On Aug. 9, The New York Times published a “Vows” feature on the courtship and wedding of locals named Robert and Lauren. It read like a perfect love story. But not to Nikyta Moreno, 30, Robert’s ex-wife, who learned through it why her own marriage had unraveled. Here, she tells The Post’s KIRSTEN FLEMING her story.
Three weeks ago, a friend called me and said, “Nikyta, an article has come out about Rob. Don’t read it. You will only get upset.” As I received more disgusted texts from family and friends, I asked a friend to summarize it because I couldn’t bring myself to click on the link.
It was a New York Times wedding announcement detailing the love story of a fitness entrepreneur and his new wife. According to the article, the couple, Rob and Lauren, started their relationship in January 2017. It also said that he had never been married.
That was news to me — because I was his wife in January 2017. We split in late March of that year, officially divorcing in January 2018, and I never exactly understood why. Until I read about it in the Times.
My friends contacted the paper, which issued a correction on Rob’s previous marital status. But I still felt completely erased. He was publicly admitting that he dated this woman while we were married — the details of his infidelity laid out on the page. When I put their presentation next to the truth, it was like one of those reality-versus-Instagram memes come to life.
Rob and I met in the summer of 2013 when we locked eyes through the window of the Crunch gym near Astor Place and he beckoned me inside. We were friends first, but by that winter we were dating and living together on the Upper West Side.
He was an old-fashioned gentlemen. If I finished work late, he’d come meet me. I’m a professional dancer, and he came to every performance. He’d make me breakfast in bed.
On Dec. 23, 2015, we married in a civil ceremony. But we also planned a big wedding for Aug. 12, 2017, in his hometown of Dallas. We put a deposit down on the venue, I bought my wedding gown, and my family booked flights from Trinidad and my native London. In December 2016, my mother, aunt and cousin flew from England to Dallas to meet his mother and look at the venue. On that trip, we chose our menu.
Three months later, things abruptly changed. We went to Texas for his friend’s wedding and to finalize our own wedding details. I could sense something was wrong. When we returned he said he needed space. Worried that he was stressed about wedding planning or work, I said I would leave for a week to stay with a friend.
When I came back, he said he wanted a divorce. It was like a light switch turned off. He stopped communicating with me and refused to go to therapy. I wondered if he had a medical issue that had changed his personality.
In addition to the emotional hurt, I had shelled out a lot of money for the wedding, as had my family. My mother asked him why he didn’t call it off earlier. Why did he allow everyone to fly to Texas for Christmas and continue planning? He told her that, at the time, he didn’t know he felt the way he did. Now, thanks to his wedding announcement, I understand what changed in that small window. He had met another woman.
Even his family, whom I was close to, was gobsmacked about our breakup. He was my best friend, and my whole life was destroyed. But I knew something else was wrong. I suspected he had cheated on me, but when I confronted him about it, he never quite answered me.
That same month, I found out I was pregnant. He told me that he didn’t want the baby. In May, I miscarried — I believe it was because of the stress. I called from the hospital but he didn’t come. Nothing can compare to that hurt.
After we broke up and sorted out our paperwork, we really didn’t speak again.
I went to a lot of therapy and worked hard to heal. But when the story came out, it opened old wounds. Some of his family members even apologized to me.
If Rob and his new wife are meant to be together, I want them to be happy. I simply wish he had told me the truth. As for me, I have found love again. He’s a wonderful person who ticks all the boxes. I believe everyone deserves a love story — one built on the truth. It is possible to find happiness after the pain.
(Robert told The Post: “Nikyta and I were separated and both consented to a mutual and amicable divorce. This is all very surprising to me and I was unaware that there was ever an issue. I’m happy with my family and I wish Nikyta the best.”)
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