No one said break-ups were easy, but that doesn't mean the natural response is to literally attack an ex like a wild animal. The people in these stories took things a step way too far. Not everyone involved survived these intense encounters. Being single is truly underrated. This outrageous content has been edited for clarity.

Career Tailspin
Career Tailspin

"Well, I think I ended her career.

When I was working in Dubai a while ago, I was dating a girl from India, lets call her 'S'. S and I hit it off right away, and it was nice to meet someone to spend time exploring Dubai with. There was never a lack of conversation, as the range of topics spanned politics, my upbringing in the mid west and hers in Hyderabad. Mind you, we did not work in the same company. Another note, we were not friends on Facebook. And that because I didn’t have anything resembling a decent profile and didn’t really use it.

She went back to India for a family visit. While there, she got together with her ex or current boyfriend or whatever. How did I find out? One of my coworkers and girls in her social group showed me some rather interesting pictures of her and let me know I was being played. Also, there was some text from her bragging about, 'What the American doesn’t know won’t hurt him.' Obviously, I was angry.

Whatever. It’s not like we were headed to the altar together. When S got back to the UAE, I let her know that I would have appreciated some level of honesty and didn’t appreciate the treatment. She wanted to know who told me, rather than denying it happened. Always a tell-tale sign. Anyway, I let her know that I didn’t want to see her again and we’re done.

A few months later, there was as decision from my company to engage the consulting company S worked for. My coworker (the one who showed me the FB pics and text) was in charge of that work effort and managing the relationship with the consulting company. We had a talk, and she asked my thoughts on S being part of this work effort.

I said, 'Perhaps it’s better we work with someone else. I don’t want a personal issue with her to impact the relationship with the consultancy.'

Pretty generic answer, and I really didn’t expect anything of it. I figured she would be there and we would just be professional about it. Happens all the time here in the US. Nope. She was not part of the engagement team from the consulting company. Ok, I was a bit surprised and somewhat relieved. Last thing I needed was that toxic vibe. What I didn’t know was that she was already on some performance review with her company. And this was the last straw. They fired her.

What I also came to realize was that she had something like 30 days to leave the country if she wasn't able to find a job in the UAE. Which she did not. She also had a massive amount of debt that she had accumulated during her time in Dubai. Well, she had to leave the country and went back to India with a ton of debt and zero references. From what I have been told, she was never able to secure another job to come back to the UAE, or for that matter work for other western based companies back home in India.

I guess from what she does (HR relations or something like that), it’s ultra competitive. She wound up getting married and is now a homemaker. Evidently, my one sentence was the cause of all that."

This Left Me Speechless
This Left Me Speechless

"My husband worked with a man, let's call him Cliff, and over time they became good friends. He was a very nice man, in his late 30?s and looking at him you’d have guessed he may have been handsome once. He had very blonde hair, beautiful blue eyes, and a nice build. One of those builds you get from working hard outside, not the gym. He looked much older than his years. He’d had a very hard life and it showed in his face.

Cliff joined a swingers group. As you can imagine, he enjoyed it very much. He met a couple named Carlos and Diane, not their real names, and they became an 'item'. I don't know if there was another female involved, I never heard of one. Carlos was tall and thin, curly hair and nothing that would spark much interest. Diane was average height and weight, very buxom and although semi-attractive, her years of hardship were evident in her face as well. For a while, things seemed to be going great. Everyone seemed happy and there were no complications. Eventually, Carlos began to feel Cliff and Diane were meeting outside their little ménage à trois and becoming close on an emotional level. He was right. From what we understood, this was against the rules, or at least their rules. A huge series of fights ensued, and as one would expect, Cliff was eventually booted out of the relationship. Carlos and Diane became close again and eventually began swinging with other folks.

During the time Cliff, Carlos and Diane were seeing each other, Cliff met their daughter, 'Darlene'. Darlene was 19 years old with big brown eyes and beautiful skin. When they met, she had just given birth to a baby girl. The baby daddy took off the minute Darlene told him she was pregnant, so he was not in the picture. Unbeknownst to anyone, Darlene had developed quite a crush on Cliff. She was unaware of the relationship between him and her parents. After the threesome's separation, Darlene reached out to Cliff, and they began a relationship in secret, still unaware of her parent's previous relationship with him.

Soon Cliff and Darlene made their relationship known to Carlos and Diane. It was not received well by either, but especially Carlos. Diane came around quickly, her daughter's happiness most important to her. Carlos never really seemed to warm up to the idea. He always kept his distance. Cliff and Darlene had a small wedding. Nothing too extravagant, but still very nice. Time went on and Cliff settled into his new role as husband and father. It was a walk in the park for him. He was very attentive to Darlene and he loved and cared for that baby girl as if she were his own. They even talked about having another baby soon. Cliff seemed really happy.

One day my husband saw Cliff at work. He looked preoccupied and worried. My husband walked up to Cliff and asked if everything was ok.

Cliff sighed, 'Not really, Man.'

My husband replied, 'Do you want to talk about it?'

After a long pause, Cliff said, 'I started seeing Diane again, and she's pregnant.'

My husband said he knows it's not very manly but he almost fainted. 'Dude! Are you sure? I mean isn't she like in her 40s? What about Darlene and the baby?!'

Cliff told him, 'It’s for real. We went to the doctor and everything. She had that test, baby seems fine. We have to do something because she's already starting to show.'

'What about Darlene?'

Cliff stated, 'We don’t wanna hurt her, but we wanna be together. Go somewhere and have a fresh start. She's gonna have a boy.'

The next few weeks were crazy. Cliff and Diane got Carlos and Darlene together that very same night. They told them everything. Don't forget, Darlene never knew about the relationship between Cliff and her parents prior to marrying Cliff, so she got a double whammy. Naturally there were fights and more fights, and over the next few days, more and more fights. Diane moved out of the house that same night and moved into Cliff's place. Prior to this night, Cliff had already rented an apartment without Darlene’s knowledge. He had also moved most of his things over there, but Darlene being the air head she was hardly noticed. Cliff and Diane told them how they planned to move away and begin a fresh start. Neither wanted anything out of the marriages except their freedom.

No one could have known how much Carlos and Darlene were seething.

Cliff had a car, but it needed work, so he rode his motorcycle. He decided to get the car fixed, so that Diane and the baby would have transportation. Cliff had the car towed to a mechanic shop, and the mechanic told them it would be about a week before it was done.

Sometimes when the moon and the stars align perfectly, it's not always a good thing. The mechanic knew Darlene through some of her friends. They were all sitting around one evening having a few drinks, and the mechanic mentioned to Darlene that Cliff had dropped off and was picking up a car. He knew nothing about what was going on and assumed the car was for Darlene. For Darlene, it was just the stroke of luck she needed. Darlene told her father, and their own idea of a fresh start for Cliff and Diane would soon come to fruition.

The evening Cliff went to pick up the car, Diane of course went with him to drive it home. After all the formalities were taken care of, Cliff and Diane stood around talking to the mechanic for a while telling him of their plans. The mechanic was shocked but congratulated them both. Cliff had his back to the street, the mechanic facing Cliff was looking toward it. All of a sudden, the mechanic’s face went pale and everyone turned to see why. There stood Carlos, weapon in hand, staring directly at Cliff. Diane screamed, but before anyone could move, Carlos lifted his arm and shot a huge gaping hole right through Cliff's chest. He died instantly. Carlos took off on foot.

Carlos fled to Mexico. Weeks went on but the police finally captured him as he tried to come back across the border. Once in custody he cut a deal. Voluntary manslaughter, 7 years, out in 4 with good behavior. Darlene was never charged with anything. She was young and the mother of a young child. Despite knowing exactly what her father was about to do, the DA felt it would serve no purpose to put a young mother in jail. We don't know what happened to Diane and the baby.

Cliff was killed in a senseless fit of jealous rage. His son would never know him, his soon to be bride left to raise him on her own. He never got his revenge."

Gotcha Golden Child
Gotcha Golden Child

"My best bud was dating this girl for over two years. They were like the best looking couple I have ever seen. They were living together in his house. Her family loved him and was happy that their golden child found her soulmate. One day he caught her texting her ex. He was reading all her messages from his iPad, which was synced with her phone. It was a boundary that was established earlier, and she crossed it. However, he didn’t break up with her.

He started taking screenshots of all the messages and pics. After a month or so later, she decided to meet her ex at Vegas using 'girl’s night' as an excuse. She arranged two of her friends to give her cover while she was in Vegas. The second her flight took off, he changed his locks. He blocked her number and all of her social media. He called us to his house to help him pack her stuff and drop it at her friend's house who 'was in Vegas'.

As a final strike against her, he went to her parent’s house and told them what had happened. He also showed them all the screenshots and pics. They couldn’t believe that their golden child would do something so evil. The cheating did make them mad. But what made them hate her were the texts where she trashed everyone, including her parents. One of which made fun of her mother’s weight issue and gave her parent’s marriage 6 months time, after which she would hire someone to seduce her Dad as 'he deserved someone hotter than Mom'.

Her parents hate her now. She is now roommates with some sketchy folks. One of the friends who tried to give her cover was dumped by her boyfriend for being a part of this plan. Would recommend doing this to your cheating partner."

Dragged Kicking And Screaming
Dragged Kicking And Screaming

"I knew a young guy, he was good-looking and, well, just nice and friendly, about 19-years-old. I guess for a young woman, he would be considered the ‘whole package’. I was chatting to him one day, and he told me that he had also started sleeping with the sister of his girlfriend. He didn’t seem too worried about her reaction. He wasn’t bragging - it was just one of those things that had ‘happened’. She found out later that day. He should have been very worried.

The day after he told me about his ‘situation’, I heard that we’d just had a murder in town. I recognized the name. It was the young guy. I spoke later to a friend from the police. He had been called to the scene. The young guy had been drinking, and during this time, his girlfriend had waited for her moment. She then calmly picked up a baseball bat. She hit him in the head, repeatedly. It was very messy.

She hit him until he was dead. Very dead.

She then threw away the bat and began kicking him in the privates. When the police arrived, she was still kicking him, and they had to drag her away while she was screaming. I had never met her before, but ran into her shortly after she was paroled a few years later. She appeared to have become a sworn ‘man hater’. She exuded anger and talking to her gave me the creeps. I wonder where she is today. Because to me, it appeared she would one day kill again."

The Scare Of A Lifetime
The Scare Of A Lifetime

My friend met a guy, and she was smitten. He’s an accomplished guy. He works for the UN. Very young, very attractive, got money. Lives a pretty wealthy lifestyle at a very young age. She wanted to get into a full-fledged relationship with him. She was in college, did internships, and worked as a hostess on the weekend. Same age. Very different lifestyles though. The beginning was lovely. They went on dates. Everything was cute in the honeymoon phase.

Then they started sleeping together, and all of a sudden the dynamic of their relationship changes. He only wants to see her for hooking up. She unknowingly got herself into a friends-with-benefits type of arrangement. She tried to mend the relationship with him. But he had no interest in anything else. So what does she do? She goes to talk to her crazy friend.

Now crazy friend is known, to come up with very vengeful, over-the-top schemes. She talks to her friend and wants to know what to do. She no longer wants to see him, but he keeps calling and asking to meet to hookup. Blocking doesn’t work, as he keeps changing his number to contact her. Crazy friend comes up with a few plans.

Plan #1: Tell him you are homeless. Lost your job and apartment, and you have nowhere to go. Literally about to get evicted. You need a place to crash, or desperate need of money. She tries it out. The man appears curious. Tells her that he will provide her money, if she promises to see him. She says no, she needs the money transferred to her as soon a possible. He didn’t send her money. Didn’t work.

Plan #2: He contacted her again wanting to see her. She tells him she is pregnant, but due to losing her job and facing eviction, she cannot possibly care for a child. He needs to send her money for an abortion, and after the abortion she would come to see him. He scolds her for making a silly mistake of getting pregnant and asks her to come meet him. Conversation ends.

Now the girl is fed up. Nothing seems to work. He still continues to contact her wanting to sleep with her, and she can’t seem to get rid of him. Crazy friend finally finds the solution.

Plan #3: He contacts her again. Leaves a bunch of missed calls, texts, voicemails. He is diligent. She is very calm and texts, 'I have something to tell you. I have been sleeping around. I got AIDS. I don’t know who gave it to me. But I recently got the test results. You need to get yourself tested. I think you have it too.'

Everything fell apart. He immediately begins calling her nonstop and frantically texting her. 'What?! How did this happen?! Why weren’t you careful? Why didn’t you use protection! HOW COULD YOU DO THIS TO ME?!'

Bingo. Done. She gave some halfhearted answer about not knowing who she slept with. She has no clue what to do, but knows that she has AIDS and now she needs medication.

That was the end of it. He never contacted her again. She gave him the scare of a lifetime."

Painful, Excruciating Revenge
Painful, Excruciating Revenge

"My friend was always a very 'in your face' sort. She developed incredibly early, so men noticed her when she was barely a teenager. She got really good at telling folks where to go and exactly how to get there if they dared to step out of their lane. I always admired her tenacity. She was a force to be reckoned with, even as a kid. Fast-forward a few years, and she’s married with a baby on the way. I was at her house when a woman called her to tell her that she had been sleeping with her husband for the past several weeks. All the late nights at work suddenly made a whole lot more sense.

The thing that surprised me (and probably should have warned me something terrible was soon to happen) was that she calmly asked me to leave so she could finish making dinner and getting ready for her husband. It boggled my brain that she would be willing to do nice things for him when she just found out he had been cheating on her!

A couple of months later their divorce became final, and I figured that they had simply had a nice dinner and worked through the details of their separation. I couldn’t believe how calm and collected my fierce lioness of a friend had been in such a stressful situation!

Until I found out the truth of what happened that night.

She really did prepare him a nice dinner—his favorite. Then she put on a skimpy nightie with perfect hair and makeup. She led him to the bedroom and started to give him a sensual massage. Finally, she made it to his privates, and that’s when her true nature came to life.

Of course, he was totally aroused and ready for action, but instead of a good time…she superglued his erect privates to his leg. Word on the street is that he still has a scar."

Team Work Makes The Dream Work
Team Work Makes The Dream Work

"I had gotten married very young, and my husband at the time was a horrible liar and cheat. We were renting a house on the same block as my parents and one day he had come home from 'work' early and shortly after, the phone went on the fritz. This was before cell phones. I needed to make a call, so I went up the street to my parents’ house. About 5 minutes after I got there, a female called and asked for me. She explained that she was my husband’s fiancée and wanted to talk with me about why I was making our 'divorce' so difficult and refusing to let him see her daughter. It turns out that she had somehow managed to get my (our) home phone number, which is why hubby came home early and sabotaged the phone line. What he didn’t know, was that she had gotten my parents’ number as well. She and I had a nice long conversation about what was really going on and devised a little a plan.

I borrowed a screwdriver from my parents and went home, but before going in, I let the air out of all his tires, just to ensure that he couldn’t leave. At the time, hubby was a carpenter, and he badly wanted to start his own company, but he needed a partner to help finance it. I went in the house and he asked what had taken so long. I explained that I had an amazing phone call from a contractor who had heard about hubby’s great skills and he wanted to meet and talk business. I went on about how cool it was that the guy just happened to call while I was there, and that I had invited him over. I told hubby the contractor would be there in about 30 minutes.

Hubby hurried up and took a shower and got himself all dolled up. I put the coffee on. 'Knocks on the door. He rushes to open it, and sees his 'fiancée' standing there. The look on his face was priceless. I went over and called her by name and invited her in. He is still standing there, totally confused and speechless. I offered her a cup of coffee, and about that time he realizes that she and I were in on this together.

He grabs his coat and walks out the door. She and I sat down with our coffee. He comes back in of course, because his tires are flat. I invited him to join us. I said, 'Hey why don’t you sit and visit. I figured if you had a fiancée, it would be good for her to meet your wife.'

He was so angry — he picks up the phone — Ha! — to call his buddy for a ride — but of course the phone didn’t work. He kept going in and out the back door — trying to fix the line he had pulled out outside.

The whole time, she and I are sitting there laughing and talking about all the stories and lies he had told us. We took it to the extent of making jokes and laughing about him being utterly horrible in bed. That really set him off. Eventually, he got a ride and got the out of there. Later, I let him know I would be divorcing him for real. He tried to get me to reconsider. No way. He then tried to get the girlfriend to stay with him, but she said no as well. He ended up moving into a little trailer with his buddy."

Heartbreaking Horror
Heartbreaking Horror

"A long time ago, I went to my sister’s house for a play-date with our children, who were close in age. There was a strange station wagon parked where I usually parked. When I asked her who it belonged, to she shooed the kids into the backyard to play before biting her lips together, closing her eyes, and inhaling an audible breath. I couldn’t tell if she was sad or mad until she plunged her face into her hands to muffle her scream. Through shifts between sobs and seething-clenched teeth, she told me the unbelievable story of treachery and tortured revenge. Unfortunately it’s a true story.

The dark-blue station wagon belonged to a man her husband worked with. She knew the couple, who I’ll call Bob and Sandy, from holiday parties and picnics. They had five children under eight. Evidently, Sandy found out that Bob had been having an affair with a woman at work, who attended the same company events.

'They towed the car here yesterday, until they figure out what to do with it,' she managed before transforming from sadness to seething fury. She couldn’t believe her husband agreed, but once I heard the story, it was evident no one was thinking clearly.

Sandy didn’t just go over the edge when she found out about Bob’s affair. An unimaginable explosion of grief, fury and consuming revenge drove her to put all five of her children in the car, give them each chocolate chip cookies, get behind the wheel, open all the windows, start the car in the closed garage and wait, and watch, as they fell into an endless sleep, one by one. She died with them. This wasn’t an impulse. It took time. Determination. An execution beyond belief.

'She left Bob a note. Taped it to the cookie jar.' My sister didn’t know what it said, as the police had it, but I can imagine.

This wasn’t a distraught woman’s suicide, it was vengeance so savage she defied her drive to protect her children, murdered them to torture their father, the man she’d loved.

I suddenly need to shower and shake off the memory of that awful incident. But first, I’ll make myself a fresh cup of coffee and envision everything I’m grateful for."

Tragic Tantrum
Tragic Tantrum

"Okay, strap in. This one got bumpy for all parties involved. I had two mutual acquaintances : Lawrence and Samantha. 'Had' is a very important term here. Lawrence was a charming, flirtatious guy. He was the kind of guy that people would say, 'Oh that scamp,' with a silly smirk, even when he did something completely uncool like fart at a funeral. He got away with everything. I remember that was one of the first things I noticed about him.

In the course of the two lovebirds dating for a year, Lawrence had cheated on her multiple times, including with her best friend. He had totaled her car, which she found out he was using to go see another girlfriend. He 'borrowed' money and pawned her items off without her knowledge. This dude was a real monster.

About one year after I met them, Samantha was at a house party I was throwing, and she got super wasted. Apparently she had just found out some things and hadn’t disclosed she was aware of them yet. We weren’t that close, and she was quite out of it, so I mostly just said things like, 'You sure that happened? You okay?'

She told me she had found incriminating texts and phone calls that proved everything she was saying. She sobbed, 'And I’m so angry because he’s been talking about us getting pregnant!'

I said, 'Well, you definitely shouldn’t be talking to me about this, you should go talk to him.' Secretly, I was thinking, 'Far away from my house.'

I remember her face. She was a very beautiful girl, and I don’t think she had ever been told, 'I don’t care about you,' to her face in any type of words. She seemed shocked. She then started screaming, hitting, sobbing, demanding, flipping out, twitching, choking, and causing the biggest scene I’ve ever seen.

She threw such a tantrum that no one at that party, all like 50 or so of us, talked to our 'friend' Lawrence for like a year. He was a terrible, but she was also just crazy coco puffs. I think they stayed together. I’m pretty sure he never recovered, and I moved. Pretty sure they deserved each other."

Assassination Attempt
Assassination Attempt

"My husband of almost 19 years was having an affair with our neighbor, but I wasn't aware of it. This neighbor divorced her husband and the next month, my husband divorced me. It was a very difficult time for my two sons and me, as my mother had been diagnosed with cancer too. My youngest son was torn apart, and that was a savage thing his father did to him. He was only 8-years-old and had never been through a rough time in his life. His little heart was just broken and he was traumatized. After about three months my now ex married my neighbor and moved in with her on our street. That felt pretty savage to me, knowing they lived right beside me, but this was not even close to how savage things might have been.

My mother needed help at this time, so I moved over to Missouri with my youngest son to be the help she needed. My oldest son had to stay with his father because he could not change schools at this time. Again, to split up my children felt savage to me, but as an only child, I was desperately needed by my parents. I enrolled my son in his new school, but he hated it and wanted to go back to his previous school, which he loved. After a few months at my parents, I received a call from the man who had been married to this neighbor who was now my children's stepmother. Again, this felt really savage to all three of us, as she was a self-absorbed woman who was a terrible mother to her own children. The man told me I should be extremely careful, because he had just learned that my ex and his new wife were hiring a hit man for me!

As someone who hardly knew much about people who would consider something like that, I was astonished, appalled, and scared to death! I asked him how he knew about the hit man scenario, and he told me his 3-year-old daughter had asked him what a hit man was. She said that her mother and my ex were 'getting one for me'. This child was much too young to make this up, so I knew it was true. My heart was so torn apart by the divorce, but to know my ex actually wanted me dead was just too savage for me. I think I might have had a nervous breakdown if it hadn't been for my mother needing me so much. I was a nervous wreck but tried not to show it in front of my parents, who were going through the worst time of their lives. They didn't need anything more to be concerned about. The man who had informed me of the hit man went to the police in the town we had lived and left a letter for them, so all policemen on the force would know about my predicament. I had to pick up my older son from my ex and leave my younger son with him on some weekends, as we had joint custody. So at those times, I was in more danger than usual. As time went by, I realized my ex must not have hired the hit man, as no one was stalking me that I knew of. I called the man who had told me about this and he said he had told my ex that he knew of his plans for me! At that time I took a sigh of relief, as I knew my ex was a chicken and he would be afraid to go through with my murder now that others knew.

About 3 or 4 months after being at my parents home, I decided to sell my house, as I never wanted to live next door to my ex and his new wife. Therefore, I went over to clean my house out and sweep out my garage. As I did this, my ex came over to 'talk' to me. I wasn't too alarmed, as I could see he didn't have a weapon with him. Since he knew I had not expected to talk with him, I decided to just ask him about this hit man thing. To my surprise, he told me that he and his wife had been talking to a man I had gone to school with to kill me!

He was one of the best marksmen in the area, so he would have got me for sure! I asked him why he wanted me dead, and the look that came over his face was demon-like. He told me that it was all about money. His name was still on the deed to my house, so it would revert back to him if I died. He also told me that his new wife had received her house in her divorce, and they would sell both of them and buy a much larger mansion. Also, he would not have to pay alimony or child support to me, and he slipped and told me he still had an insurance policy on me! I knew my ex and his new wife were money hungry, but I never would have thought they would have me killed in order to go up financially!

To my ex’s consternation, I survived, and he knows I am not afraid of him. I sometimes see him at a store and notice the horrible look come over his face. He still wishes me dead."

Piece By Piece, Destroyed His Life
Piece By Piece, Destroyed His Life

"My friend’s husband of 20 years, father of her 2 boys, was a serial cheater. She knew he was dipping his toes in the forbidden pool, but she could never prove it. She had heard rumours over the last 10 or so years, from a friend, a work colleague, and a few other distant relatives. She had almost caught him a few times, but he always managed to turn things around to make it about her insecurities and mental stability.

She did a lot for that man. She gave up a really good job to raise the kids (at his request). She also saved so they had that little extra money when emergencies and unexpected things came up, because he was incapable of holding onto money. Even though he had a very good paying job, he never had any money left. He always found a reason to spend it all. He never had money for Christmas or holidays, and her scrimping and squirrelling away of money saw them through on many an occasion. He would lord over her that he was the breadwinner, often humiliating her in front of friends and family for being ‘just a stay-at-home mom’. He would act the big man, make her the little woman, and frankly was a bit of a peacock, strutting around preening his feathers.

Then after a while, when he got bored, he started a string of affairs. It went on for years, nearly 10 years that she knows of. She’d see something or hear something. He’d deny it, and he made her believe she was the insecure/unstable one. He got cruel with the way he spoke to her and about her. He belittled her and made her feel she wasn’t good enough for him. She was just the wife indoors, looking after his kids. So she knew he was having affairs, but she needed proof before she would even consider forcing the issue and divorcing him. Eventually, he slipped up.

He was having one-on-one counselling at the time for his ‘depression’. One night, after too many drinks, he falls asleep on the sofa, and his cell phone starts to slip out of his hand into a half-full mug on the floor. My friend leaps up to grab it before it drops in to the glass, and as she grabs it, a text message pops up. And there they are.

She starts scrolling back through the explicit messages. She grabs her phone and starts to take photo after photo of each of the WhatsApp messages, going back months.

‘Does your wife know you have stopped counselling sessions with me, or does she still think you are coming for counselling?’

‘Nah, I had to tell her I’d stopped’'

‘Doing it on that table in our little room was so convenient. We’ll have to try and find a reason for you to come see me after our work days’

My friend was struggling to get her head around what she was seeing each time she took a photo. That was the moment she realised all those arguments where she knew in her heart she was right, and he had made her feel like a demented, unstable headcase. All those years of his verbally abusing her, calling her insecure, a stupid female, making her feel like nothing. She emails the photos from her phone to herself and to me for safe keeping. She says absolutely nothing to him. She spends the next 6 weeks, finding reasons why she needs more housekeeping money. She ‘breaks’ her phone so he buys her a new one, she asks for him to give her the deposit for the forthcoming summer vacation, and he gives her cash. She puts everything into her mother's account. She waits for his works bonus to arrive and they decide to buy a new family car. She photocopies all bank statements, all legal and important paperwork, takes all the car ownership paperwork, kids birth certificates, passports, anything she thinks she might need. She knew once she left him, he would make everything as hard as possible for her. So everything goes to her mother’s house for safe keeping. She gets hold of his works internal email listings. And then comes this little beauty.

He gets a small treatable cancer, and as they had cover on the mortgage insurance to have it treated privately, and he was also able to claim on the life insurance part, it meant they paid out on the initial sum of the mortgage. So they paid off the balance of the mortgage and were left with approx $42,000. So at this point, 12 weeks after finding those text messages, everything prepared and set up, she drops the bombshell.

‘I’m no longer happy, and I don’t think you are. We don’t need this to be bitter, I think we need to call it a day and do the right thing for the kids. We can still be friends right?’

‘I agree,' he says. 'I’ll move out and we’ll sort things out quickly. I still love you and respect you, I’d never do anything to hurt you and the kids.’

He thought Christmas had come early. Free of the wife, free to mess around with whoever he wanted, and no disruption to his life. He’d got away with not only this affair, but all the others, all the lies and deceit.

So she gets her solicitor to file the paperwork quickly, claim they’ve been separated for nearly 3 years, and she gets to live in the house until the youngest child moves out or turns 18. He ‘gives’ her the new car, as she needs a reliable car to ferry the boys around. He will pay a generous monthly sum for the boys upkeep, and she’ll pay the utilities. But he’ll keep the $42,000 in mortage payments. The money she had off him over the last 3 months, plus the housekeeping monies in the joint bank account, has all been withdrawn over the last 3 months in small, sensible amounts and given to mom to put into her account for safekeeping. He moves out into his own apartment, visitation with the kids is sorted out, all seems to be going so well for him. He strutted around, proud that he’d done all this, got away with it, and still retained his reputation amongst his family and friends.

Then in a single day, she emails every single one of his work colleagues with photos of his wonderfully explicit text messages back and forth to his mistress. The nice touch was that he and the mistress had used their real pics on their icons on their WhatsApp accounts, so every one can see it’s him - these are all beautiful photos of his phone, with the text messages on them, no editing possible, no overwriting on emails - it is what it is and there’s no denying it.

She also opens up accounts with as many dating apps as she can. She uses his work email as the contact. She spent weeks collecting every magazine offer, she subscribed him to every online company who wanted to sell bra’s, health supplements, electric recliner chairs and stair-lifts. She signed him up for wanting more information regarding life insurance, private medical care, changes of utility providers and demonstrations for hearing aids, and homes visit opticians. She used a combination of his work number and his mobile number. She printed off the photos and sent them to his mum and dad, although she spared his grandparents for fear that it would bring on a heart attack.

Naturally, within 24 hours his entire life collapsed. The calls regarding appointments for insurance salesmen and brochure after brochure arrived at work for him. His boss was livid, furious at his stupidity and lack of judgement. He didn’t lose his job, as he is very good at what he does, but he lost the respect of his boss and his peers. He went ballistic. His now ex-wife gave him an ultimatum.

‘Pay me half of the $42,000, or I send all this to the counselling service company your mistress works at, showing that she has hooked up over a period of 6 months with you, a client, in her work place, and is still involved with you, and that she is the direct cause of our break-up.’

After he’d taken legal advice and had thought about it a bit, he agreed, and the financial settlement was drawn up.

This was 3 years ago. He still receives junk in the post to his work. He is still receiving phone calls trying to sell him hearing aids and chair-lifts. He is still with the woman he had the affair with. They now live together, along with her eldest daughter and her 2 kids. He’s happy enough it seems, but life isn’t so much fun now this woman is his official girlfriend and not the exciting bit on the side. The best part for my friend is that he lives in in constant ‘fear’ that one day, he might anger friend off enough that she will send those photos to ‘Mind’, the counselling service the ‘other woman’ still works, or that she might send them to her directly.

I have to take my hat off to her. She kept her cool, she spent 3 months playing him, taking his money and preparing everything to get as much as she could from him. To be fair, she could have fleeced him for every penny. She only asked for half and she never involved the kids, immediately agreeing to him alternative weekends and weekday visitation. Considering he had spent about 10 years lying, cheating and disrespecting her on a daily basis, it could have been far far worse.

Her and her ex communicate when they have to. He has continued to put his needs before anyone else’s, especially his kids. And they are growing up very resentful. The oldest one is angry at his mom for not being ‘good enough to keep dad’, and the younger one is angry at his father for putting his now girlfriend’s kids and grandkids before his own kids. Her ex's aggression, which was always barely contained, is now fully exposed. He physically pushed my friend out of the way when she didn’t move fast enough out of his way. Without her there to make the peace, he yells at the kids, who at 12 and 16, now will yell back. He does everything to make her life difficult. Some may say this is because what she did to him. But I’d question if what she did to him was worse than what he did to her? We found out recently that his mother and brother knew of at least 2 affairs he was having - so not only did my friend feel betrayed by him, she now feels betrayed by her ex mother-in-law and ex brother-in-law. Lastly, can I just also say, the money from the insurance pay out, has never been spent by her. Whereas he spent his half within less than 2 years - she split her share of the money and put half each into savings for the two boys. She may have acted out her ultimate plan of revenge, but she made sure that money went to those it should have always gone to."

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