. He began to see the woman he had fallen in love with all those years ago. He wanted to make it work with his wife, with his family. I bet that hurt for you. You had a choice. You could let him move on and try to make his marriage work, or you could take it all from him. You chose option two."
Insisting she's not interested in laying blame, she writes that she doesn't seem to be "capable of hatred".
She and her husband tried to fix their marriage after the affair "but it just didn't work".
"I was different. It was the little details that did it. Those words and images etched into my mind. I think you knew that they would. We are both ok now though, me and him. In fact, in a way we are closer than ever. We have learned so much about each other through this process. Though we have each moved on, we still have love and respect for each other, which has a positive effect on our little girl. No one will ever break that.
I hope you have moved on with your life too. I hope that you have learned from this situation and that you can find some peace within yourself, as I have."
Sources: mamamia.com.au, carliemaree.com