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September 07, 2016 06:35 PM

Just over two months after announcing her separation from husband José Nunes, author Elizabeth Gilbert has found love again – with her best friend of 15 years.

In a revealing and emotional Facebook post, Wednesday, Gilbert, 47, revealed that she is dating fellow author Rayya Elias. She also admitted that the romance was the reason her 9-year marriage to Nunes – the inspiration behind Eat, Pray, Love – ended.

“Rayya and I are together,” Gilbert wrote. “I love her, and she loves me.”

Gilbert explained that she realized her feelings for Elias, someone she’d always considered a “role model” and “most trusted confidante,” after Elias was diagnosed with pancreatic and liver cancer this past spring.

Elizabeth Gilbert (left) and Rayya Elias
Elizabeth Gilbert/Twitter

“Something happened to my heart and mind in the days and weeks following Rayya’s diagnosis,” Glibert said. “Death – or the prospect of death – has a way of clearing away everything that is not real, and in that space of stark and utter realness, I was faced with this truth: I do not merely love Rayya; I am in love with Rayya. And I have no more time for denying that truth.”

The author said that after realizing she was in love with Elias, the truth couldn’t be ignored. She added, “For those of you who are doing the math here, and who are wondering if this situation is why my marriage came to an end this spring, the simple answer is yes.”

While Gilbert declined to explain the dissolution of her marriage further, she stated, simply, “I am exactly where I need to be – the only place I can be.

She further said that she and Elias had decided to speak publicly about their romance now because “truth and transparency” will make their lives together easier.

Gilbert met husband Nunes while traveling through Italy, India and Bali after the unraveling of her first marriage – a trip that inspired the 2006 hit memoir, which has gone on to sell more than 10 million copies. Eat, Pray, Love was also adapted for the big screen in 2010, with Julia Roberts as Gilbert.

The couple was married in 2007, opening a East Asian decorative imports store in Frenchtown, New Jersey, which was shuttered last year. Gilbert announced their separation also in a Facebook post.

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Later Wednesday, on Twitter, Gilbert expressed her gratitude for fans, writing, “thank you for the love, everyone. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.”

Alongside the message, Gilbert shared a photo posing with her partner, Elias.

Read Gilbert’s full post here.

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