I Found out My Wife Was Leading a Double Life after I Saw Her Payment Statement – Story of the Day

I thought my marriage was solid until a glance at my wife’s payment statement revealed a strange pattern: expenses on baby items, pediatricians, and kindergarten, none of which made sense since we didn’t have kids. Confused and concerned, I followed her, only to uncover she was leading a double life.As a 33-year-old lawyer, my specialty was infidelity and how to get the aggrieved person the best deal. But my knack for it changed my life.One day, I was driving home through the bustling city as the sun set. My career had taught me the value of trust in marriage, a principle I cherished, especially now, being newly married to Natalie, the woman I deeply loved.That evening, as I pulled into my driveway, the absence of Natalie’s car made me frown. She was usually home by this time, her punctuality being one of her defining traits. But things had changed recently as she was home much later than me these days. The quiet house amplified my unease. The silence inside was unsettling, and due to my line of work, doubts raced through my mind. A particularly unwelcome yet persistent thought emerged: “Could Natalie be cheating on me?”Fortunately, hours later, Natalie returned, looking exhausted, but I couldn’t contain my words. “Where have you been?You’ve been late a lot. Is there something you’re not telling me?” And finally, I asked if she was being unfaithful.

Her reaction was one of shock. “Hank, I love you. I could never cheat on you. I’ve just been busy grading tests at school,” she assured me, sighing. That made sense. Natalie was a dedicated teacher, so I nodded and tried to let it go.But while sharing dinner and stories of our day, a message on Natalie’s phone shattered any semblance of peace. “Honey, will you be there tomorrow?”I glanced at it and was surprised by the intimacy.She quickly deleted the message and tried to keep talking about her day.I interrupted her without a second thought. “What was that?” I asked, my voice heavy with suspicion.What do you mean?” she looked puzzled or was faking her expression.”The message. I saw what it said,” I pressed, frowning.Natalie sighed, rubbing her forehead. “Hank, it’s not what you think,” she tried to reassure me and showed me her phone to prove it was a wrong number.But skepticism clouded my judgment, and my appetite vanished.Later, in bed, the message replayed in my mind, not allowing me to sleep. Natalie lay beside me, seemingly peaceful, as she gently snored. My doubts grew, and I knew what I had to do. It was wrong, but I needed to know the truth.Carefully, I used her finger to unlock her phone and found a contact named “Rabbit,” including conversations with an unknown number about getting together and happened on days Natalie had come home late.I also decided to check her bank statements. That was always a major clue in my cases. My heart sank as I pieced together the evidence of her secret life, including payments for children’s toys and hospital bills. Did she have a child I didn’t know about? Did she call the kid ‘Rabbit’?More importantly, who was the father?Natalie woke briefly, so I scrambled to put her phone discreetly away and pretended I was falling asleep. But inside, I was distraught. The idea of her leading a double life was overwhelming.The next morning, I woke determined to follow Natalie to her work. I reached the school and parked discreetly, watching the entrance until Natalie suddenly appeared and drove off.I followed, my heart pounding with each turn, until she stopped at a run-down house in a modest neighborhood. I waited a few minutes before exiting my car and peering through a window.I saw Natalie with a man, and the atmosphere between them was cozy. They were familiar with each other in an intimate way. I was sure of it, but my jaw dropped as I watched her lean forward and kiss the man on the cheek.I wanted to investigate more and decided to hide in some bushes near the fence. That was when I saw Natalie emerging from the house, rolling a little girl in a wheelchair. They both smiled at each other, and I stared, mouth-agapped at them.I was so mesmerized that I didn’t see a dog coming near me until its bark made me jump. It alerted Natalie, who looked around the yard, her eyes panicked. I tried to calm the dog. Then, I heard her.”Who’s there? I’m calling the police!” Natalie yelled out, not recognizing me in the chaos. I ran off with the dog biting at my ankles and scrambled over the fence, ripping my pants in the process. I could only hope my wife didn’t recognize me.Back in my car, the image of Natalie with the little girl in the wheelchair haunted me. I drove home, my mind swirling with fear, doubt, and dread about confronting my wife.Once home, I changed my torn clothes and waited on the bed. Finally, hearing her car, I steeled myself and went to the living room. Natalie entered the house, apologizing for being late due to work.I watched her, noticing her disheveled appearance, and cut to the chase, “Natalie, stop. I know everything.”Frowning, she asked, “What do you mean?””I know you’re cheating on me,” I accused bluntly.She was taken aback, denying it and attributing her late nights to work. I pressed about the suspicious messages.”Hank. You went into my phone?” she asked, appalled.”Yes! Yes! I went into your phone. I’m the bad guy, right? It’s me spending money on another family,” I retorted, my words dripping with sarcasm and hurt.Natalie was visibly shaken. “What are you talking about? What other family?””I saw everything, Natalie. I saw it with my own eyes. You don’t work late at school, but go to some man and girl,” I continued.”You followed me?””Yes,” I confessed, unashamed.”I can’t believe this,” Natalie threw her arms in the air and stomped to our bedroom. I waited a few seconds and followed, only to see her packing.”Where are you going?””I don’t know. A hotel or something,” she said, stuffing her bag roughly.”Fine,” I snapped and turned to leave, but I saw her phone lying on the bed and grabbed it. Back in the living room, I installed a tracking app, just in case. Then, I went back to the bedroom, returning the phone to where she left it.But I saw her face and the pain I had inflicted. I didn’t want to be angry anymore and started pleading with her to stay. “Let’s talk,” I said. “We can fix this. You don’t have to leave.””Yes, I do,” Natalie snapped, zipping her back. “And for your information, the man and child you saw are my brother and niece.”I felt my eyebrows go up. “Why have I never met them before?!” I demanded. But she didn’t answer and went around me, ignoring me as I followed.She slammed the front door, and I stayed back, reeling. In a fit of rage, I swept off the items on our mantel and screamed my frustrations out. Breathing heavily, I realized I needed to know more, so I searched our bedroom.Shockingly, I discovered a hidden compartment in her wardrobe containing a gun, several fake passports, a bag of money, and a newspaper clipping about a bank robbery.”What?” I breathed out. “Who did I marry?”I was in a daze. Wrapping the items in a bag, I placed them in my car’s trunk and drove to the hotel nearby, where Natalie must have been staying. Fortunately, I was right and discreetly bribed the receptionist to get Natalie’s room number.I knocked outside her door, disguising my voice as room service. She opened the door and crossed her arms. “What else do you want to talk about, Hank? I already said I am not cheating on you,” she sighed.”I believe you didn’t cheat on me,” I interrupted. I then presented the bag, asking her to explain the gun, fake documents, and money.Natalie sighed, inviting me inside and admitting her involvement with bad people and a bank robbery to pay for her niece’s urgent surgery. I listened in shock, rubbing my chin as I processed.”You robbed a bank?” I whispered.”Yes,” she admitted quietly. “There was no other way. My ‘Rabbit’…I mean, my niece, Katie, was dying. My brother, Tom, didn’t have the money. I had to do something. This was before you and I even met.””We have to tell the police, Nat. But my friend, Luke, is the best criminal defense attorney in the state,” I began, my lawyer mind planning. “You can’t live this double life, waiting for the sword to drop. Come home with me, and we’ll think of a solution.”Natalie stared into my eyes, and I saw all the fear she must have felt for years since her bank robbery. But I held her hand. I’d be there for her through it all. Finally, she nodded, and we drove home.At home, Natalie made tea, and we sat at the kitchen table to drink it. I talked about contacting Luke, who could help her get a good deal, but my eyes got droopy all of a sudden. I remembered Natalie guiding me to my bed but nothing else.I woke up disoriented the next morning. I blinked rapidly, trying to clear my head. A strange redness in the sheets caught my attention, and when my vision focused, I saw a knife covered in blood on the other side of the bed.I remembered the tea, and it all clicked. Did she want to frame me? To pretend she was dead?”Natalie!” I screamed, standing and swaying on my feet. I noticed a trail of blood leading out of the bedroom, and I gasped at the state of my place. The house was in disarray. Furniture was overturned, and the living room was a scene of destruction, worse than what I had done last night.I kept calling for my wife. I tried to wipe some of the blood with my hand, but it only made it worse. Finally, I saw movement outside, and I peered through the blinds. Two policemen were talking to my neighbor, and I heard him mention screaming coming from our house.I looked sideways, and my car looked like it had been driven through rough terrain, but I had no memory of leaving the house. The two cops came over and started knocking, but I scrambled to the bedroom, dressed, grabbed Natalie’s pistol, and jumped out of the window.They saw and ran after me, but I knew the neighborhood better. I kept thinking I needed to find Natalie and understand the truth. But I couldn’t do that if I was caught. The scene at the house was too crazy. Natalie had done an excellent job trying to appear like I had hurt her.I hid somewhere and saw the two cops running off in the opposite direction. I waited, feeling worse by the second. After a while, I cautiously emerged from my hiding spot, using the tracking app on my phone to find my wife while my fingers trembled.The app led me to an empty road, where I found Natalie’s phone discarded in the tall grass, a clear sign that all this had been on purpose. Frustrated but not deterred, I decided to visit Natalie’s brother’s house.Taking a taxi, I arrived at his place and knocked relentlessly. When Tom opened it, I didn’t waste time on pleasantries. I pulled out the gun, aiming it at his face, and, with a steady hand, I walked in as he retreated with his hands in the air.Once in, I demanded he call Natalie immediately. When the call connected, I didn’t mince words.”Hi, Natalie. You sound very much alive for someone who’s supposed to be dead. Contrary to your plans, I haven’t been detained. But Tom here isn’t doing so well. I have a gun pointed at him, and if you don’t come here within the next 6 hours, I will kill both Tom and Katie.””You wouldn’t do that,” she gasped.I scoffed angrily. “Want to test me? I don’t think so.””Hank, please,” Natalie begged.I cut her off. “You have 6 hours.”I waited, the gun never leaving my hand as Tom and his daughter sat on the opposite couch. I knew I was supposed to feel bad, but I was beyond caring at that point.The front door burst open, and my wife walked in. She froze after seeing her pistol and her brother and niece scared. “Hank, I beg you. Let them go,” Natalie begged.”Why did you do this, Nat? Why did you fake your death?” I stood in a flash, spitting my questions.”I don’t want to go to prison. You wanted to turn me in. I couldn’t take that risk.””I love you, Natalie. We could have faced everything together,” I spat. “But in prison, I would have been alone,” she said, looking away.My lips were shaking as I tried to come up with a solution that wouldn’t destroy our lives, but the police startled us, coming into the house with their arms out. They went right at me, and I knew I deserved to be arrested for threatening Tom and Katie, but I told them everything my wife did.With her eyes down, Natalie finally admitted the truth, and they arrested her. As they took her away, our eyes met one last time, a silent goodbye.I turned to Tom then. “I’m truly sorry for all the anxiety I caused you. I didn’t want to, but I needed Natalie to come, and this was the only way.”The police arrested me, too. Sitting in the patrol car, I tried to justify my actions, “Understand, I had no other choice. I needed her to come.””No goal justifies threatening anyone at gunpoint. You should’ve called the police, explained what happened, and let us handle it.”Reflecting on those words, I realized the magnitude of my missteps and how I wished I could go back and start over. But I could only do better in the future, starting by calling Luke. I desperately needed his help.