YVONNE Lim's world came crashing down when her cheating fiance dumped her before their marriage.
So depressed was the actress that she even thought of killing herself to end it all, she confided to The New Paper of the break-up that took place five years ago.
She had first talked about it on the Channel U programme Celebritea Break 2 last Wednesday.
The 32-year-old had dated the man, whom she declined to name out of courtesy, for more than a year before he proposed in Sentosa.
The two were introduced by friends when they were teenagers.
Everything seemed perfect. They searched for a home, though they had not made any plans for the wedding.
She also stayed with her fiance - who is not from showbiz - and his family.
But it went haywire.
She confided in me that the man received calls from women in the middle of the night.
'My friends had told me he was seeing other girls behind my back. When the calls came, I knew he was cheating on me but I didn't want to face the truth. I made excuses for his behaviour.'
She also thought he would change, and everything would be fine if she gave in.
Yvonne added the man had a reputation for being a playboy even when they first met 10 years ago.
She tried to convince herself that he had since grown mature and stable, running his own business.
But he hadn't. The man broke up with Yvonne and immediately hooked up with another girl.
Even then, Yvonne was still intent on salvaging the relationship.
She admitted: 'He told me that I cannot call or message him. He would contact me instead. I wanted the relationship back, so I agreed to it.
'I swallowed my pride. He was calling me while still with the other girl. I was the girlfriend, but it had seemed like I was the third party instead! I didn't want the other girl to go through what I did, so I decided to end the relationship.'
Getting over the break-up was excruciating.
Not wanting her family to worry about her, she rented an apartment and moved out of her family home for six months so her family would not learn the truth.
Even her friends and colleagues didn't know of the ordeal she was going through. Only a few of her closest friends were privy to the secret.
She said there was a time when she would often break down and keep crying. But the toughest time was when she went to China alone to work.
She confessed: 'I was very depressed. I couldn't drown my sorrows because I couldn't drink. I even thought I should just die.
'A few of my friends were very worried about me and they called me many times to console me.'
She chalked up about $2,000 in overseas phone bills over a period of time. .
'I put so much into the relationship. I even told some friends we were engaged. I didn't know what went wrong, but I blamed myself for working overseas so often,' she confided.
Threw his gifts away
While nursing the heartbreak, she deleted his number from her handphone and threw away everything he gave her, including his photos. Yvonne declined to say what she did with the engagement ring.
But when you hit rock bottom and can't go any lower, she said, you'll bounce back. She said she took two years to cut all ties with him and to finally move on.
Now stronger and wiser, she's learnt to trust her instincts and love herself more.
She's also more cautious and a bit cynical.
'I used to believe love and chemistry are all that a relationship needs,' she said. 'But now I've realised that I need to understand him and accept his flaws, without hoping he would change.'
Yvonne is dating someone and slowly getting to know him better.
She also hopes he'll use the time to understand the nature of her job, especially with her public profile and the long hours of filming. 'I'm not so impulsive anymore. I remind myself of that painful period because I'm not at an age when I can still do 'trial and error' in relationships,' she said.
This article was first published in The New Paper