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A white envelope | Source: Flickr
A white envelope | Source: Flickr

I Found a Love Letter from My Husband That Ended Our Marriage

Prenesa Naidoo
May 27, 2024
06:43 A.M.

When Nancy discovers a hidden letter in her husband David's laundry, her seemingly stable life unravels. The letter, written by David, invites a mysterious woman to celebrate their "seven-year anniversary." What else will the dirty laundry reveal?

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Laundry was just another Mom thing in our household. David helps out with the kitchen and the kids — but the laundry and the bathroom are two things he will never tackle.

A person doing laundry | Source: Pexels

A person doing laundry | Source: Pexels

"I can't do the hair in the drain," David said, grimacing when I asked him to take over the chores.

"It's my hair. And our daughter's," I chuckled.

"Still gross," he retorted.

But the sounds of the washing machine and the hum of the dryer soon became my perfect quiet chore — and I loved that it was mine.

Except for the time when laundry day revealed more than just dirty stains.

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A woman washing her hair | Source: Pexels

A woman washing her hair | Source: Pexels

As I shuffled through my husband's laundry, the soft crinkle of paper disrupted the mindless actions of my hands. A folded letter, elegant and unsuspecting, slipped from between the folds of his shirt, falling to the floor.

Happy anniversary, babe! These 7 years have been the best of my life! Meet me at Obélix on Wednesday night, 8 p.m. Be in red.

My husband's handwriting was unmistakable. The loops of his letters and the hard pressure with which he wrote.

A man writing on a piece of paper | Source: Pexels

A man writing on a piece of paper | Source: Pexels

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A cold shiver ran down my spine.

Seven years? David and I had been married for eighteen years. We had two daughters. Our anniversary wasn't for another six months.

And Obélix? The fanciest restaurant in town? After David had specifically told me that we needed to cut down our expenses.

A fancy restaurant | Source: Pexels

A fancy restaurant | Source: Pexels

"We need to cook at home more, Nancy," he said. "Less takeout. The girls will just have to get used to the idea — we've been spending unnecessarily, lately."

"Are we in trouble?" I asked, thinking that we were falling down some financial hole that we hadn't been expecting.

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"No, we're not," David reassured me. "But it's just good to be mindful."

A person packing takeout into a brown bag | Source: Unsplash

A person packing takeout into a brown bag | Source: Unsplash

Wednesday couldn't come soon enough. It was all I thought about for days. I wanted to get to the bottom of David's secret letter. A day after I found the note in his shirt pocket, I went back to see if it was still there — but the pocket was empty.

Signed, sealed, and delivered, I thought.

"I'm working late tonight, honey," David said that morning while I began the breakfast routine.

A person making breakfast | Source: Pexels

A person making breakfast | Source: Pexels

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"Should I leave you a plate, or will you grab something?" I asked, knowing full well that he had dinner plans with some mysterious woman in red.

"I'll get something on the way home," he said, walking out the door with his travel mug.

The day dragged on with me doing school drop-offs and the afternoon lift club consisting of five noisy schoolgirls. But even through that, I couldn't get David out of my mind.

I took the girls back home and made them snacks for when they were sitting outside, while trying to figure out what to do.

Two little girls outside | Source: Pexels

Two little girls outside | Source: Pexels

"You've got the time and the location, Nancy," my mother said when I phoned her for clarity.

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"So, you think I should go? Really?" I asked.

Of course, I wanted to go. I wanted to be the one to catch David in the act. But I was also scared of breaking my own heart.

"Yes. Your entire marriage rests on this evening, darling," she said. "I know that it's going to be difficult, but at the end of the day, at least you'll know what your next move will be."

"I suppose," I said.

A woman holding a phone | Source: Pexels

A woman holding a phone | Source: Pexels

"Don't you think you owe it to the girls?" she asked.

I arranged for a nanny to look after the girls — my mother could have done it, but it was too short notice to fetch her and still get to the restaurant in time.

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I stood in front of my closet, trying to decide what to wear. I was torn between being a wallflower — easy for David to miss me, while I watched from afar.

"Stop it, Nancy," I barked at myself in the mirror. "You're going to be bold."

A rack of clothing | Source: Pexels

A rack of clothing | Source: Pexels

I slipped into a stunning red dress that David had bought me for my birthday some time ago. It still fit perfectly. And I remembered the conversation clearly.

"Red has always been your color," David said, removing the dress from the box.

A woman in a red dress | Source: Pexels

A woman in a red dress | Source: Pexels

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I looked in the mirror — I was bold, striking — a symbol of the confrontation that was about to come. But although I knew that I looked good, at the heart of it, I was just hurt and betrayed.

I arrived at the restaurant a little early, the hum of anticipation and the clinking of glasses around me.

And there she was, the other woman. She was dressed in red, too — as per David's instructions. She had a carefree smile as she held her phone at different angles, taking photos of herself.

Taking a deep breath, I took the table next to her, ensuring that my back was to the door. I didn't want David to see me first. I needed him to see me at the right moment.

A fancy restaurant | Source: Pexels

A fancy restaurant | Source: Pexels

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The moment my husband walked in, the air shifted. He approached her with a warmth and intimacy that sent a jolt through my heart.

A long time ago, David had looked at me in that way, too.

I took a sip of the wine I had ordered — I needed something to help settle my nerves.

A glass of wine on a table | Source: Pexels

A glass of wine on a table | Source: Pexels

David's eyes were soft as he pulled a chair to sit next to the woman, instead of across from her. It was something he did with me, too. So that he could put his hand on my knee. He handed her a large bouquet of flowers and a white box.

"Isabelle," he said, leaning in for a kiss that lingered too long for my comfort. "You look stunning as always, darling."

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Her laughter was light, and as carefree as her selfie session from before.

"David, you always know how to make a girl feel special. Seven years already? Can you believe it?"

A bouquet of white tulips and a giftbox | Source: Pexels

A bouquet of white tulips and a giftbox | Source: Pexels

In that moment, his eyes met mine, the warmth in his smile froze, replaced by a dawning realization and fear.

Without a word, he rose from his seat, mumbling an excuse to use the restroom to Isabelle.

"Don't you dare, David!" I exclaimed.

He stopped, a look of panic crossing his face. Isabelle, now a confused and flustered mess, watched the scene unfold.

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David, caught between his wife and his secret lover, stood rooted to the spot. I could see the wheels turning in his head, calculating his next move.

A shocked man | Source: Pexels

A shocked man | Source: Pexels

Turning to Isabelle, I introduced myself with a calmness I didn't quite feel.

"I'm Nancy," I said. "David's wife of almost eighteen years."

"What?" Isabelle remarked, her face turning pale. "I had no idea! David told me that you were separated, but still on good terms because of your children."

Isabelle's fingers nervously twisted a lock of her hair. It was clear that she was as much a victim of David's lies as I was.

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A person twirling a lock of hair | Source: Pexels

A person twirling a lock of hair | Source: Pexels

My husband's eyes begged for forgiveness — or for the earth to open up and swallow him whole. He opened his mouth, but no words came out. The silence was deafening.

"Separated? How original, David."

Looking directly at Isabelle, I saw the tears well in her eyes.

"I'm so sorry," she said. "I never wanted to be a part of something like this."

"I never meant for it to go this far," David said.

A crying woman | Source: Pexels

A crying woman | Source: Pexels

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I couldn't tell which one of us he was talking to.

Isabelle sniffed into her napkin. I could see that she was visibly shaken.

But seven years? They had been together for seven years, and not once did she ask to meet my daughters? Or even meet me?

Did she not think that they were getting serious? Or that there was more to their relationship than just dating?

It didn't make sense to me. None of it did. David and I got married when we were very young — almost straight out of high school. Despite the usual bickering that married couples went through, we were good. We were strong.

A couple sitting together | Source: Pexels

A couple sitting together | Source: Pexels

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Until I found that note.

I thought about all the times that we had argued — sure, it was uncomfortable at the time, but we went through everything together and always came out better. I thought about all of David's late nights, and the business trips.

I remembered the one evening, as I sat in bed eating a bowl of ice cream, David packed his things into a suitcase.

"I'll just be away for the weekend," he said.

"Where are you staying?" I asked.

An open suitcase | Source: Pexels

An open suitcase | Source: Pexels

"At a hotel," he answered immediately. "But I'm not going to be alone. One of the guys will be sharing a room with me."

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I nodded. I trusted him; he had never given me any reason not to.

Now, I sat back in my chair, and watched as David fought himself not to reach out and comfort Isabelle. He had a pained look on his face, with his fists clenched tightly.

That hurt me the most. The fact that my husband cared enough for this woman, wanting to reach out to her — in my presence.

A clenched first | Source: Unsplash

A clenched first | Source: Unsplash

I didn't feel that our marriage was over. But that was the moment that my heart broke completely.

"I'll begin the divorce process," I told David, picking up my handbag.

"You need to explain this to the girls; I'm not going to."

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As I left, the restaurant faded into a blur. The night air felt colder as I walked to my car. I had faced my betrayal. But I knew that I had a lot to work through.

I just needed to be strong for my girls. I knew that the divorce would wreck them, and our family. But David had forced my hand.

A woman in red lying on a low bed | Source: Pexels

A woman in red lying on a low bed | Source: Pexels

What would you have done?

Here's another story for you | I witnessed my boss cheat on his wife at work with a coworker. But then a miraculous transformation sparked by a wish took him on a journey of personal growth, leading to systemic change, and marking a pivotal shift towards inclusivity and equality within our corporate world.

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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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