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Man and woman sitting in a sofa | Source: Getty Images
Man and woman sitting in a sofa | Source: Getty Images

I Was Shocked When I Discovered Why My Husband Stopped Inviting Me to Dinners With His Friends – Story of the Day

Roshanak Hannani
Jun 06, 2024
07:26 A.M.

I never suspected my husband was keeping secrets from me until he stopped inviting me to dinners with his friends. It wasn't just the exclusion that stung, it was the nagging feeling that something else was going on.

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The past few months have been... strange. My husband Jack's been acting different, distant. It's like there's this invisible wall between us, especially when it comes to his weekly dinners with his friends.

"It's just a guys' night," he always says, dismissing my questions about why I can't go anymore.

It used to be something we did together, a chance to catch up with everyone and have a few laughs. Now, it was like a secret club I was not allowed to join.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

Last night, as he was getting ready to go again, I tried to ask about it. "Are you absolutely sure the other wives aren't joining, Jack? It's been ages since we've all been together."

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He hesitated, looking away for a second. "Honestly, Mandy, it's just been... complicated lately."

My heart dropped. "Complicated? How?"

He sighed, avoiding my eyes. "Just let it go, please," he said and moved toward the door. My shoulders slumped, and I remained quiet, watching him leave.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

The next day, at the grocery store, I bumped into our friend, Terri, in the frozen food aisle. I put on my best smile and tried to act casual.

"Hey, Terri! How have you been? I was just thinking about how much I miss our dinner parties."

She smiled and her expression softened. "Oh, honey, we miss you too! But Jack told us about the IVF, and how it's affecting you. We didn't want to pressure you to come if you weren't feeling up to it."

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I took a step back. What? Jack told them we were getting IVF? We had never even discussed having kids!

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

I didn't know what to say to Terri, so I let her ramble on before she had to continue running her errands. But now, I knew for sure that Jack was hiding something.

Why else would he lie? Why else would he exclude me?

A sickening feeling in my gut told me this was just the beginning of what I was about to discover. But I had to get to the truth.

***

The restaurant was buzzing with the hum of conversation and the clink of glasses. It was one of those fancy places Jack and I used to frequent with his friends, back when I was still invited.

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For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

Tonight, I was going in alone, and they were not expecting me.

I spotted the group immediately. Jack was laughing with the same familiar faces around a large corner table. And there she was, the woman I never thought I'd see again.

The woman whose name sent a chill down my spine: Sasha. Jack's ex-girlfriend.

She was sitting right next to him, her hand resting on his arm a little too intimately. I took a deep breath and walked towards them, determined.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

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Derrick, one of Jack's buddies, spotted me first. His eyes widened in surprise, then a broad smile spread across his face. "Mandy! What are you doing here?" he exclaimed, waving me over.

Everyone turned to look. Some were surprised, but most of them grinned widely, except Jack. His smile vanished, replaced by a look of pure panic.

"Mandy, we weren't expecting you!" Liz, Derrick's wife, said, standing up to hug me.

"It's been a while," I managed, my eyes locked on Sasha, who was watching me with a smirk.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

I slid into the empty seat on Jack's other side and tried to ignore the loud pounding of my heart in my ears. An awkward silence fell over the table as others noticed the slight tension.

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I could feel Sasha's eyes on me, and her smirk never wavered.

"So, Sasha," I started, forcing a casual tone, "what a surprise to see you here."

"Oh, didn't Jack tell you?" she replied with fake sweetness. "Barry and I got married last month. Everyone was there, except you, of course."

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

I turned to Jack, wetting my dry lips. "Is that right, Jack?" I challenged. "You forgot to mention that your ex-girlfriend is now married to one of your best friends?"

Jack shifted uncomfortably in his seat, avoiding my gaze. "It just happened so fast, Mandy," he mumbled, "We didn't want to make a big deal out of it."

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"Didn't want to make a big deal out of it, or didn't want me to know about it?" I asked.

Jack's face paled. "Mandy, come on, it's not like that," he pleaded.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

"Then what is it like, Jack?" I insisted, getting snarky. "Because from where I'm sitting, it looks a lot like you've been hiding something from me."

Everyone stared and didn't dare speak a word. Their eyes darted between Jack and me. I knew I was making a scene, but I didn't care.

"I think you owe me an explanation, Jack," I continued, slamming the table. "And I want the truth."

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

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Jack opened his mouth, then closed it again, his eyes moving around the table as if searching for an escape route. But he was trapped. Finally, he sighed and looked at me, his shoulders slumping.

"You're right, Mandy. I haven't been honest with you," he admitted, looking down. He paused to gather his thoughts.

"I've been seeing Sasha. Not... not like that," he added quickly, seeing the hurt flash in my eyes. "But we've been talking, spending time together."

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

"Why?" I wondered, breathless.

"Because she's been going through a tough time with Barry," Jack explained. "And... and I felt bad for her. I wanted to help."

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"By lying to me? By excluding me from your life?"

"I know, I know. It was wrong. I shouldn't have lied to you. But I was afraid of how you'd react. I didn't want to hurt you," he pleaded.

Jack reached out to take my hand, but I pulled away. "I need some time to think," I said, standing up. "I can't even believe you!"

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

I walked away, but not before hearing Barry's confused, "A tough time? What is he talking about, Sasha?"

***

The house felt cold and empty when I got home last night. I paced the living room, my mind a mess of anger, hurt, and confusion.

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Jack came home later, and his expression showed shame. He tried to talk, to explain, but I shut him out. I just wanted to check that he actually came in, not stayed with his friends… stayed with her.

After, I retreated to the bedroom, slamming the door behind me.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

This morning, the smell of coffee woke me up. Jack sat on the edge of the bed with a mug in his hand. He looked exhausted, and his eyes were full of regret.

"I'm so sorry, Mandy," he whispered. "I never meant to hurt you."

His words felt sincere, but the pain of his lies and the exclusion still lingered. A small part of me, though, wanted to forgive him and move on. But I had to know why all the secrecy.

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I asked what happened and told him that we couldn't go forward unless we cleared the air, and he nodded, beginning his tale.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

"It's more complicated than I said last night," he started. "I just didn't want Barry to find out, either."

"Okay," I nodded. "Go on."

Jack's first secret to me was Sasha dating Barry. He didn't want me to worry, so he kept us separated and didn't tell me about their relationship.

It was going fine until their wedding. During the reception, Sasha kissed him and took a picture when he got drunk and passed out on a chair.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Midjourney

For illustration purposes only | Source: Midjourney

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She had been blackmailing him since then.

Her demands were to not bring me to their gatherings, hang out with her, become her confidant, and make her feel like the most important person in the room.

So, he told everyone else the IVF excuse and tried to make her happy.

It was the hardest talk we'd ever had. Jack sobbed from the guilt and begged me for another chance. He promised to do whatever I wanted, to go to couples therapy, and even to cut off his friend group.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash

For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash

Giving him another chance wasn't an easy decision. He wasn't the only one who betrayed and lied to me. His friends did, too. At the end of the day, they knew Sasha was an ex-girlfriend and must have seen their closeness.

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Didn't they wonder what was happening and why?

The only innocent party seemed to be me and poor Barry.

So, I agreed to couple's therapy and told Jack it was best to take a step back from his group to focus on us.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

It was lonely, as we were always social people, but it gave us the space we needed to heal. Slowly, our trust began to grow again.

Sasha started calling often, but Jack always showed his phone and never answered. Her messages became deranged, but they proved what he had told me.

She was still trying to blackmail him with that kiss and even sent me the photo after all her reaching-out attempts were ignored.

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By then, I was tired of her antics, so I simply sent the photo to Barry along with a voice note, explaining everything.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

Jack thanked me for that because he couldn't bear to hurt his friend.

Barry must have told the group because they all sent apologies and promised to do better.

We still needed time away from them, but it was nice to know they weren't evil people. They cared for us, even if they acted a little stupidly about this woman.

Only a few weeks had passed since the day I discovered Jack's secret, but I felt confident that we would be able to rebuild our lives.

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For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

A month later, we reconnected with our friends at Terri's home. It felt good to laugh with them and be part of the group again. They apologized to both of us for not realizing something was wrong.

While everyone was distracted around the fire pit in Terri's backyard, Liz leaned close to my ear. "I'm so glad you guys are back," she whispered. "And I have some tea about Sasha."

After getting the photo and the voice note, Barry divorced and took her to the cleaners. He was insanely wealthy, which I suspect was one of the reasons why she married him.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

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However, their prenup was fair and stated that she would get a ton of money in the event of a divorce… except if there was proof of infidelity.

Sasha had, apparently left town, humiliated, especially because she never managed to separate Jack and me. I admit that I giggled at the "tea."

But I didn't want to hear another word about that woman in my entire life.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Midjourney

For illustration purposes only | Source: Midjourney

Jack and I are still working on our marriage, but it's stronger than ever. And perhaps, the IVF idea will soon turn from an excuse to a reality.

Tell us what you think about this story, and share it with your friends. It might inspire them and brighten their day.

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If you enjoyed this story, here's another one: Cheaters Marianne and Daniel have been going to great lengths to conceal their illicit affair from Elise, Marianne's best friend and Daniel's wife. But when Elise uncovers their treachery, her retribution is swift and final.

This piece is inspired by stories from the everyday lives of our readers and written by a professional writer. Any resemblance to actual names or locations is purely coincidental. All images are for illustration purposes only. Share your story with us; maybe it will change someone’s life. If you would like to share your story, please send it to info@amomama.com.

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