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My Daughter Saw Women’s Numbers in My Husband’s Phone — I Thought He Was Cheating, But the Reality Shocked Me to the Core

When Sarah’s daughter, Emily, finds a bunch of female contacts saved with heart emojis on her father’s phone, Sarah begins to fear the worst. Why does her husband’s phone look like he had swiped right on all these women? Her paranoia takes over and she follows him the next day, only to see something that makes her heart skip a beat.

It was a rainy Saturday morning, the kind that envelops the world in a hushed, rhythmic pattering against the windows. It was the type of morning that warranted pancakes and coffee in the comfort of pajamas.

I sat nestled on the couch, lost in the pages of my book, relishing the rare calm in our usually bustling household.

My daughter, Emily, was sprawled out on the floor; she had music coming from a speaker and her fingers deftly maneuvering through a game on her father’s smartphone.

Suddenly, Emily’s curious voice sliced through the silence.

“Mommy?” she called out to me.

“Yes, what’s wrong?” I asked.

“Mommy, did you do something wrong?”

I bookmarked my page and set the book aside.

“What do you mean, sweetheart?” I asked, confused by her question.

She tilted her head, puzzling over the phone’s screen while frowning deeply—lines forming on her young face.

“My teacher always puts hearts on my homework if I do a good job,” my daughter explained. “Why does Dad have hearts for everyone on his phone but not for you?”

Heart sinking, I took the phone from her small hands.

“Come, let’s see,” I said.

Her fingers pointed to a long list of contacts, each tagged with a woman’s name and a heart emoji. Confusion and dread welled up inside me.

Could Mark, my loving husband of more than a decade, the doting father of our child, be cheating on me?

“Mom, can I have some toasted cheese?” Emily asked me, having forgotten about the heart emojis.

I went into the kitchen and made my daughter’s food while wondering whether Mark would be capable of actually being unfaithful to me.

We had been together for so long, and all we had wanted was to be a family.

“This is it, Sarah,” he said. “You’re it for me.”

I remembered his vows like it was yesterday. And even after our wedding, things had only gotten better with the years.

But now, everything felt different—tainted, almost. I couldn’t imagine Mark with someone else. I couldn’t imagine him hiding another person in the shadows of our lives.

For the rest of the day, a heavy cloak of suspicion draped over me.

I stared out of the window for most of the day. I waited for Mark to come home from the office—where he had gone to finish up some paperwork.

But now I wondered if he was actually working or whether he was with another woman.

When Mark got home, we cooked dinner together—moving along in a well-rehearsed routine that we had perfected over the years. I watched my husband, searching for any sign of deceit in the man I thought I knew so well.

Yet, he was just as caring and affectionate as ever, making it even more difficult to reconcile the man with the mystery his phone suggested.

“Should we take Emily to the movies tonight?” Mark asked me, his hands flying across a chopping board as he cut up vegetables.

“We can ask her after dinner,” I said, smiling at him.

But I was so confused. Everything about him screamed my husband—my usual, loving husband who waited on Emily and me.

While I finished up dinner, I could hear Mark talking to Emily about something and continued to giggle, making everything seem as normal as possible.

After dinner, the three of us watched a movie at home—with Mark making fresh buttery popcorn and ice cream sandwiches for us.

Nothing seemed out of the ordinary. But my mind refused to settle.

As I tucked Emily into bed that night, I wondered what the truth was.

The next morning, my unease deepened when Mark, usually an open book about his weekend plans, muttered something about meeting a friend and left the house in haste.

“It’s an emergency, honey,” he said while putting on his running shoes.

“Do you need me to come with you?” I asked him, sitting up in bed.

“No, you stay here. Emily is still asleep, anyway. You stay in bed and read.”

And with that, he was running down the stairs.

I knew my husband. Something about his demeanor was off—he was not quite hiding his nervousness. I quickly pulled a sweater out of my closet and ran out. I was driven by a concoction of fear and the need for clarity—I was going to follow my husband.

Emily would be fine—the chances of her still sleeping while I returned were high. As I opened the door, Mark drove slowly out of the driveway.

I got into my car and trailed Mark from a safe distance until he ended up parking outside an animal shelter. My heart thudded against my ribs as I watched him enter the shelter.

“Mark, are you seeing someone from this shelter?” I asked the silence in my car.

Compelled by a fresh mix of dread and curiosity, I followed a few minutes later.

I held tightly onto my car keys, the action keeping me alert.

Inside, I was met with a sight far from my grim expectations and fear. There was my husband, chatting animatedly with a shelter volunteer while a gentle-looking golden retriever wagged its tail at his side.

My shoes made a sound against the floor, and Mark looked up catching sight of me by the entrance.

“Darling, what are you doing here?” my husband asked, his shock quickly morphing into a sheepish smile as he made his way toward me.

“What are you doing here?” I asked him, feeling slightly uneasy.

“I wanted this to be a surprise for you and Emily,” he said. “This is where I was yesterday—sorting out the paperwork and Bella’s vaccinations. I just didn’t want to bring her home in the rain. At least the weather is better today.”

Mark pointed to Bella, before kneeling down to call her. The sweet little dog came running at his call.

“I’ve been coming here for a few days,” Mark said. “Just to make sure that she’s the right fit for us.”

It turns out that the heart emojis on my husband’s phone were not symbols of illicit affairs but markers for contacts who could help him navigate the adoption process.

“Sarah, they’re all contacts working at the various shelters around town,” Mark said when we got home and made breakfast.

Emily was running up and down the hallway with Bella at her side.

“I’m sorry that you thought it was anything else,” Mark said, putting his arms around me.

“I’m sorry for jumping to conclusions,” I confessed.

Because I had done just that. I had thought the worst of Mark simply because of emojis that were tied to contacts saved on his phone.

When in reality, my husband had been doing something for our daughter and myself—giving us the dog that we had wanted to complete our little family.

In the end, I realized that I should have just been open and honest with Mark the day before—it would have ruined the surprise, but it would have prevented me from hurting my husband.

Which I knew I had done when I revealed the truth. But at least now we had Bella.

What would you have done?

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Husband Texts He’s in a Business Meeting & Cancels Our Date—I Saw Him Leaving Work at the Same Time
Leighton, after witnessing how her parents celebrated their anniversary, is sure about one thing — when she gets married, she will do just that. But when her anniversary rolls around, her husband skips their romantic dinner and lies about a meeting. Curiosity prevails, and Leighton follows Josh, only to find him at a motel with the first person he ever loved. Is there a hidden truth, or is the story exactly what it looks like?

I grew up in a home where anniversaries were important and had to be celebrated. It was just something that my parents always paid extra attention to.

My mother would bake a cake every year on their anniversary, even if my father had dinner plans for them.

“It’s important to celebrate a marriage, Leighton,” my mother would say.

And she would usually be decorating the cake at this point.

“I mean, you’ll understand it one day,” she said. “But married life is difficult, and that’s why you have to celebrate making it another year.”

Since then, I knew that if I ever got married, wedding anniversaries would be a big deal.

And then I met Josh, who seemed to understand the importance of it — or at least, the sentimentality of it all.

So, the other day was our sixth anniversary, and because it was the middle of the week, there just wasn’t going to be enough time to plan something intimate at home.

A dinner out was going to be our best option.

“It’s not a bad idea, Leighton,” Josh said when I told him that we had to settle on that.

“It’s much easier, anyway,” I said, thinking about the fuss of getting home and having to cook an elaborate dinner after a long day at the office.

The weekend before our anniversary, I went shopping and got Josh a new set of ties — my husband was into his tie collection and was always looking to add to it.