I should have told him that I couldn't do the distance. I should have told him that I didn't feel the same way anymore. That he wasn't calling enough. That he wasn't giving me what I needed. But instead of doing any of that, I simply looked elsewhere. I found what I wanted from him in someone else and took it, without telling him first.
Now I know what you're thinking: “HOW COULD YOU? He loved you. He cared about you. He didn't deserve that.” And I know that. No one “deserves” to be cheated on. No matter how unhappy I was I still owed it to him to tell him that I couldn't be with him anymore. But the reality is I didn't. I can’t do it over, I can't rewind, and I sure as hell can’t fix it with an apology.
I have never considered myself a bad person, but I have made some pretty bad mistakes. I am not ashamed of them and I take full responsibility because no matter how horrible they may have been, I made them in an effort to make myself happier. No, I don't think cheating is excusable, but I don't think that having cheated on someone is reason enough for me not to be able to find happiness in my life.
At some point you have to forgive yourself. At some point you have to say that you can’t take it back and you have to move forward. Keeping yourself in a place with constant self-hate and blame isn't going to stop you from cheating again; it's going to keep you from realizing that you should respect both the people you've hurt and yourself enough not to do it again. If you look at the past long enough, you’ll forget how precious the present is. The present allows us to grow and learn from our mistakes. Use the present to redeem yourself; use the present to be a better version of you instead of simply hating who you used to be.