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A man shocked during a Zoom meeting | Source: Freepik
A man shocked during a Zoom meeting | Source: Freepik

My Husband Forgot to Mute His Mic on Our Work Call — What He Said Cost Him Everything

Ayesha Muhammad
Jun 14, 2024
01:13 P.M.

During a routine work call, my husband's unmuted mic exposed a devastating secret that shattered our marriage and business. Forced to confront his betrayal, I embarked on an unexpected journey of resilience and reinvention, determined to reclaim my future and build a new life from the ruins.

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I never imagined my life would turn into one of those dramatic stories you read online. My name is Leslie, and my husband Jonathan and I have been running a thriving marketing firm for the past five years.

A couple cuddling outdoors | Source: Midjourney

A couple cuddling outdoors | Source: Midjourney

We met in college. Jonathan was a charming business major who always had a clever idea, and I was a determined marketing student with a passion for creativity.

It was a classic case of opposites attracting, and our partnership flourished both personally and professionally. Jonathan and I got married right after graduation. We pooled our resources, took a leap of faith, and started our business from scratch.

A groom putting a wedding ring on his bride's finger | Source: Pexels

A groom putting a wedding ring on his bride's finger | Source: Pexels

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Our company grew faster than we expected, and soon we were managing a team of talented individuals, securing big clients, and making a name for ourselves in the industry. Our marriage was strong, built on mutual respect and love, or so I thought.

A few weeks ago, I had to visit my parents for a couple of days. My mom wasn't feeling well, and I wanted to be there for her. Jonathan and I decided to keep in touch through Google Meet, ensuring that our business didn't miss a beat in my absence.

A woman comforting her ailing mother | Source: Midjourney

A woman comforting her ailing mother | Source: Midjourney

On the day we had the meeting, everything started as usual. We had a significant client presentation coming up, and we needed to finalize our strategy. I logged into the call from my old bedroom at my parents' house, feeling a bit nostalgic as I waited for Jonathan to join.

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"Hey, Leslie!" Jonathan greeted me with his usual enthusiasm. "How's your mom doing?"

"She's getting better, thanks for asking," I replied, smiling at his concern. "Let's dive into the presentation, shall we?"

A close-up of a woman using her laptop while sitting on her bed | Source: Pexels

A close-up of a woman using her laptop while sitting on her bed | Source: Pexels

We discussed the project details, and Jonathan shared his updates. He was always so articulate and confident during these meetings, a trait I admired. As he finished his part, our colleague Sarah began her segment. That was when everything started to unravel.

Suddenly, there was a noise in the background: something like a door creaking open. I furrowed my brow, trying to place the sound. Jonathan's eyes darted off-screen, and his face turned a shade paler.

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A young woman in a black dress standing by the door | Source: Pexels

A young woman in a black dress standing by the door | Source: Pexels

"Don't come in yet! I still have to finish this call," he yelled, but it was too late. A woman's voice, playful and teasing, echoed through the speakers, "Oh, come on, Jonathan! You promised you'd join me soon."

My heart sank. The other team members on the call went silent, their faces etched with confusion and shock. I felt like the ground beneath me was crumbling away.

"Jonathan, what's going on?" I asked, my voice trembling.

Jonathan's face turned a deep red. "I... I'm sorry, Leslie. This isn't what it looks like..."

A man is shocked during a virtual meeting | Source: Midjourney

A man is shocked during a virtual meeting | Source: Midjourney

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"Isn't what it looks like?" I cut him off, my voice rising. "Then what exactly is it, Jonathan?"

He struggled for words, glancing nervously at the screen, then back at the woman who had clearly entered the room.

The atmosphere was thick with tension, and everyone on the call was holding their breath, waiting for an explanation.

"I... I can explain," he stammered. "It's just a misunderstanding. Please, Leslie, let's talk about this after the call."

A close-up of a man having a virtual meeting with his work colleagues | Source: Pexels

A close-up of a man having a virtual meeting with his work colleagues | Source: Pexels

I felt tears welling up in my eyes, but I refused to let them fall. "No, Jonathan. We'll talk about it right now. Who is she?"

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Before he could respond, the woman's voice interrupted again, "Jonathan, are you coming or not?"

Jonathan's eyes widened in panic. He muttered an apology and abruptly ended the call, leaving me and our team staring at the now blank screen.

The silence was deafening. I sat there, stunned, trying to process what had just happened. My colleagues didn't know where to look or what to say.

A woman is taken aback after seeing something devastating on her laptop screen | Source: Midjourney

A woman is taken aback after seeing something devastating on her laptop screen | Source: Midjourney

The reality of Jonathan's betrayal hit me like a time bomb, and I felt the weight of it pressing down on my chest.

"Leslie, are you okay?" Sarah's voice finally broke the silence, her tone filled with concern.

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"I... I don't know," I replied, my voice barely above a whisper. "I need to... I need to figure this out."

I ended the call, my hands shaking. My mind was a whirlwind of emotions: anger, hurt, confusion. How could he do this to me? To us? Our business, our marriage... everything felt like it was falling apart.

A woman going through a surge of emotions after seeing something shocking | Source: Midjourney

A woman going through a surge of emotions after seeing something shocking | Source: Midjourney

I took a deep breath, trying to steady myself. There were so many questions racing through my mind, but one thing was clear: I needed to confront Jonathan and find out the truth.

I woke up the next day with a heavy heart and puffy eyes from crying all night. The events of the previous day played on repeat in my mind. I still couldn't believe Jonathan had betrayed me like that, and on a work call, no less. It felt like my world was crumbling, but I knew I had to face the reality of the situation.

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A sad woman sitting alone in her room | Source: Midjourney

A sad woman sitting alone in her room | Source: Midjourney

Meanwhile, Jonathan was busy trying to cover his tracks. He went to our office and, in a desperate attempt to save face, decided to file paperwork to fire me from our own company.

I heard later from our assistant, Kelly, that he stormed into the office first thing in the morning, his face set in a determined scowl.

"Kelly, I need you to prepare the paperwork to terminate Leslie," he said curtly, handing her a stack of documents.

Two work colleagues discussing a serious matter in the office | Source: Freepik

Two work colleagues discussing a serious matter in the office | Source: Freepik

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Kelly, who had been with us since the beginning and knew both of us well, looked at him in disbelief. "Jonathan, you can't be serious. This is Leslie we're talking about."

"I'm very serious, Kelly," he snapped. "And I need it done now."

Kelly shook her head, crossing her arms defiantly. "No, I won't do it. You can't just fire her. She's your wife and co-founder of this company."

Jonathan's face turned an even deeper shade of red. "If you don't do it, I'll fire you too. Do you understand?"

A woman looking determined | Source: Pexels

A woman looking determined | Source: Pexels

Kelly didn't back down. "Do whatever you have to, but I'm not going to be a part of this. This is wrong, Jonathan."

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Defeated, Jonathan left her office, muttering under his breath. He spent the rest of the day trying to figure out how to handle the fallout, but the damage was already done.

I stayed at my parents' house, too upset and embarrassed to show my face at the office. I felt lost and alone, unsure of what to do next. But then, one by one, my colleagues began reaching out to me.

A close-up of a teary-eyed woman talking on a phone | Source: Midjourney

A close-up of a teary-eyed woman talking on a phone | Source: Midjourney

First, it was Sarah, the same Sarah who had witnessed the disastrous call. She called me that evening, her voice filled with concern. "Leslie, I'm so sorry about everything that's happened. We all are. But I want you to know that we're here for you."

"Thank you, Sarah," I said, my voice trembling. "I don't even know what to say."

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"Just know that you're not alone," she replied. "We're all behind you, no matter what happens."

Next was Tom, our head of development. He sent me a heartfelt email, expressing his support and letting me know that he and the rest of the team were on my side.

A man using a laptop | Source: Pexels

A man using a laptop | Source: Pexels

"Leslie, we're all shocked by Jonathan's actions," he wrote. "You've been an incredible leader and friend, and we believe in you. If you decide to leave, we'll follow you to any new venture you start. You have our loyalty."

I read his words through tears, overwhelmed by the outpouring of support.

A woman using her smartphone | Source: Pexels

A woman using her smartphone | Source: Pexels

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It seemed like everyone in the company was reaching out, offering their encouragement and loyalty. It was both heartwarming and heartbreaking.

Finally, I knew I had to make a decision. I couldn't let Jonathan's betrayal define me or my future. So, I called a meeting with the team, asking them to gather at a nearby restaurant.

When I walked in, I saw their faces filled with concern and hope. I took a deep breath, ready to face them.

A group of work colleagues meet in a restaurant | Source: Pexels

A group of work colleagues meet in a restaurant | Source: Pexels

"Hi everyone," I began, trying to keep my voice steady. "I wanted to thank you all for your support. It means the world to me."

"We believe in you, Leslie," Tom said, his voice firm. "Whatever you decide, we're with you."

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I nodded, feeling a surge of determination. "I've decided to leave the company. I can't stay in a place where trust has been broken so completely. But I won't give up on my dreams. I'm going to start a new firm, and I'd be honored if you all would join me."

Two women smiling while looking at a phone screen in a restaurant | Source: Pexels

Two women smiling while looking at a phone screen in a restaurant | Source: Pexels

The room erupted in applause and cheers. My heart swelled with gratitude and hope.

Kelly stepped forward, smiling warmly. "Count me in, Leslie. We've got your back."

One by one, everyone pledged their loyalty, and I knew we were going to build something incredible together. Jonathan's betrayal had cost him everything, but it had also given me the strength to start anew, surrounded by people who truly believed in me.

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I couldn't let things end the way they did. After meeting with my colleagues and feeling their unwavering support, I knew I had to confront Jonathan face-to-face.

A woman driving a car | Source: Pexels

A woman driving a car | Source: Pexels

It was time to get answers and close this painful chapter of my life.

I drove back to our house, the place that now felt more like a battleground than a home. When I walked through the door, I found Jonathan pacing in the living room, his face a mask of anxiety.

"Leslie," he started as soon as he saw me. "I can explain..."

I cut him off, my voice shaking with anger. "Explain? You humiliated me in front of our entire team! Who is she, Jonathan?"

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A couple arguing | Source: Freepik

A couple arguing | Source: Freepik

He ran a hand through his hair, looking more desperate than I'd ever seen him. "Her name is Emily. She's... she's someone I met a few months ago."

My heart felt like it was shattering into pieces. "Why, Jonathan? Why would you do this to us? To me?"

He sighed heavily, sinking into the couch. "I didn't plan for this to happen. It just did. We've been so focused on the business, Leslie. It feels like we lost each other along the way."

I couldn't believe what I was hearing. "So, your solution was to cheat on me? To betray everything we've built together?"

A reflection of a couple kissing in a car's side mirror | Source: Pexels

A reflection of a couple kissing in a car's side mirror | Source: Pexels

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He looked up at me, his eyes filled with regret. "I know it was a mistake, but I felt like you were more my business partner than my wife. Emily... she made me feel alive again, like I wasn't just living to work."

I shook my head, tears streaming down my face. "You could have talked to me, Jonathan. We could have worked through this together."

A woman crying | Source: Midjourney

A woman crying | Source: Midjourney

"I tried," he insisted. "But every time I brought it up, you brushed it off. We were always so busy with the next project, the next deadline."

I stood there, feeling a mixture of sadness and anger. "So, what now? You think you can just fire me and erase me from our company?"

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Jonathan looked down, guilt evident on his face. "I panicked. I thought if I removed you from the business, it would be easier to... to move on."

I couldn't believe my ears. "You wanted to fire me from the company I helped build because of your affair?"

A man looks at his crying wife during an argument | Source: Freepik

A man looks at his crying wife during an argument | Source: Freepik

He stood up, trying to reach out to me, but I stepped back. "Leslie, please. I know I messed up, but I thought it would be less painful for both of us if you weren't there every day, reminding me of my mistake."

"Your mistake?" I shouted, my voice echoing through the house. "Your mistake cost us everything, Jonathan. Not just our marriage but the trust of our team, our future."

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He slumped back, defeated. "I'm sorry, Leslie. I really am. But I thought it was the only way."

A distraught man sitting alone with a glass of drink next to him | Source: Midjourney

A distraught man sitting alone with a glass of drink next to him | Source: Midjourney

I took a deep breath, trying to steady myself. "You know what, Jonathan? Maybe you're right. I paused, gathering my thoughts before continuing. "I've decided to leave the business and start one of my own. I deserve better than this, and I'm ready to claim it."

Jonathan looked stunned. "You're leaving? Just like that?"

I nodded firmly. "Yes, Jonathan. I'm leaving. I'm not going to let your actions define my future. I'm starting fresh, and I'm ready to let bygones be bygones and start a brand new chapter."

A happy woman in nature | Source: Midjourney

A happy woman in nature | Source: Midjourney

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With that, I turned and walked away, the weight of the past lifting from my shoulders. I was ready to face whatever challenges lay ahead, surrounded by people who truly believed in me. It was time to build something new, something better, and to reclaim my happiness.

What would you have done in my place? Here's another story that might interest you:

When I returned from a grueling business trip, I expected my husband, David, to meet me at the airport. Instead, he chose to help a friend's wife. Furious and hurt, I hatched a plan to teach him a lesson about priorities, not knowing it would transform our relationship forever.

Sarah at the airport, feeling a rush of anger after David's text | Source: Midjourney

Sarah at the airport, feeling a rush of anger after David's text | Source: Midjourney

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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