Young and just starting their adult lives, Jane and Eric were setup on a surprise blind date when a mutual friend asked them both to meet for ice cream. Eric was so taken by Jane that he surprised her at work the next day asking for a date. Jane agreed. Their chemistry was pure magic. Within a year Eric popped the question.
At 21 Jane found herself married and expecting their first child. Eric and Jane settled into a new house cheerfully looking forward to the start of their own little family. They also both switched careers. Every aspect of their lives was bright, shiny, and new.
Here’s what happened when they decided to cut loose
Eric had a family member that was “borrowing” social security numbers without permission to open credit cards. When Jane voiced her disdain, Eric’s family began to distance themselves from her. They ruthlessly planned a cookout for Jane’s first mother’s day inviting Eric and Aaron, but not Jane.
As the family tension continued to escalate Jane noticed a change in Eric. He was no longer doting, but increasingly distant until the day he came home announced, “It’s over.”
Jane’s family encouraged her to seek legal representation and to move back home with her son, Aaron. As Jane was nearly finished packing her things, Eric stopped her. “I was wrong. Let’s give this another try.”
Jane was blindsided with how suddenly he had both called it quits and also wanted to resume their relationship. But she never wanted to leave. She did ask, “Was there someone else?” and he assured there was not
Several months after their reconciliation Jane received an email from a woman who claimed to have been involved with Eric. The woman told Jane she had been in Jane’s home with Eric while she was working and had spent time with her, “cute little son,” Aaron.
Jane was devastated. She had already called off he attorney. What could she do now? She felt stuck.
Deciding on a fresh start, they moved to a small town and enrolled Aaron into school.
Over time Eric and Jane worked on rebuilding their marriage. Trust was slow to come, but eventually, Jane was the happiest she had been.
Financially things were going very well for them. They took vacations and lived comfortably.
A great big hassle
Jane’s grandfather fell terminally ill. Eric grew distant, was unsympathetic, and at times even mean as he saw his wife struggling with the impending loss of the man who had raised her.
Jane attributed his frustration to all the running she had been doing to help her grandmother. Her grandfather was being transferred to different facilities, hospitals, and nursing homes. Meanwhile, Jane was trying to help her grandmother as much as possible.
Jane was also sure to keep up on her domestic duties being sure the laundry and dinner were always done. If she was unable to be home for dinner she always had a warm meal waiting for Eric in the crockpot.
One evening at dinner Eric repeatedly left the table for the bathroom.
“What’s wrong with him?” Jane’s grandmother asked.
“I’m not sure,” Jane answered.
When Jane later asked Eric if he was okay, he said that he was having stomach trouble.
Jane began to notice Eric’s phone was never left out, but he always with him. He no longer showed physical affection to her. Overnight he changed as though a switch had been flipped. She hadn’t noticed because she was caring for her family, but now she could see something was incredibly different.
Go on take the money and run
The day had come, Jane’s grandfather was put into hospice. After getting her grandparents settled, Jane came home and went straight to her room and collapsed onto the bed sobbing.
Eric came in. “I want a divorce. I don’t love you. I’m done and I’ve thought about it and it would be better if we just did an annulment. I’ll pay for the whole thing.” Eric had taken the money from their bank accounts, but Jane would not find out for weeks. She would have nothing to pay the bills.
“Are you kidding me right now?”
“Nope, I’m going out to the living room to sleep.”
Jane sat up and couldn’t even cry. She was numb. Jane sat there for hours unable to process anything that just happened.
The next day hospice called, Jane’s grandfather was dying and it wouldn’t be long. She needed to get there quickly.
“Eric, can you drive me?”
Jane drove herself to the facility. Her grandfather held on for a day. When he passed, Jane called Eric.
“Grandpa passed,” Jane cried.
“Okay.” Eric was cold, unsympathetic, very matter-of-fact.
You know he knows just exactly what the facts is
After a time of grief for her grandfather, Jane began to think more about the situation with Eric. How could he be so cold, so uncaring? How could she and grandpa mean nothing to him after all these years? Then it became clear.
“There is no one, you are just being crazy again.”
He could deny it all he wanted, Jane knew there was someone else. That was the only explanation for his sudden change.
Eric began leaving for several days at a time. “I’m going to a hotel alone.”
After 3 weeks of constant disappearing, Eric asked to take Aaron to a hotel.
“What do you mean a hotel, what hotel, why?” Jane asked.
“Well, I just thought it would be fun, I’m going to take him to Magic Mountain and to a hotel,” Eric said.
“I would like to know where you are taking him.” Jane requested.
“That’s none of your business,” Eric replied.
Eric’s attempts at keeping Jane in the dark came to an end when he forgot to remove Jane’s iPod from his icloud account. As if by magic, Jane’s iPod was suddenly receiving every text message Eric sent and received. In a few days, she was all caught up on everything that had been going on behind her back for months. When she could take no more, she let them both in on her secret by sending one simple text from her iPod.
The wife knows.
She ain’t gonna let those two escape justice
Jane was shattered all over again. She had no idea what to do, but her grandmother knew exactly what to do.
“We’re going to ask this girl what’s going on,” grandma informed me.
“I don’t know if this is a good idea,” Jane resisted.
Aaron sided with grandma. ”Mom, I know what hotel she works at.”
Jane and grandma set off for the hotel. Jane had her name, phone number, text messages where she spoke unkindly about her boss and co-workers. But what she didn’t have was a plan.
When they arrived in the parking lot, Jane became sick to her stomach and paralyzed by fear. Grandma knew Jane needed to do this.
“Now Jane, we are going to go in here and talk to this girl. We are not going to make a scene or anything. I just want her to see you.” Grandma said.
The next thing Jane knew, they were walking into the hotel and grandma went straight to the front desk.
“Is there an Alice that works here?” grandma inquired.
“Yes, but she has the day off.” The nice women at the front counter said. A wave of relief washed over Jane. “Okay, I think we need to speak to a manager,” Grandma continued.
An Assistant Manager came to speak with Jane and grandma. Jane showed her the text messages, not knowing what to expect. The manager was kind and caring. She explained that her own sister was going through something similar.
“What makes me really sick is that Alice is married and just had a baby. Her husband brings her flowers and food all the time. I am sorry this has happened.”
During the conversation with the Assistant Manager, they stumbled upon how Alice and Eric had met 9 months ago, one month before grandpa had become sick.
“May I hold onto these text messages?” the manager asked.
“Sure,” Jane agreed. Satisfied that she had confronted the situation, grandma lead Jane out of the hotel.
A few days later Jane received a call from the General Manager of the hotel asking if she could come speak with him. She agreed.
When she arrived, he apologized again. He explained that after reviewing the camera footage it was discovered that Alice had been using the hotel at her leisure for meeting up with Eric. She had been terminated.
“I never wanted to get anyone fired,” Jane said.
“This was not your fault. She should never have used this hotel like it was her own and put the integrity of this hotel at risk. If there is ever anything I can do to help you, please don’t hesitate to ask.”
They’re still running today
For months Jane lost interest in everything. She wished to no longer exist. The pain was more than she could bear.
And so she did, slowly at first, but as she gained momentum she grew stronger. She found a house to rent, secured a job that would allow her the most time with her son, Aaron, and began to plan for their future.
The divorce proceedings took three years to finalize, but all the while Jane was moving forward. Three years ago Jane had relinquished most decisions to Eric and relied on him financially. But now Jane was making all of her own decisions, fighting to uncover who she was as an individual, and proudly paying her own way.
Under the soul-crushing weight of deception and vulnerability Jane found a strength she never knew she had. Jane emerged victorious because she dared to find courage and continues to forge her own path now on her terms.
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