updated 06/20/2012 AT 2:00 PM ET
•originally published 06/20/2012 AT 6:15 PM ET
After years of living in hiding, Rielle Hunter – the mistress whose relationship with John Edwards ended his bid for the presidency and his marriage to Elizabeth Edwards – says she isn’t interested in a secret life anymore.
“I fell in love with a married man and became something I wasn’t in order to be with him,” Hunter tells PEOPLE exclusively, accompanying an excerpt of her new memoir, What Really Happened: John Edwards, Our Daughter and Me.
In this week’s issue, Hunter, 48, reveals, “We’re still together as a couple.” Though she won’t predict their future. “Marriage? Have no idea,” she says. “I’m not a big fan of the institution but never say never.”