He Missed Her
After five years of service in the war-torn country of Afghanistan, Andrew Hogan was due to return home.
Having been away from his wife for so long had been hard on him. He was eager to get home to her. It was his idea to surprise her.
Nevertheless, when he stepped through the door of his home, he was greeted with a life-changing surprise.
It Was In His Blood
From the time he was a child, Andrew Hogan always wanted to serve his country. As a matter of fact, it was in his blood.
He knew that one day he would follow in the footsteps of his grandfather and father, both of whom served in the military.
The love of his life, Amy, could not be prouder to be a military spouse.
A Supportive Wife
Amy and Andrew had been dating since college. Within a few years, they were married and had two children. As Andrew constantly talked about joining the marines, Amy knew he had dreams of joining the service.
Even though Amy supported him, she understood the difficulties military wives face. Nevertheless, she supported Andrew.
Within a short period of time, it would begin to negatively affect her.
The strain of Andrew’s deployment soon began to bear down on Amy. Despite becoming friends with other army wives, she still felt alone.
Loneliness surrounded her. Raising two children on her own was difficult for her without her husband.
As a mother, Amy was frustrated because she had to drive her children to and from school every day and prepare meals and clean the house.
When Andrew finally returned home, he observed that Amy didn’t seem to be herself. It was evident that she was tired and stressed.
It was time to relieve some of the stress. As they both needed a break, Andrew came up with a plan to help his wife get back to her former self.
It was clear what he had to do.
Everything Was Perfect
His secret plan was to arrange for her to spend the weekend at a spa. This will surely alleviate all her worries and stress.
As the day of the getaway approached, everything had been arranged. As he served her breakfast in bed, he strategically placed the gift card on the tray.
The response Andrew received from his wife was unexpected, however.
An Unexpected Response
Andrew could not believe what he had just seen. In spite of his gesture, Amy wasn’t impressed. In response, she stared at him and asked him if he was serious.
Despite the fact that he didn’t expect her to reject it, he just wanted to surprise her with something nice. A clear understanding of what went wrong was necessary.
However, Amy was about to give him a piece of her mind.
Amy told him that she did not need to be away from the house. She wanted to be here with him and their kids.
He had just returned, and the point was to spend as much time with him as possible. She couldn’t take this anymore.
How could Andrew be so inconsiderate and expect her to just fall in with all his plans?
Despite understanding Amy’s point of view, Andrew wanted to make things easier for her. Is it possible that she needed some time away from their children?
His first impression of her on his return was that she looked strained, but he thought it was just because she was worried about him.
It wasn’t obvious to Andrew that he had bigger problems to deal with.
It wasn’t long before Andrew was called back for a second deployment. There was no doubt Amy was unhappy with the news, and she seemed especially irritated with it.
It was obvious to her that he wanted to do this. Their marriage started off with her being supportive, but she hasn’t been as supportive since then.
As soon as Andrew realized there was something wrong, he knew he had to investigate.
Time For Herself
While Andrew was away again, Amy decided to use the time to reinvent her life. It was time to live her life, and she wasn’t going to wait on Andrew anymore.
She was tired of living as a single parent looking after two kids all by herself. It was taking a toll on her.
Amy decided to do something drastic.
Little To No Contact
As the months went by, Andrew and Amy would talk on Skype so that their kids could see their dad, but Andrew could see a change in Amy.
She had become distant and sometimes would just let the kids talk to him while she was busy with something else in the background.
Andrew was getting worried.
The next time Andrew made a Skype call, Amy wasn’t even home. Her parents were babysitting the kids. This wasn’t unusual, but Andrew was still concerned.
Andrew asked his in-laws where Amy was as he was looking forward to seeing her.
They said she had gone out with some friends for the evening. It was a sign of things to come.
Andrew had grown distracted and couldn’t focus on what he had to do. He received a few complaints and had to be disciplined.
He wasn’t sure what his wife was up to, but it was driving him wild. It was affecting his duties, and everyone else around him had noticed.
Andrew was at risk of losing it all.
In the meantime, while Andrew was suffering, Amy was living her best life. Her diary was full of plans she and her friends had made, including a weekend away in Miami.
Everyone around her had noticed how bubbly and upbeat she had appeared in the past few weeks.
One friend, in particular, decided that Amy was acting recklessly, and he needed to let his best friend, Andrew, know what was going on.
A Friend Indeed
Andrew and Greg had known each other since college and had been best friends ever since. They met each other around the same time that Andrew and Amy met.
They had all been part of the same friend circle. Greg was Andrew’s best man at his wedding, and of course, Andrew was his when he finally got married.
Andrew could always count on Greg for anything.
It had been a few months since the friends had spoken to each other. Andrew was deployed, and Greg knew his calls were saved only for his wife, kids, and his parents.
But this time, Greg decided to call his friend. He felt it was important.
When Andrew heard his voice on the phone, he thought Greg had bad news, but instead, it was news he had already expected.
Greg told him that Amy had been acting strangely for the past few months. She didn’t even remember that it was his birthday and didn’t even come to his party.
This was definitely out of the ordinary. Greg was a good friend of both of them. Something was going on with his wife.
He just had no idea how bad it had gotten. He needed a way to make sure.
Shook Him To The Core
Andrew knew that he had somehow lost his wife. She was a law unto herself. Greg said she had new friends now, and that wasn’t even the most shocking part. New friends that he didn’t even know about?
Why wouldn’t his wife have told him about this? But what Greg told him next really shook the veteran to his core.
He was about to learn a hard truth that, although he suspected, he didn’t want to have to believe. Andrew learned that Amy constantly left their kids with either her parents or his and went away for days or weeks on end.
She was partying all the time. He was upset over the fact that she would go out and leave her children.
She’d never been one to party. In fact, he’d been the wild one back in college. Andrew knew this wouldn’t end well for him.
Lost In Love’s Abyss
Andrew’s stress grew as the days went on. He’d been involved with a few women in his life, experiencing everything life had to offer.
But with his Amy, he’d always felt complete. He saw in her his reason to live.
She was his everything, which was even more interesting when you consider all she’d given him.
The Fragile Foundations of Manhood
From the kids they had together to the home they’d built, Amy made Andrew feel like a real man. How often had he kissed his wedding ring while on the field, surrounded by insurgents on every corner?
How many times had he asked God to guide him through the battlefield because he wanted to return to his love unscathed? And how many times had he slogged through pain and agony because of her and their kids?
So why would she do this to him?
Heartstrings Across the Distance
Andrew tried to understand things from his wife’s perspective. He counted the months he’d been away and considered how he’d have felt if he was alone with the burden of worrying while taking care of the kids simultaneously.
He felt his heart flop, thinking about what he must have put his wife through.
For the first time since his deployment, he had a crucial question pop into his head.
War on the Home Front
The question was simple. Did Amy have it harder than Andrew even though her life wasn’t in constant danger and the horrors of war weren’t embedded into her mind?
Although she was home safe, her mind wasn’t exempted from worry and survivor’s guilt.
Add these to the pressure of raising two kids alone, and you could break a sane mind.
Rationalizing the Unknown
So Andrew decided to cut his wife some slack. A night out or two never hurt anyone. But what about the kids? Well, each time Amy was going out, she’d leave them in safe hands.
She’d ensure they were well-fed and warm before going out. But these were rationalizations that the marine was putting into his own head.
He had no idea just how bad the situation was.
Descending into Darkness
The next time he talked to his best friend, he got the same news; only dialed to a hundred. It turns out Amy’s behavior had worsened, and she was now going out more frequently than before.
But more than that, she was neglecting the kids more. She’d dump them with their grandparents and go galavanting around town looking for a good time.
But this wasn’t her rock bottom. Not yet.
The Strains of Service
If Andrew had decided to be understanding before, now he couldn’t help but worry.
Things got so bad that his superiors had to send him to the doctor for a mental checkup because he was putting his team in danger by not paying attention.
Of course, he’d talked to Amy about what was happening. But true to Greg’s word, Amy had become withdrawn and uncaring. But that wasn’t the worst part.
A Video Call’s Silent Scream
Amy had not only become uncaring, but she’d grown unfeeling and uncaring. She also seemed to be reeling from a hungover when she and Andrew had their video call.
When he asked her about what she was up to, she only stared at him blankly before canceling the call.
Andrew feared his marriage was about to fall apart.
Unveiling the Shadows
Since he couldn’t just drop everything and head back home, Andrew talked to Greg, asking him to investigate the issue for him and see what he could come up with.
Greg agreed, although reluctantly. He’d never been one to poke his nose where it didn’t belong.
But Greg was his best friend, and Amy was one of his closest friends, too. He’d do this for them.
A House of Desolation
It only took Greg a few days to come up with news, and his findings painted a harrowing picture. First, he talked about how he’d found Amy when he visited her.
She smelled like booze and had not cleaned the house in what seemed like weeks.
The kitchen was overflowing with dirty dishes and take-out containers, and the living room was dusty and full of roaches that didn’t bother to scatter away when Greg entered. But this was just the start.
He Had To Make A Plan
Greg noticed that the kids weren’t even interested in Amy anymore. Andrew was afraid the same would happen to him once he returned.
He imagined how they felt having both of their parents walking out on them at the same time.
He felt awful and knew he had to fix things. He brainstormed a way to figure out exactly what to do. He needed to make a plan.
What Was Going On
What was she doing? Why was she shunning old friends and making new ones? Why was she partying so much and leaving their kids to fend for themselves?
He felt his fists clench in anger as he tried to think of any reason his wife would go to such lengths. Was she punishing him?
If she was, it was a sick joke punishing their kids to get back at him. But then he thought of the good times. Something must have been up.
Still Loved Her
He still loved her, but what she was doing made him angry. This was not the woman he married.
He needed to talk to her and confront her about her behavior, and there was only one way to do it.
He had hoped that things could still be talked out if she cared at all about him or the kids. But he had no idea just how bad things actually were.
First thing the next morning, Andrew went to speak to one of his superiors. The only way to get through to his wife was to speak to her in person.
But it would be a sad day for Andrew as he was denied an early leave.
He would already be leaving earlier than usual in a few weeks. He just had to wait it out. But his family depended on it. He needed to get home no matter what.
Eyes On The Ground
Andrew had another plan in the meantime. He needed eyes on the ground to watch his family and especially what his wife was doing with her time.
He called Greg and asked if he could do some spying for him.
Greg was hesitant at first but eventually agreed. Andrew was his best friend, and he would do anything for him.
Partying Until All Hours
Over the next few weeks, there wasn’t much to report. Greg said that Amy was doing the usual things, dropping the kids off at school or at her parents and she would go out.
She was doing it most of the time, and weekends were the worst.
She would drop the kids off on Fridays and fetch them on Mondays. Andrew’s house had become a party venue.
Back To Normal
Then, something different happened. All of a sudden, there was a change.
Greg said everything seemed fine. Amy was always at home, and so were the kids. Andrew was confused by this development.
She was suddenly the model parent like she should have been. His soldier’s intuition told him something was up.
A Model Mother
She took them to school every day and even spent time with them on weekends. They even went to the state fair.
Andrew was happy. Maybe Amy realized that what she was doing would lead to problems.
But deep in the soldier’s mind, something was off. He wanted to trust his gut, but he was blind to his wife’s antics. Andrew’s anguish was far from over.
It was the news he was waiting for. He was finally going home, and it was earlier than usual. Everyone needed a break.
Andrew was excited. He would see his kids and Amy, and he would still talk to her about what had happened over the last few months.
He excitedly called home to give them the good news, but it was someone he didn’t expect that answer.
It was his mother. Andrew was surprised but didn’t mind talking to her. He didn’t want to tell her the good news just yet because he wanted to tell Amy first.
Where was she? His mother said that she was babysitting the kids while Amy went out to lunch with a friend.
Andrew immediately texted Greg.
Greg said he couldn’t watch Amy today as he was busy but hadn’t seen any suspicious behavior on her side in a long time. He thought that things might have actually been okay again. But it was difficult for him to accept now that he was in so deep.
It seemed that these days, she was just doing ordinary things. He wanted so badly to believe her that he put his guard down.
That was his biggest mistake.
Andrew was embarrassed. Amy was just having lunch. It could’ve been another parent from school that she was mingling with. Amy had always been an extrovert.
He felt bad for judging his wife so harshly these past few weeks.
She was the woman he married, after all. But Andrew’s homecoming would be an event he would never forget.
Andrew was on his way home when he got a call from his mom. They would all be so surprised to see him.
But his mother was about to tell him something about Amy that he hadn’t expected.
She had seen Amy purchasing something from a risque store that she never normally shopped at. He should have known better.
His mom said everyone was fine, and she had just seen Amy buying some new lingerie. His mom joked and said Amy was probably preparing herself for his eventual homecoming. Andrew got excited. This was exactly what he needed to hear.
But the soldier, in his excitement to be home, hadn’t given it much thought.
If he had, he would have been better prepared for what was about to happen.
Honey, I’m Home
It was 10 am, he had just landed, and his plan was to first surprise Amy at home and then go to the kids’ school and surprise them by walking into class.
It would be amazing, and Andrew was psyched up.
He made sure that his wife wouldn’t hear him come in. He slowly turned the key in the lock and walked into his house.
He sneaked up the stairs of their house. He could hear Amy in the bedroom.
She must be on the phone. She sounded giggly. It must have been a friend that she was talking to. He was so excited to see his wife again.
But he ignored all of the signs up until this point and was going to be very disappointed. He opened the door, and his heart sank.
There was Amy, prancing around in lingerie, and blindfolded on the bed was his best friend, Greg.
His mouth fell open, and he felt more hurt than any gunshots or other wounds he’d experienced as a soldier.
He had to make things right. He wouldn’t let her get away with anything now that he knew the truth.
After Greg put his clothing back on, he had a terrified look in his eyes.
Andrew knew that his profession as a soldier meant that most civilians found him intimidating. Greg was visibly shaking, while Amy looked ashamed.
Andrew knew there was no going back now. She wasn’t the woman he had married. How could he have done this to him and their children?
A Messy End
Andrew couldn’t believe the betrayal by not only his wife but his best friend. All this time, they were going behind his back while he was away fighting for their country.
He filed for divorce, but it was not without drama.
He couldn’t believe that Amy sued him for child support, asking him to cough out cash at the end of every month.
Staying With His Kids
She didn’t get far, though, because they had joint custody of their kids, and she could not sue him on that basis. It would take some time, but Andrew moved on with his life and vowed never to leave his kids again.
They would understand more about everything when they were older.
For now, he just wanted to keep them safe and keep his eyes on the horizon.
The divorce proceedings were messy and emotionally draining, but Andrew was determined to rebuild his life for the sake of his children. He moved into a smaller, more affordable home, sold off unnecessary possessions, and started budgeting rigorously to clear the debt left by Amy’s reckless behavior.
With his military experience, Andrew found a job in security, providing a stable income for his family.
The healing process was slow, and the scars of betrayal lingered, but he focused on creating a new beginning for himself and his kids.
Reconnecting with the Kids
Andrew made it a priority to reconnect with his children, who had been through a harrowing time. He attended school events, helped with homework, and became the supportive and present father they needed. Despite the pain, he found solace in the love he shared with his kids.
While Amy tried to maintain a semblance of her previous lifestyle, Greg’s life took a nosedive. Word about his affair and betrayal spread, damaging his reputation in the community.
He lost people dear to him and struggled to find employment. The consequences of his actions haunted him, and he was left to face the wreckage he had caused.
A New Support System
Andrew found solace in unexpected places. Supportive friends and fellow veterans helped him navigate the challenges of single parenthood. The military brotherhood rallied around him, providing emotional support and understanding that only those who had served could truly comprehend.
On the other hand, Amy finally faced the consequences of her choices.
The frivolous lifestyle she had adopted began to crumble. With Andrew focused on his children and building a stable life, Amy was left to confront the emptiness of her actions. The people who once fueled her reckless behavior distanced themselves, leaving her alone to contemplate the wreckage she had caused.
Andrew’s kids, though initially torn by the separation, adapted to their new life. They learned resilience and witnessed firsthand the consequences of poor decisions.
In time, Andrew cautiously opened his heart to the possibility of new love.
He was wary but willing to take the risk for the sake of his children. Building trust became a gradual process, but the scars of the past did not define his future.
As of now, Amy, after being thrashed by the harsh reality of her actions, is seeking therapy. Through introspection and a genuine desire for change, she has started the long journey toward redemption.
The relationship with her children remains strained, but she is determined to earn back their trust. The scars are still there, and her calls still go unanswered.
She hopes that after the dust settles, the people most dear to her can find it in their hearts to forgive her.