Many thanks to Dennis for editing this story.
I had a feeling that something was different with my wife Caroline. Not much, but enough for a man who had known her for twelve years and been married for ten.
Caroline and I, Lars Ekman has an average Scandinavian family with two children, seven years old boy and a five years old girl. We live in our own house just outside a county capital and both of us are working full time; Caroline in the city hall and I am self-employed with a small consulting company with one employee.
My wife and I met at an evening class for learning advanced use of Microsoft Excel and married two years later. Of course, just like most others our marriage had ups and downs but never any serious problems, at least not in my opinion.
The first sign appeared about one month after our ten-year anniversary. It was her slight decreasing interest for sex. Not that she refused me any sex but had begun to suggest "quickies" instead of making love much more often than she used to do. The next slight visible sign was an increase of her clothing expenses.
One further sign was her increasing nagging at me without any real reason.
Caroline had always been out with her friends at least two evenings a week for different innocent matters as aerobics, evening classes, bowling and badminton but only a couple of late evenings a year at with the girls at some bar or restaurant when somebody in the gang wanted to celebrate something. I did my very best, but couldn't see any new or strange pattern in her evenings out.
My employee Eric noted that I had problems with my marriage and told me that it was better to find out the truth than go around feeling as bad as I did.
I told him that a private investigator could probably find out the truth but it was impossible for me to hire some PI for two very simple reasons: the first, there wasn't any such available, at least not in the phone book, neither in our town nor in the whole county. The second, even if there had been one, I didn't have the money to have Caroline tailed for a very long time. But I promised to do my best to bring a stop to the problems between Caroline and me.
The last straw that broke the poor camel's back happened at the first Saturday evening after Eric had suggested me to do something.
Caroline and I had been invited to a pleasant dinner held by friends just outside the town, where she had acted as a loving wife during the whole evening. She did that even the whole way home in the taxi we shared with another couple. Of course, I had a hope of continuing the pleasant evening with making love with her. But as soon as the babysitter had left our house, Caroline turned off her pleasant behavior and snubbed me off with, "Forget it if you've been stupid enough to expect something from me tonight."
I gave up my efforts and replied with a bright smile, "What could I expect from an ice cold frigid bitch?"
Nothing more was said that evening, but it took me several hours before I fell in sleep. I used that time to think out a simple plan.
The only thing I had to do was to subscribe to an anonymity service on the web so I could send e-mails without be traced. After testing the mail-service during at Sunday, at Monday morning I sent the following e-mail to Caroline at her job:
"Dear Mrs. Ekman, To my great disappointment I've been told and shown evidence about your cheating what makes me feel sorry for your husband and envy your lover for his pleasures with such gorgeous woman as you. Of course, I'm suffering from a strong temptation to share my information with your husband. But I have a better suggestion because I want and need some good times with a gorgeous woman, sponsored by you, during my next business trip to the continent. Therefore I expect you to be seated (alone) at Plaza café at 14.30 - 15.00 today (Monday) with 600 Euro in an envelope at the table. My errand woman will greet you by saying 'Aren't you Lars' sister?' You shall reply ' No, I'm the wife'. Thanks for your very kind co-operation. Your Real Friend"
600 Euro is a very low amount to be regarded as any serious blackmailing if she went to the police and they would hardly see it as any high priority case to save the reputation of a cheating slut wife. On the other hand it was even low enough for Caroline to fix it without any problems from an ATM. (Both Euro and our own Crowns are available in the ATMs outside our bank's main office)
That Monday I suggested Eric a break for three o'clock coffee at Plaza café. We entered there a few minutes before three and to my pretended surprise I saw Caroline sitting alone at a table and then to my real surprise I saw Martin Jensen sitting alone a few tables away from her. Even Martin works at the city hall and he is married to one of Caroline's best friends. We had met him and his wife at the dinner last Saturday but I hadn't noted anything special between Caroline and him.
Staring at Caroline and Martin, I shouted with a loud voice, "What the hell is going on here? Why are you two here instead of working? Why not sharing a table?"
Martin left without a word to me and a few minutes later even Caroline left the café.
Eric was even more confused than me, when I told him that we had probably succeeded in catching Caroline with her lover.
After that I rang Martin's wife, Cecilia, at her job and asked her if she had any idea why my wife and her husband had taken the afternoon off their jobs and was sitting at separate tables at a café. Then I told her that I suspected Caroline having an affair and now Martin had to be the main suspect unless I get a very good explanation about what they were involved in. She promised to have a serious talk with Martin and give me a call when she knew anything.
This Martin was a very good-looking man, usually expensive dressed, polite, good mannered and a real party pleaser. Of course, those of us who had known him since our childhood had a quite different opinion about him.
At home I logged to our bank account where it was visible that 600 Euro had been taken out and inserted back during the day. For the time being that information was enough for me why I filled the divorce forms collected at the courthouse during my lunch break.
When Caroline came home, she was angry as a bee and snapped at me, "You behaved just like an idiot at the café. I can explain everything, if you care to listen."
I replied, "No I don't want to listen because I've got enough of you and don't care a shit about your explanation. Just read these divorce papers and sign them. Everything is shared 50/50 and you can't get a better deal, not even with a lawyer that will cost you a fortune."
It was visible that she was really angry, very angry indeed, and shouted to me, "Those divorce papers are the only sane thing you been able to fix in a long time."
Boiling of wrath she signed the divorce forms without reading them and shouted, "It will be a great relief to get a real man instead of a zero like you."
So ended my marriage.
Caroline went out from the house and I didn't care where.
I got a call from a sobbing Cecilia, who told me that Martin had confessed having an affair with Caroline. Now he was crying and begging her to forgive him. She said that she didn't know what to do and had demanded Martin go and live with his parents for the next two weeks so she got time to think about their future. I told her that Caroline and I had already signed our divorce papers.
One thing was for sure, if Caroline regarded Martin as her new dream man, she could forget that, but it wasn't my business to tell her.
After the phone call I moved all Caroline's clothes to the spare room; that got her furious when she was back home. I couldn't resist the temptation to tell her that I had told Cecilia about what I had seen at Café Plaza. That information didn't make her happier.
Strange things happened the next day.
Back home after our jobs Caroline surprised me by saying, "Dear Lars, I'm sorry and regret everything what I said in my angry mood yesterday. I was stressed and said silly things I didn't mean. Can you to forgive me for that? You are and will always be my real love."
"No hard feelings any longer. We are adults and expected to do our best to solve our problems."
"Please give me those silly divorce papers we signed yesterday in angry mood and I promise to be a much better loving wife and I'll explain everything about yesterday."
I looked straight in her eyes when I said, "The divorce papers are at the court and I already know everything about Marin and your affair. Yesterday evening after you went out Martin confessed his cheating to Cecilia, who rang and told me that your 'real man' was a crying wimp begging for mercy and claimed you are a conning slut who had seduced him. Not much for 'a real man' instead of me, is he?"
Caroline sobbed and said, "Did Cecilia told you about Martin and me?"
"Yes and that explains why our marriage been a loveless marriage for some time. I've suspected your cheating but found no real evidence until Martin confessed to Cecilia."
Caroline got a strange look in face when she said, "But how come that you teased me sign the divorce papers several hours before Cecilia told you about Martin's confession?"
"I had enough during last Saturday night and found out during several sleepless hours that a divorce, as soon as possible, was my only possible solution. The divorce was decided many hours before that the crying creep Martin confessed your cheating."
"I'm sorry and wish I could undo everything I did with Martin. Is there any chance you can give me a second chance and forgive me?"
"No, because I will never understand how you can prefer that creep Martin than me and dream about him as a 'real man'. I will never forget how you have humiliated me since you fell in love with him. But that pile of crap will be yours when Cecilia is done with him. You probably didn't know that all their inherited shares, savings, expensive house and cars are Cecilia's private property since Martin had his business. The only thing what Martin owns is a hell of debts since he bankrupted the business. Now Martin will even loose his expensive Rolex and BMW if those toys impressed on you. If you really love that weeping creep, it will be up to you support him and his expensive habits."
"I've done a terrible mistake and will never understand how I could been stupid enough to be seduced and conned by that slimy worm. I'd rather be alone the rest of my life than have anything to do with him."