*This is a work of nonfiction based on actual events as told to me by the woman who experienced them firsthand; used with permission.
A woman told me about the unusual and unfortunate way she caught her husband cheating.
When you work in a large retail store, you get to know your coworkers on different levels. You become close to the people who work in the same department where you work. Often, you spend more time with these people than you do with your partner or your own children at home.
Then there are the people who work on the other side of the store. You might not get to know them quite as well. Maybe they work in the backroom or the lawn and garden center. Sure, you recognize them on sight, but you could go years without ever having a meaningful conversation with them.
Likewise, when you work in close proximity to someone, you might get to know their spouses. Your coworker's husband stops by to drop off lunch or pick up the spare car keys. Your coworker's wife visits the store to buy bottled water or dog food.
You see these people in passing. You might never even learn their names. This is important in explaining how a woman didn't suspect her husband of having an affair until her husband matched with her coworker on a dating site.
Here's what happened.
My friend's husband downloaded a dating app intending to meet people for casual, fleeting encounters. He wasn't looking for a serious relationship; he was already in one.
He matched with someone. They chatted briefly and almost immediately made plans to meet. When my friend's husband met his online dating app match at the agreed location, they stared at each other in partial recognition.
They didn't know each other. Yet each of them thought the other looked quite familiar.
Fortunately, they figured it out after a few minutes before they could do any more damage, but the story wasn't over yet.
My friend's coworker thought she deserved to know the truth.
It seemed like just another ordinary day at her job, but my friend was in for a surprise.
Her coworker approached her and told her everything, sparing her no details. Fortunately, they had figured out their connection before anything happened. Unfortunately, the intent was nearly as devastating as the deed.
My friend figured if her husband had matched with her coworker on a dating app, he was probably matching with other people, too. As it turned out, she was correct.
She confronted her husband, and he was defensive at first. He denied it, but she had irrefutable evidence in the form of photos and screenshots her coworker had so thoughtfully provided.
In the end, they couldn't save their marriage. They separated, and then they divorced. Today, she is happily single; she has no idea what he's doing now. Nor does she care.
Why does my friend want to tell her embarrassing story?
"Maybe it will help someone," she told me. "I had no idea my husband was cheating until he matched with my coworker on a dating app. If I can spare another woman from going through the same pain, then it's worth it to share my story."