While a man was deployed in Afghanistan, he often checked his bills online to ensure the auto-payment option worked correctly. One day, he opened up his credit card bill and scrolled through the transaction history, and found something unusual.
The man confessed that an unusual transaction caught his attention, so he quickly thought of the reasons that might have compelled his wife to spend the money.
Since he couldn’t think of a good reason, he casually mentioned the transaction while talking to his wife on Skype and saw her expressions change.
The Redditor with the username Aggravating-Ad-5793 opened up about the transaction years after discovering it. He had also noticed a few extra dinners out when he went through the transaction history.
Since his wife was alone with the kids, he thought a few extra dinners weren’t alarming for him. He knew how difficult it must be for his wife to handle the children alone. However, one particular transaction set his alarm bells rining. It was for “an airline ticket to a tourist destination on the other side of the country,” he shared.
He noticed that the trip was scheduled for the next month, and the ticket had been booked a few weeks prior. He couldn’t think of any reason why his wife would book a single ticket to a tourist destination.
Furious, OP told her that he would call child protective services.
When he spoke to her on Skype the next time, he casually mentioned the ticket. Surprised, she asked him how he knew, unaware of how online banking worked.
When OP told her he accessed it through the card’s transaction history, she said she was going on a “mental health retreat” with her co-workers because she felt exhausted after taking care of the children alone.
The man replied that he understood she needed a break, but he felt she should have discussed it with him before purchasing a ticket for a trip that would leave their children without any parents. He recalled:
“Then I asked her who would be taking care of the children for the week she was gone.”
OP’s (Original Poster’s) wife replied that a 16-year-old neighbor girl would look after the children. Furious, OP told her that he would call child protective services if she left the children without an adult in the house. So his wife agreed to call her mother and ask her to stay with the children while she was away.
A day before the trip, OP called his wife, but her phone was unreachable. “I called my mother-in-law to check on the kids and she told me my wife had left earlier in the day to spend the night in a hotel next to the airport,” he explained:
OP found it strange that his wife would spend the night in a hotel near the airport. He waited for a hotel charge to appear in his bank transactions, but that never happened.
He also waited for charges to appear in his transaction history from his wife’s travel destination, but he didn’t find anything. The peculiarity of the trip had started making him suspicious.
So while his wife was away from home, the man started reviewing her call logs and discovered that she was frequently in contact with one number. She had been in touch with the same number for a very long time.
The man asked his wife to send him pictures of the trip to clear his doubts. She replied that she didn’t take any pictures. Then he asked her to tell him the names of his co-workers. He recalled:
“She gave me one name but would not give me the last name or the department that this woman supposedly worked in.”
His wife’s answers made him look at her with growing suspicion. So he confronted her about the number she had remained in contact with the entire time. He asked her why she wasn’t in contact with that person while on the trip and then abruptly hung up.
Before their next call, OP had already confirmed that there was no female co-worker on the trip. He immediately confronted her and made her admit that she went on the “retreat” with a man. He recounted:
“She eventually admitted that it was a male coworker but still claimed everyone else backed out on her”
She also admitted that she had spent multiple nights with the same man in one hotel room and this infuriated OP who was tired of her lies and immediately demanded a divorce. He accused her of cheating and told her he didn’t want to live with her anymore.
In an attempt to stop him, the woman bawled and asked her children to hold the phone as she went down on her knees, begging him not to leave her.
He ended the call and didn’t talk to her until he returned home. He picked up his clothes and uniforms because he had decided to move.
The woman begged him not to leave him. She offered to stay in an open marriage or a sexless one, but OP refused. He said he would consider not divorcing her if she confessed every detail honestly.
She told him everything starting from when she met the man for the first time, but OP knew she was lying. Before he left the house, he asked her if she was still in contact with him and according to OP:
“She said she “could if I really wanted her to””
He said he wanted her to stop talking to him, so she agreed. Four days later, the man had to leave for New York with his children, but he didn’t. He stayed back, while his wife thought they had left.
He tracked her phone on a locator app and saw that she was at a restaurant. After he saw that her phone was back home, he went there to talk to her and saw something he would never forget. He recalled:
“I waited until the tracker showed her back at home waited a few minutes and walked in on her and affair partner in our bedroom.”
OP later discovered that the man had been regularly visiting his house, and his children knew him very well. They had spent a lot of time together as a family when OP was deployed overseas.
After that incident, OP got full custody of his children while his wife begged him to take her back. He confessed that he tried to forgive her, but he couldn’t because she had put his children through the worst.
Most Redditors felt bad for OP after reading his post. PaPaKAPture said things like these were typical for military men, writing:
“I am sorry, but it sounds like you made back from Hell, twice. Thanks for your service.”
Meanwhile, sampa2nyc praised OP for not falling for his wife’s gaslighting because what she did was wrong and could have put their children in danger.
Other Redditors felt bad for OP and praised him for his mental strength. Some also asked him how he got full custody of his children.
Questions to Ponder:
Do you think OP should have grilled his wife more when he saw the unusual transaction for the first time?
OP casually mentioned the airline ticket while talking to his wife, to which she lied. If he pressed further, which he didn’t, there’s a chance he would have gotten out some truth from her and this may have had implications on her trip.
If the wife was honest from the start, do you think there was a greater chance for OP to forgive her?
OP gave his wife a chance to come clean but she still lied and he saw through it, strengthening his decision to leave her. If OP’s wife had been just totally honest with him, maybe OP would have considered giving her a second chance.