No one wants to get cheated on. Is there a right way to handle it? When a husband and father of three discovered his wife's infidelity he made sure he handled it carefully and precisely. The situation called for revenge, which is a dish best served by a deputy with divorce papers.
It is a sad reality that people get cheated on. Especially when they’ve established a family and a life together. There are always more people affected than just one. Honesty is always the best policy, but some people think they can get away with anything without consequences. Finding out your partner has been unfaithful can be devastating and life-altering and the end results are often not great. However, “Jeff” was not going to let it affect his life like that. In fact, he decided some revenge was necessary. Sit back and relax because this one is a doozy! Don’t worry it is so worth it in the end.
Our story begins with Jeff and his wife “Keri.” They were married in their early twenties while he was a teacher and she was a nurse. Once they had their first child “Keri became a stay-at-home mom.” Since she was no longer working, Jeff had to work extra to make ends meet. It took several years and a couple more kids until they were more secure and Jeff could take “advantage of a program to earn an administrative credential.” Finally, he was able to move up! And now that all three kids were pre-school aged and above, “Keri decided she wanted to go back to work.”
It was hard for her, no doubt. Even though as a nurse, there were positions readily available, she hadn’t been working for a while and needing to start all over again at the bottom of the food chain. Keri was informed that without a “BSN she wasn’t going to move up” as “at the time she only had the two-year ADN.” Jeff wanted to be supportive and help her reach her goals like he was trying to do. He made sure that the kids were taken care of through, “preschool, after school care, and his retired mother.”
Another few years passed and finally, Keri had her BSN and “was promoted to a better position at the hospital.” These were the good days. Jeff and his family were secure enough in their finances to move to a new house and “buy new cars, etc.” The family was able to travel and enjoy their hard work. However, there was something suspicious a couple of years later when Keri started “carrying two phones with her.”
Keri assured Jeff that the phone was a work phone associated with the hospital. That seems fair, maybe an on-call phone of sorts? Maybe they had finally gotten away from using pagers! Jeff didn’t suspect anything right away. He himself had been offered a work phone at his job but had opted for the “phone stipend” instead. “Months went by and Jeff thought they were a happy perfect family.”
Keri always charged her phones in the “guest room that doubles as a computer room.” However, she “had a habit of always turning her phones face down when charging them.” Naturally, when she received a notification on the work phone while Jeff was in the room, he couldn’t help but take a peek. If it was work and she was a nurse this could be important right? Little did Jeff know this small action would change his life forever. The notification was a text from “Perry” and was “asking when she’d like to be orally pleased again, but in much more graphic language.”
Jeff was speechless. This was obvious proof of infidelity. “Was Keri having an affair?” After this revelation, everything started making sense to Jeff. After being married for fourteen years and having a family together, how could she do this to him? They had worked their butts off to get where they were and now everything must be fake and wrong. Jeff had wondered why she would always leave for phone calls claiming “it would violate HIPAA if he overheard her talking about a patient.” This seemed fair and plausible as he had “similar privacy laws” in his education profession. Although this excuse to be on her phone privately was a good one and made a good amount of sense, there were other things that were more suspicious. Keri would “sometimes come home with the faint smell of cologne on her clothes and claimed it was from moving male patients.” But what seemed even more off was that it was always the same smell. Jeff hadn’t looked into these occurrences any further and believed her excuses. But it was all making perfect sense now. Their intimacy had declined significantly. And Keri was always “leaving the house at odd hours to fill in for other nurses who called in sick.” And of course, it just seemed to get worse from there as everything fell into place
Not Good News
It took Jeff about a week to process the onslaught of information and things he had missed. Perry turned out to be a doctor at the hospital where Keri worked, and Jeff needed any and all confirmation of Keri’s deceit he could find. Jeff found a reason to visit the hospital even though Keri had told him “personal visits were frowned upon.” One of their children had “left a book in Keri’s car” so it was an easy plan. While the child got the keys from Keri, Jeff had a gut-wrenching conversation with another nurse working. Jeff “joked about how work phones seem like a blessing but all they do is put you on call 24 hours a day.” But the nurse informed Jeff “the hospital was too cheap to give cell phones to nurses so only high-level executives got them.” Jeff knew that Keri was not in the category of high executives.
She had lied. Big time. Her phone was a personal phone used to cheat on her husband with a doctor that she worked with. She hid all of this from Jeff. How long had this been going on? How could she have done this to him? After more than a decade of marriage and three kids shouldn’t she have more decency?
Jeff knew what he needed to do now that he had pretty much all the information he needed. Jeff “took some personal time off the next day to talk to a divorce lawyer.” Unfortunately, Jeff was not given good news and it was terribly disheartening. They lived in a “community property state with no-fault divorce.” Along with other factors such as Jeff’s higher income than his wife and since she had “been the primary caretaker of the kids” and the length of their marriage, Jeff was stuck. If he went forward right then with the divorce he would “lose the house, pay alimony” while she’d “get a huge chunk of his retirement, and he’d pay child support” depending on if he could get joint custody. And the lawyer told him “that it didn’t matter that she cheated.” It was all too much. She would get everything even though she was the one causing this mess. Jeff did the only thing he could think of, he confided in someone he trusted. Her name was “Anne” and she worked in education with Jeff. She had gone through her own marriage scandal when her now ex-husband “got some other woman pregnant.” Since she had gone through something fairly similar, Anne became Jeff’s confidant. It didn’t take very long for Anne to cause Jeff to realize that he had more power in his situation than he realized.
The Charade Begins
Anne spoke to Jeff about his situation candidly and said something that “changed his whole mindset.” Anne said, “If you don’t like the hand you’re dealt, change the deck.”
Jeff then saw his plan before him. It was clear now. He thought back to what the lawyer had said and saw his dilemma. Jeff “made more money than Keri and she had more time than him to be the primary caretaker of the kids.” These were the problems he had to fix.
That’s when it started. He saw an opportunity at work that was “one of those dead-end regulatory positions,” but it was perfect for his plan of revenge. Jeff “asked about being transferred to that position,” even though it was surprising he would want the job. He had convinced the higher-up administrator and he got the position. The job allowed Jeff to “set his own schedule, even take a laptop home and work there.” Now Jeff was able to spend more time with the kids! Jeff was “taking the kids to school, picking them up from school, and taking them home.” No need for preschool and aftercare or even for his mom to watch them anymore. Jeff could have a “more active role in their day-to-day lives” and he was soaking up every moment and loving it. Jeff was able to “help them with their homework, make dinner, etc.” But this wasn’t just about quality time with the three children. This was about proving he could be and was their primary caregiver.
However amazing this was for Jeff, there was still one more issue to address. Money. Specifically the difference between his and Keri’s incomes. Jeff brainstormed and “remembered Keri being mad after she’d earned her BSN and a supervisor told her in the future, bachelor degrees will be worthless and everyone will need at least a master’s degree.” This fit so well into the grand scheme and Jeff sent it into action. Jeff was able to “talk Keri into starting an MSN program,” and encouraged her by telling her, “You could have every evening free to study or go to class, whatever you want to do.”
Along with volunteering to increase his caregiving role and responsibilities, Keri was convinced. It was hard for Jeff. He “saw her eyes immediately light up,” and knew she must be thinking about all the time she would have for her sordid affair with Perry. Jeff was diligent though and ensured his plan was working smoothly. He “paid her tuition and fees directly to her university,” to make it easy for Keri and it took her just over three years to finish the program. Once she did Keri “was promoted at her hospital.”
During these few but painstakingly long years, Jeff “could tell every time she was rushing off or coming back from seeing Perry.” He saw “an excitement or sense of satisfaction” within her. Jeff was forced to “smile or pretend he didn’t notice.” And he came close to exposing that he knew all about what she was up to. He must have been at his boiling point and thus explains the change in Anne and his relationship.
Keri Shows Her True Colors
Jeff was instrumental in getting Anne promoted and she did a splendid job in his former position. All the while Jeff vented to her about his circumstances and his plan. Understandably, they began their own, albeit problematic, affair. “It wasn’t some hot-blooded, passionate romance, but two friends giving each other what they need.” Jeff knew that Anne was vital in holding him together while he slowly, but surely sowed his seed of vengeance. Anne gave Jeff comfort, knowing that even though Keri had been going off behind his back for who knows how long, he was able to continue on. Imagine watching your marriage detiorate, while your wife is happy with another man. Jeff needed someone to fill the void, someone to make it all a little bit more bareable.
Keri was now the “breadwinner for the family” and joked that Jeff “should be a stay-at-home dad now.” Well, that fit perfectly and everything aligned according to Jeff’s plan. Finally, Jeff went to that same lawyer he had been to years before. He explained the new situation, the change in income and his caretaking of the kids. Jeff had completely changed the cards in his favor. The lawyer “drafted the petition and filed it.” That was that, right? Hooray! Nope. Keri had to be served. When the deputy “handed her a copy of the divorce petition,” Jeff divulged his knowledge of her actions, just not the amount of time he had known. Keri “screamed” and Jeff, “tried to lie and then made the mistake of rushing towards” him. But it was over, he knew everything and was not going to budge. It was time for her to face the consequences of her actions.
“The deputy stopped her and warned her that women go to jail for domestic violence, too, now,” and told her she should probably not stay at the house. She did seem a bit on edge. And thank goodness Jeff wouldn’t have to pretend anymore. Or live in the same space as the woman who broke his heart.
Being a responsible and caring father, Jeff said that he wouldn’t tell their children, but they found out anyways through family and friends. They knew why their dad was divorcing their mom. It was a slam dunk for Jeff. Although it didn’t come without some negatives.
They were divorced and Jeff got custody since “he was already their primary caregiver.” However, Jeff did not want any monetary ties to Keri so he “bought out Keri’s half” of the house and “negotiated with her to give up and rights to his retirement.” Keri was “ordered to pay child support” as well. It had finally happened, after a lot of paperwork and negotiations, Jeff “could finally breathe.” He and Anne eventually married and Jeff got his previous job back after she got promoted again.
Keri, Jeff, and their children went to therapy together and made sure to “work out the co-parenting thing.” There is a huge lesson here because Jeff still tried to make everything work, just in the right way for them. Unfortunately, Perry did not stay faithful to Keri as old habits die hard, and “he started seeing another woman, a younger nurse at the hospital.” Although this must have been a tough spot for her Jeff could not find any sympathy for “the woman who’d cheated on him and destroyed their marriage.” This whole ordeal had taken its toll on Jeff including him losing weight, hypertension, severe teeth grinding, and “there were the times when he had to be intimate with Keri to keep up the charade.” Even though it happened few and far between, Jeff made sure to use protection each time and get tested to ensure his health and Anne’s.
No matter how hard it was to overcome this “it was all worth it” to Jeff. Because even though he had to pay Keri out for the house and his retirement (which sounds insane since it was his) he got to “keep his kids, his house, his income, his retirement” and he had a trustworthy partner and became “genuinely happy.”
In the end, Jeff did what he needed to do. His patience was incredible and his perseverance was moving. Let’s all be more like Jeff. Sometimes you just need to change the card that life dealt you.