The ex files
Each month two former lovers explain what went wrong
- The Observer, Sunday 10 February 2008
Stefan Reszczynski, 27, runs Artforms Productions – a film-production company making music videos and documentaries. He was 21 when he met Kat Sellers. He is currently single.
There’s no good reason why I cheated on Kat – it was just youth and stupidity really. I can’t count the number of times I’ve looked back and thought, what the hell was I thinking? Sadly, it’s one of the things I’ve regretted most in my life.
I fancied Kat straight away – she looked like a young Uma Thurman. We clicked at once; we had the same taste in music, films, everything. From day one we just got on so well we never wanted to stop seeing each other. Because we were both so independent it took us a while to admit we were actually having a relationship. I didn’t even get her phone number for about two months, but because I was working behind a bar she could come and find me whenever she wanted. And more often than not she was coming round.
There was nothing not to like about Kat. She was totally nuts and wild; a proper kind of tomboy. She was always impressively strong too, although she could also be a bit stubborn. For a little blond girl she had the balls to stand up to anyone.
Kat was always out partying in London – and I was never that into that scene. My mates used to joke about whether I trusted her out on her own but trust was never really an issue. Although she used to spend a lot of time in Leeds or London and talk about this guy or that guy who she was mates with, the truth is it didn’t bother me what she might have been up to because she came back to me at the end of it.
We were always very affectionate towards each other, and always very attracted to each other; in fact we were pretty rampant. In our entire relationship I think we had one argument – about me being unfaithful.
After two-and-a-half years we moved to Brighton together. We never had a great deal of cash but we never starved. At one point I didn’t have a job but Kat was working in a bar. One day she rang me to say they needed someone with a drinks licence, in a hurry. I already had one – because of the pub I used to run – so they brought me in, and I stayed about five-and-a-half months before it all went wrong.
One night I was working late – until after two. Everyone else had left apart from this one girl who was messing around while I was cleaning up. We were chatting away and just hanging out. Then she started stripping off. The next thing I knew she had her head between my legs. I guess I knew there was CCTV but it didn’t enter my head. Then a few days later after work the boss started being oddly nice and encouraged me to stay and have a drink. He sat us down and said to Kat, ‘This is what I saw.’ She slapped me round the face.
When we got home we had one of those massive all-night talks, but it was over. I couldn’t afford to move out so I slept on the sofa for a few months. If I hadn’t been unfaithful I don’t think we’d still be going out now, but we could have broken up in a better way. It was just a stupid thing to do because we were very good together, and she didn’t deserve it.
It took a long time, but now we’re best mates. She’s one of my closest confidantes. I’ve not had a proper long-term relationship since we broke up. I run my own production company and it’s hard to find a relationship that fits in between work schedules. Besides, you don’t plan that kind of stuff – it just happens.
People have asked us why don’t you get back together, but we’re not in that place any more. We know each other far too well and there’s no real sexual thing there: we’re more like a brother and sister.
Kat Sellers, 24, is studying law in Brighton. She met Stef Reszczynski when she was 17. They were together for four years and split up in 2004. She has been with her current boyfriend for two years.
Stef and I have never, ever, not got on. In fact, we have only had one argument in the whole time we’ve known each other – when I discovered he was cheating on me. And that’s why we broke up.
I met Stef when I was 17 and he was 21. A mutual friend took me into the pub his parents owned in Canterbury. I’d already left school and moved out of home and I was working as a trainee recruitment consultant. I was still new to Canterbury and didn’t know many people so I liked the fact that he had a huge circle of friends.
Initially he really wasn’t my type – he had long hair, a ponytail and a dodgy beard – but the more we hung out together the more I fancied him. One night I went back to his house and one thing led to another. I didn’t leave for the next four years. I was young, full of teenage angst and, to be honest, I was a real little bitch! I felt that Stef was the only person who just accepted me as I was.
My mum really liked Stef, she thought he had a calming influence on me but she wasn’t sure I should trust him. He had a bit of a reputation as a ‘ladies’ man’, but stupidly I thought it would be different with me. When you’re younger you honestly think you can change a man.
When we first met there was a lot of sex. We were very attracted to each other, and we wanted to be together all the time. I was crazy in love in a way you only can be when you are 17.
Then after about two-and-a-half years we moved to Brighton where I got a series of different jobs working in clubs and bars and Stef started working in sales. Neither of us ever had much money and we started living more separate lives – he was working days and I was often at work until two or three in the morning. Then a job came up at the bar where I was working, and I quickly got him in.
One day after work my boss called us upstairs and said that Stef had something to tell me. Stef looked really guilty, then said that he’d been fooling around with one of the barmaids. My boss Ken said, ‘That’s not all, is it Stef?’ Stef wouldn’t answer. So Ken basically explained that after hours Stef had been caught on CCTV getting a blowjob off this barmaid. I was absolutely floored and couldn’t really believe it. I just said, ‘When I get home from work your stuff had better be gone.’
That night we talked it over for hours. I don’t know why, but I wanted to know everything – the reason it had happened, where, when and how. He said there had only been two other girls, but I didn’t believe him. Later I found out from a friend that there had been lots of other women in the past. Now the most he’ll admit to is eight, but if he says it was eight it could as easily have been 18.
When I found out about the affairs I was devastated, and I felt like an idiot and I felt completely and totally betrayed. I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t sleep – I lost a stone in weight – and I didn’t trust men at all. It took a long time to restore my faith in them.
I was really bitter towards Stef for a long time, but when someone has been such a large part of your life it’s really hard to cut them out – and I missed him. After not seeing much of each other for almost a year we started meeting up.
It took a long time but now I’ve forgiven him and he’s my best mate: I don’t look at him in a sexual way any more but we have a fantastic friendship. He’s often the first person I call in a crisis. I trust him implicitly with everything else – but I don’t know if he has the capacity not to cheat on women. That’s not to say if he met the right girl he couldn’t be faithful – but I could never put myself through that aga