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An older woman looking at some clothes | Source: Shutterstock
An older woman looking at some clothes | Source: Shutterstock

I Came Home to Find My MIL Wearing My Dress, but Her Discovery in My Wardrobe Turned Our Worlds Upside Down

Prenesa Naidoo
May 16, 2024
01:35 P.M.

When Gianna walks into her home one afternoon, she finds her mother-in-law trying on her favorite dress. She demands that the woman change her clothing, but Kathy has other plans. She shows Gianna a note that makes it seem like Gianna has been having an affair only for the tables to turn.

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For the past three years of my married life, I thought I had the perfect marriage. Henry and I were happy, or so I believed. We lived according to our own schedule, working from home or in shared spaces whenever we saw fit. We just wanted to be together.

A happy couple | Source: Unsplash

A happy couple | Source: Unsplash

"The honeymoon phase will end soon, Gianna," my mother told me. "And that's okay. It just means that you'll have to start working a little harder when it comes to your marriage."

I didn't expect my mother to speak it into existence. But shortly after that conversation over mimosas, things in my life began to change drastically.

Mimosas on a table | Source: Unsplash

Mimosas on a table | Source: Unsplash

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Recently, my mother-in-law, Kathy, moved closer to us.

"She needs to downsize, Gianna," Henry told me as we sat down for lunch one weekend.

"So, I've been looking for apartments for her and Joey, her cat," Henry said.

At first, I'll freely admit it, I loved having Kathy close to us. Especially because once we were all instructed to get back to the office full-time, it was always comforting to get home and find a hot meal waiting for me.

An older woman in the kitchen | Source: Pexels

An older woman in the kitchen | Source: Pexels

"I'm right here, Gianna," she said one day when I walked into my house to Kathy cooking a stew. "I'll be making sure that you and Henry are eating properly."

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I appreciated it. I appreciated the time that Kathy took to look after us. But after a while, things began to get too much.

"It's like your mother lives here," I said to Henry one day after I was so sure she had been snooping in my bedroom.

At first, I didn't notice the changes, but then one day I was looking for a pair of earrings and found that the things on my vanity were rearranged.

A pair of earrings on a pink tray | Source: Unsplash

A pair of earrings on a pink tray | Source: Unsplash

I didn't want to fuss about it because I also knew that I was scatterbrained, and I did change things around absentmindedly.

But then, it started happening more often. And the items being rearranged were my intimates and other clothing.

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And the more I paid attention to my things being mysteriously rearranged, the more it coincided with Kathy's visits.

"Henry, did you or your mom re-set my cupboards?" I asked him one day as I did the dishes.

A person washing dishes | Source: Unsplash

A person washing dishes | Source: Unsplash

I didn't want to confront him, I just wanted to know what was going on in my home when I wasn't around.

I didn't want to fight with my husband.

"What? You're being ridiculous, Gianna! Why would we just go through your stuff? And why would my mother do that anyway? Why would she care what's in your cupboards?"

A couple arguing | Source: Pexels

A couple arguing | Source: Pexels

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Henry's face clouded with anger as he took a beer out of the fridge and set it on the counter.

"You can't go around saying things like that, Gianna. It will hurt my mother."

With that, he turned and went into the living room to watch TV.

But, of course, things only got worse.

A man watching TV | Source: Unsplash

A man watching TV | Source: Unsplash

One day, I decided to surprise Henry by coming home early from work. I just wanted to spend time with him and finally cook a good meal in my home.

But instead of the usual warm welcome that I got from my husband, I found him panicked and trying to block my entrance to our bedroom while frantically texting someone.

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An upset man | Source: Unsplash

An upset man | Source: Unsplash

I tried to push past him, determined to uncover whatever he was hiding.

"Henry, what's going on?" I demanded, my voice trembling.

He looked anxious like he had been up to no good and was about to get caught.

A man holding his phone | Source: Unsplash

A man holding his phone | Source: Unsplash

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"Gianna, you shouldn't be here right now," he said, his eyes darting around nervously. "Just go back to work. Please. Give me some space to work."

I was astounded that he could speak to me like that. In my own home, too.

Ignoring him, I swung open the bedroom door and froze.

An open bedroom door | Source: Pexels

An open bedroom door | Source: Pexels

There stood my mother-in-law, clad in one of my favorite dresses. The sight of her in my dress looked so wrong. And more than that, it was an invasion of my personal space that I couldn't comprehend at all.

Without thinking, I snapped a photo of her.

"Why are you wearing my dress, Kathy?" I demanded, my voice rising.

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My mother-in-law's eyes narrowed as she smirked at me. With her hands on her hips, she turned around and looked at herself in the mirror one more time.

An older woman wearing a dress | Source: Freepik

An older woman wearing a dress | Source: Freepik

"Stop it, darling," she said nonchalantly. "Delete that photo, or I'll tell Henry about what I found in your pocket."

"What do you mean?" I asked, confused. I had nothing to hide. Absolutely nothing.

She pulled out a crumpled grocery store receipt from beneath the pile of clothes on the bed.

Hand holding a receipt | Source: Pexels

Hand holding a receipt | Source: Pexels

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"Babe! Happy anniversary! Thank you for last night!" Kathy read out. "Lots of exclamation marks, too, Gianna. It must have been a good anniversary."

I couldn't understand what she was saying. I hadn't written that note, and neither had Henry. Or, he hadn't written it to me, at least. I picked up a pair of pants that had fallen from the pile.

A pile of clothes | Source: Unsplash

A pile of clothes | Source: Unsplash

"Please, take off my dress," I said slowly. "Or I will share this photo on the family group chat and show everyone how you've been snooping."

Kathy narrowed her eyes at me and nodded. She held the note out to me, ready for me to take it. I didn't want to retaliate and tell her anything.

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I went downstairs to the kitchen; Henry had disappeared. For all I knew, he was probably hiding in the bathroom.

A woman holding a phone | Source: Unsplash

A woman holding a phone | Source: Unsplash

What Kathy didn't know was that the note wasn't mine, which meant that the only other clothing she could have taken it from was Henry's. Realization hit me like a freight train.

Of course, Henry was cheating on me. Our honeymoon phase had ended when his mother moved closer, but he hadn't tried to be intimate with me for a while.

Two days later, I bought a GPS tracker and hid it in Henry's car, right beneath his seat.

I downloaded the app onto my phone and waited for him to go somewhere unusual.

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A person holding a phone with a tracker | Source: Unsplash

A person holding a phone with a tracker | Source: Unsplash

I didn't have to wait very long because a few days later, the tracker led me to a suburban grocery store. It was the same place that had issued the receipt.

After standing in the parking lot for a while, I finally mustered the courage to go inside.

With my head pounding, a headache that had appeared out of nowhere, I found myself walking through the aisles trying to find my husband.

A parking lot with cars | Source: Unsplash

A parking lot with cars | Source: Unsplash

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And there he was, in the cereal aisle.

With another woman and two young children who, to anyone else, looked like a happy family.

My vision blurred immediately, the tears filling before I could even try to comprehend what I was seeing.

"Henry?" I asked, my voice betraying me and breaking. "Who are these people?"

My husband's face went white before my eyes.

A family doing grocery shopping | Source: Pexels

A family doing grocery shopping | Source: Pexels

"Daddy?" the little girl asked. "Who is this woman?"

"She's my sister, darling," he said, taking her hand and swinging it gently.

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Then, he pulled me aside, pleading.

"Gianna, please, let's talk privately. This isn't what it looks like."

An upset man | Source: Pexels

An upset man | Source: Pexels

It was exactly what it looked like. I saw the way the woman and their children looked at Henry. This wasn't new. This wasn't a random relationship or hookup.

This was more.

"Not what it looks like? Henry, you have a whole other family! How long have you been lying to me?"

He hung his head, unable to meet my eyes.

An upset woman | Source: Unsplash

An upset woman | Source: Unsplash

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"Gianna, I can explain. It's complicated."

"Daddy, Mom is taking us to get slushies," the little boy said.

"Complicated? You married me. And now you have an entirely new family. What's complicated about that?" I asked.

A slushie on a counter | Source: Pexels

A slushie on a counter | Source: Pexels

Henry looked me up and down, as though he was trying to unravel his thoughts.

"I'll talk to you at home," he said simply and walked away.

I left the grocery store and drove right home, forgetting that I had to get back to the office and continue with my day.

A woman driving | Source: Unsplash

A woman driving | Source: Unsplash

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Hours later, as I was sitting on the couch drinking my third glass of wine, Henry walked in.

"You want to know the truth?" he asked, sitting down across from me.

"Go for it," I said.

I had spent hours trying to figure it out, and I didn't have the energy to fight.

A glass of wine on a table | Source: Unsplash

A glass of wine on a table | Source: Unsplash

"I married you because my mother wanted me to marry someone from a wealthy family. That was it. I married you for your money. Why do you think my mother was trying on your dresses? Because they're expensive. They're lavish."

Fury and betrayal coursed through me. The pain was unbearable. I felt the ground shift beneath me.

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A woman sitting on a couch | Source: Unsplash

A woman sitting on a couch | Source: Unsplash

"I want a divorce," I said. "Go to your family."

Henry's face contorted with desperation.

"Gianna, wait! We can work this out!" he pleaded. "I need this. I need you! I'm not working now. We've been running the house off your money. I can't afford this."

"Too bad," I said.

A man sitting on a couch and holding his face | Source: Unsplash

A man sitting on a couch and holding his face | Source: Unsplash

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I filed for divorce the next day. Thankfully, my father had added an infidelity clause in our prenuptial agreement, resulting in Henry getting absolutely nothing.

Even the house was mine.

But if anything, I was finally relieved to be free from the deceitful Henry and his intrusive mother.

Enough was enough.

My final offer to the family was sending the photo of Kathy to the family group. They needed to know.

A person reading a legal document | Source: Pexels

A person reading a legal document | Source: Pexels

What would you have done?

If you enjoyed this story, here's another one |

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When Kyra discovers, by accident, that her boyfriend, Henry, has been cheating on her, she goes completely numb. Until he sends her an invoice for everything that he had ever spent on her. Fueled by her anger, Kyra fights back, exposing Henry for who he is and asking for her monetary rewards in return.

Read the full story here.

This work is inspired by real events and people, but it has been fictionalized for creative purposes. Names, characters, and details have been changed to protect privacy and enhance the narrative. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental and not intended by the author.

The author and publisher make no claims to the accuracy of events or the portrayal of characters and are not liable for any misinterpretation. This story is provided “as is,” and any opinions expressed are those of the characters and do not reflect the views of the author or publisher.

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