Dana* felt she was in a "great" relationship with her husband Rob*. The couple had dated for two years before tying the knot and were living together in what Dana describes as "newly wedded bliss."
They both worked long hours and Rob spent much of his work traveling inter-state. But the couple always made sure they had good quality time together and loved indulging in their favorite hobbies, such as ballroom dancing, sailing and running.
"We had a lot in common; we loved to dance and we loved keeping fit. We also loved cooking together and, for fun, we'd have mini-competitions - who could make the best cheesecake and things like that. We had a lot of fun together," Dana explains.
"Our wedding was absolutely beautiful. I felt incredibly lucky to marry my soul mate and my best friend. I didn't think for a second that anything could go wrong. In fact, I said to one of my friends, the only way I could ever imagine Rob and I being without each other is when one of us dies. I couldn't imagine us ever breaking up. That's how good I thought our relationship was."
" We were really close and didn’t have any secrets from each other – or so I thought."
Rob's work meant that he traveled interstate every two-three weeks. Dana was used to him being away and made sure that, when Rob returned, they had several "date nights".
"We really made the most of things when he came back home. I always missed him but, to be honest, I also liked the freedom and independence I had during the time that I was on my own. Not that I ever fooled around or anything like that, I was totally faithful to him. But I really enjoyed going out with friends and I quite like a bit of solitude from time to time. Then, I'd look forward to seeing Rob again when he was due to come home. I was always excited to see him," Dana says.
"I felt like our relationship was much better than some of my friends' marriages because we never got tired of each other. It's not like we were stuck with each other all day, every day. The way I saw things, it was almost a novelty when he was home. And then, when he went traveling for work again, I'd really miss him."
"There were several nights in the two weeks he was home that he would meet up with his friends and I wasn't invited. That was okay because he had a close bunch of friends and I figured he must get quite lonely when he's traveling and staying in hotel rooms. So I never made a fuss when he said he wanted a night out when he came home."
Five months after the wedding, Rob told Dana he wanted to take her somewhere special for dinner. It was officially the five-month anniversary, so Dana was looking forward to a celebration.
"I got dressed up in a gorgeous dress and heels. My hair and makeup looked good and I felt really good too. I never had any confidence when I was young, it’s only now in my late-30s that I feel happy about the way I look and, with a gorgeous husband doting on me, I felt very happy and fulfilled," Dana says.
"Rob took me to a very expensive restaurant, and we enjoyed a nice seafood dinner. I recall that throughout our meal, he kept his iPhone on the table but I’m not sure why. Usually, when he was home, I had his full attention—it’s not as though he’d be expecting any calls from work."
"At one stage, he went to the bathroom and left his phone on the table. I noticed he was getting quite a few notifications. That’s when I looked at his phone. The notifications were all from Tinder! I picked up his phone and had a look. There was no doubt about it - my husband was on Tinder. I even looked at his profile. I cannot tell you how horrific it felt. Part of me died that night."
'I looked at his phone and noticed all the notifications were from Tinder.' (iStock)
"I felt like running out and never speaking to him again – he was due to leave the next day. It was sheer hell. I couldn’t believe my husband, the man I loved, was on Tinder. Maybe there was a mistake? I had a second look and, even though I’ve never been on Tinder myself, I had enough single friends to know enough about it."
According to Dana, the rest of the evening went by in a blur, as she tried to act normal ; she didn't breathe a word about what she'd seen.
"It was very tough. I just acted like things were okay but, inside, I was devastated. I barely spoke to him, just listened to him talk about God knows what he was talking about. He asked me if I was okay and I said I had a headache and wanted to go to sleep," Dana says.
"The next day I drove him to the airport as though everything was fine. I was very quiet. I didn't want to say too much. We kissed goodbye as usual and I went home. I already knew what I was going to do.
Later that night, when he had arrived at his interstate office, I phoned him and that’s when I let him know I’d seen his Tinder profile and that our marriage was over. Yes, I ended it just like that—there was no way I could stay with a man I couldn’t trust. He tried to explain himself, but I wasn’t going to let him off the hook.
He said things like, "I was only doing it for fun when I was feeling lonely. I didn’t actually go out on dates.” But I had a feeling in my gut that he was lying, as I had seen where he’d been making arrangements to see a woman in three week’s time and messages from other women too.
I only saw him twice after that night; once when he wanted to try to patch things up, and the second time at my lawyer’s office. I don’t regret ending my marriage, although I am still really sad that he couldn’t stay faithful to me, not even for five months."
*Names changed for privacy