Seeing her place in her husband’s life, the woman didn’t grovel. She began the divorce process, a long and grueling ordeal that threatened to take the little sanity she still had left.
She hoped she’d come out of the other side with something substantial, but the reality would leave her in tears. Among the things that her husband had taken was their ten-year multi-million dollar home, a place that meant everything to her. But that wasn’t the worst thing to happen.
They’d been married for ten years, with the woman giving everything she had to their marriage. She’d loved her husband dearly once, going out of her way to save their relationship.
But when it became clear that she was fighting a losing war, she threw in the towel. What would come after would show her that her husband was capable of even worse things.
A Brighter Past
But things hadn’t always been so bleak and terrifying for Dolly and her ex-husband Mark. They’d been close once, sharing everything they had, from property to dreams and aspirations.
In their decade-long marriage, Dolly and Mark didn’t have any kids. Neither saw the path of parenthood as fitting for them. They each chose to focus on their career and partner instead. But their marriage wouldn’t last long.
Trouble Comes Knocking
The trouble came in the subtlest of ways. Dolly, who had made a career for herself as one of the best acquisition editors in her town, worked from home while Mark commuted to an office.
Life was perfect between the two, with their love still shining brightly. But one day, Dolly started noticing shifts in her husband’s demeanor and how he carried himself.
A Caring Man
Despite his towering and burly build, Mark had always been a gentle and caring man. He treated his wife like a queen, constantly going out of his way to make her smile.
Even after ten years of marriage, he brought home flowers after a long day at work and sat on the kitchen counter talking to her as she made dinner. All this would soon change.
Mark stopped bringing his wife flowers in the evening. He stopped complimenting her as he’d always done and would barely even look at her.
His presence in the kitchen became a myth, as he was never even home to begin with. He would come to bed in the dead of night and leave early in the morning. Dolly didn’t know what to make of the situation.
A loneliness that she had never known before was encroaching on her life. It was cold and loud, jarring in the worst way possible. She hated it.
Of course, Dolly tried not to take any of it to heart. Mark had just received a long-awaited promotion at work, and she thought the pressure was why he was changing. She would be supportive and loving in such a serious time in his career.
The Best Girl
Dolly went out of her way to be the best partner to her husband. How many times had her career threatened to drown her only for Mark to keep her lucid? She would do the same for him.
She made their favorite foods throughout the week, put on their favorite movies, and even opened an Xbox account so she could play video games with him as he’d always requested. But none of that would change a thing.
It’s Not Working
Although Dolly was doing everything that usually made Mark feel at ease and loved, he didn’t seem to notice her. Worse, he seemed colder.
Regardless, Dolly continued to create a safe space for him. She hoped everything would go back to normal. It didn’t. Mark stopped sharing his time at home with her, choosing to sleep, watch movies alone, or go out. Something was terribly wrong.
Make It Make Sense
Dolly didn’t know what was happening to her husband. She started asking questions, trying her best to unravel the mystery before her.
But each time she’d corner and ask Mark if he was alright, he’d brush off her statements as her being overprotective. Although Dolly didn’t want to admit it, she knew her husband was gone.
The Rift Grows
The rift between the two lovers continued to grow, with Mark acting like he wasn’t married anymore. Was he ready to throw away the ten years he’d spent with Dolly?
Seeing their marriage on the rocks, Dolly turned to the only solution left on the table. She suggested they see a marriage expert for therapy. What was Mark’s response?
A New Lifestyle
Mark didn’t want any of it. To make it worse, he now seemed physically repulsed by Dolly. That’s when he did something she never thought he’d do to her.
Mark began sleeping in the guest room. He was more secretive than ever, leaving for work well before Dolly woke up and returning late at night. But it would only go downhill from there.
An Objective Look
Mark’s new behavior spurred Dolly to analyze everything happening objectively. That’s when she found the heartbreaking tale-tell signs of what Mark was doing.
She first found the classic lipstick marks on Mark’s shirt. It was as if he wanted her to see it, to mock her for all she was doing. Then she found his secret hotel bookings and text messages. Everything suddenly became clear.
Dolly confronted Mark about his activities, laying the evidence before him. She was more saddened by his reaction to her accusations than what she’d found.
Mark only smiled as Dolly expressed her feelings to him. He was calm and collected where he stood, even walking to pour himself a glass of wine as she cried before him. How could he do this to her?
He’s Not Sorry
Mark explained himself, coming clean without any remorse. In his explanation, he told Dolly that he wasn’t sorry for his actions.
What he’d found outside their marriage was more exciting for him, and he wanted to pursue it some more. He asked if she could be okay with his choices. Dolly’s answer left him speechless.
Not A Chance
“No,” Dolly seethed. “Not a chance!” She had to step away from the living room to reign herself in. She couldn’t believe that her husband, whom she loved to the moon and back, could speak carelessly.
Where was the man who swept her off her feet? Where was the person who snared her heart a decade ago, showing her a world she never knew existed? Dolly faced the living room. What she saw answered her question.
A Different Man
Staring straight into her eyes was a different man from who Dolly had married. Yes, he had the same eyes and lips, the same dimple under the sheet of stubble on his left cheek.
But he was different. Whatever he’d done and experienced outside their marriage had changed him. But Dolly was never one to go down without swinging.
Working On It
Dolly played every card she had left to save their marriage. In her books, ten years with someone was nothing to scoff at. She’d given enough to fight for and would give some more to see their marriage saved.
But each step she’d take would seem void as Mark took the opposite step. It seemed he was doing everything in the book to have them separate. He’d do one thing that would make Dolly stop.
She Meets Her
In the days after Mark came clean, Dolly learned the identity of the woman he was seeing. It was his secretary, a lady fresh from a master’s degree with a drive to make a name for herself in her career path.
When Mark saw that Dolly was doing everything to save their marriage, he did the unthinkable. He brought the lady to their house to live with them. But breaking the sanctity of their home wasn’t the only thing he did.
The Divorce Papers
Mark came with the divorce papers firmly clutched in her hands. The terrible end was here. Dolly was still asking the woman to leave her house when she saw him with the papers.
She was done with him, done with trying to make everything work. She was considerate and loving but could also be dangerous when provoked.
Her New Reality
Seeing her place in Mark’s life, Dolly didn’t grovel. She began the divorce process, a long and grueling ordeal that threatened to take the little sliver of sanity she still had left.
She hoped she’d come out of the other side with something substantial, but the reality would leave her in tears she promised herself she’d never shed.
Burn That Bridge, Honey
Dolly was already done with Mark. She wanted to pick her life up and continue on, find better pastures. She hoped to get their house, a place she’d gone to lengths to perfect.
But among the things that Mark had taken was the same ten-year multi-million dollar home, the only thing from their life together that meant everything to Dolly. But that wasn’t the worst thing to happen.
She Wants Her House
Mark’s lover wanted to move into the house Dolly called home. She insisted that Dolly should move out immediately, stating that she couldn’t be under the same roof as her.
Mark didn’t even fight for Dolly’s dignity. He only sat back as the woman laid bare her wants and needs. By the end of her speech, he asked Dolly to be gone in a week.
The Divorce Settlement
Mark and her lover had won over the house in the divorce settlement. As such, they had the final say in anything involving the place.
Mark asked Dolly to pack her belongings and make herself scarce in seven days. He didn’t give her any space to discuss the matter further, saying a week was lenient enough.
A Little Dignity
Broken by the sudden eviction, Dolly did as she was told. She’d tried everything to save her marriage, even overlooking her husband’s mistreatment of her. But now that it had come to this, she would leave with the bit of dignity she had left.
She’d given her all to turn the mass of bricks and wood that her ex-husband was taking away into a warm home. Now he was kicking her out. He’d forgotten one crucial detail about her. If she were going down, she’d do it swinging.
Dolly was by no means poor. She got a place to stay and went to pack her belongings. She got boxes and moving trucks and got to work.
But halfway through the process, Mark’s lover came to gloat in her face. As much as Dolly wanted to throttle her, she only smiled and walked away. Just to get back at the woman for gloating, she decided to do one last thing.
One Last Meal
After packing, Dolly informed the woman that she would have one last dinner before leaving. She asked if that was alright, and after giving it a thought, the woman nodded and left the house.
Alone, Dolly fixed herself one last meal, Italian sauteed shrimp with white wine and caviar. She felt tears bloom in her eyes as she ate, still trying to understand how everything had crumbled so fast. That’s when she had a smile-worthy idea.
Dolly had never been someone to take a punch without swinging back. She went into every room, stuffed caviar-dipped shrimp shells into the curtain rods, cleaned after herself, and left.
Mark and his lover moved in but soon realized a funny smell all over the house that seemed to worsen by the day. Dolly’s plan was working.
Cleaning The House
Mark and his lover spent a lot of money cleaning the house, going as far as buying new furniture with the hopes the smell would go away. But after a month of the same, with the stench now unbearable, the two decided to sell the house.
But no one would go into the building, let alone buy it. Things got so bad that the realtor informed Mark that the house’s value had severely decreased. There was only one thing he could do.
I’ll Take It!
Knowing how much the house meant to Dolly, Mark called her with a proposition. He was selling the house for a tenth of its price. Dolly bought it immediately.
She had Mark and her lover move everything out of her house, bringing in her old stuff. She cleaned the terrible curtain rods that had saved her home, thankful they’d come to her rescue when she needed them the most.
Disclaimer: To protect the privacy of those depicted, some names, locations, and identifying characteristics have been changed and are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblances to actual events, places, or persons, living or dead, are entirely coincidental.