New 1412

I Overheard My Husband Telling His Friends That I Look Worse than His Ex – The Lesson I Gave Him Is Just Crazy

Still basking in her honeymoon glow, Jane is more than ready to begin her new life as a wife. But when she overhears a conversation between her husband and his friends, she discovers that her husband is as shallow as they come. Will Jane conform to the ideal woman Wayne wants, or will she leave?

Dating Wayne was one thing. Being married to him was another thing altogether.

Up until a year ago, I thought I had married the love of my life. Wayne and I met just as he had gotten out of a particularly toxic relationship.

A couple sitting on a bench together | Source: Unsplash

A couple sitting on a bench together | Source: Unsplash

“Are you sure you’re ready for me?” I asked.

“Yes, of course, Jane,” he said. “Nicole is a part of the past now. I’m ready to move on and settle down and just be happy, you know?”

At first, I was worried about being a rebound—it happened more often than not. But I also figured that I had nothing to lose.

A couple sitting at a table and holding hands | Source: Unsplash

A couple sitting at a table and holding hands | Source: Unsplash

We were together for almost two years when Wayne proposed to me.

“Let’s make it forever, Jane,” he said.

Of course, I said yes. In the time we had been together, Wayne had shown me that I was more than just a rebound.

A courtyard proposal | Source: Pexels

A courtyard proposal | Source: Pexels

We had just returned from a dreamy honeymoon, filled with laughter, affection, and promises of a future together. Life seemed perfect, but the façade shattered one ordinary day.

I was about to take our dog, Bolt, for a walk, when I saw that Wayne was chatting with his friends on a video call.

A dog holding a flower | Source: Unsplash

A dog holding a flower | Source: Unsplash

“Hey, Jane!” my husband called from the living room. “Come and say ‘hey’ to the guys.”

I popped my head into the frame for a minute before heading out.

When Bolt saw the leash and harness, he licked my face, excited to get away from our garden. But the sky looked ominous, hinting at rain.

A cloudy sky | Source: Unsplash

A cloudy sky | Source: Unsplash

So, I ran back inside to grab my raincoat.

The house was filled with laughter from Wayne’s video call. I slipped upstairs to get my raincoat—not wanting to make myself known because I was certain that Wayne would call me back to talk to them.

Little did I know that an innocent eavesdropper to a conversation would unravel the tapestry of our relationship.

A screen with a video call | Source: Unsplash

A screen with a video call | Source: Unsplash

“Dude, are you still hung up on how Jane looks?” one of his friends chuckled.

My heart skipped a beat.

What? I thought.

Maybe it was just a joke and Wayne was going to come to my rescue.

“Well, at least she cooks better than Nicole,” Wayne said. “And she doesn’t bother me much. I think she took Bolt for a walk now too, something that Nicole would definitely have made me do. But it does feel like a bit of a downgrade compared to Nicole.”

A woman sitting on a rock | Source: Unsplash

A woman sitting on a rock | Source: Unsplash

“What are you going to do about it?” another voice chimed in.

“Listen, I think I’d change my mind if Jane lost a little bit of weight.”

Their laughter rang loudly through the house.

I stood frozen in utter disbelief.

A man laughing | Source: Unsplash

A man laughing | Source: Unsplash

Wayne had never expressed such shallow concerns to me. Instead, he used to reassure me of his unconditional love—especially following his relationship with Nicole.

Yet, here he was, sitting with a beer in the living room, mocking me.

I turned around and left the house. Bolt needed a walk, and I needed to get away from Wayne.

A beer bottle | Source: Unsplash

A beer bottle | Source: Unsplash

An internal battle followed me after that. I couldn’t figure out what to do. I knew that marriage would be difficult, especially because I was so stubborn about everything in my life. But I hadn’t expected it to feel so bad so soon.

Wayne and I were only three weeks into our marriage, and he was already comparing me to his ex-girlfriend who had broken up with him over text.

I could have divorced Wayne on the spot. But that would have almost been too easy. I needed more.

I couldn’t sleep. My mind raced uncontrollably.

A woman looking out the window | Source: Unsplash

A woman looking out the window | Source: Unsplash

“What do you want to do?” my mother asked when I told her the story the following day.

“I don’t know,” I said. “I want to hurt him, I think.”

Ever since I overheard what Wayne had said, I couldn’t look at myself in the mirror without flinching.

Everything looked and felt wrong. I wanted to be covered up. I didn’t want anyone to see me.

My hair looked dull, my teeth seemed too yellow from all the tea I drank. The hips that I loved seemed too big. And my smile felt all wrong.

A woman wearing a gray jacket | Source: Unsplash

A woman wearing a gray jacket | Source: Unsplash

My mother poured me some tea and gave me a slice of pie.

“Hurt him now?” she asked.

“I haven’t thought that far ahead,” I admitted.

“Why don’t you just want to get a divorce and move on? Aren’t you just wasting your time?” she asked.

I did feel like I was wasting time—but at the same time, I just wanted some form of revenge. I needed it.

“What about the prenup?” my mother asked.

“What?” I asked.

A slice of pie and a cup of tea | Source: Unsplash

A slice of pie and a cup of tea | Source: Unsplash

“Didn’t you and Wayne sign a prenuptial contract? If you get divorced now, would that mean anything?”

I went home and found my copy of the contract—it was straightforward. I just needed to stick it out for a year, and then I was entitled to half of everything Wayne owned.

I could wait.

A signed agreement | Source: Pexels

A signed agreement | Source: Pexels

The following months were a blur of transformation for me. I was fueled by a resolve to confront him in a manner he would never forget.

I embarked on a journey of self-improvement, not for him, but as a statement of my worth.

I signed up for the gym, and I began eating better. I went to the dentist regularly for cleaning. I ensured that my hair was trimmed every few months.

I began to feel better in my own skin.

A woman at the gym | Source: Unsplash

A woman at the gym | Source: Unsplash

Wayne, on the other hand, thought that I was doing it all for him.

He started to buy me new clothes and shoes.

“I just thought you’d look amazing in this,” he would say, waiting for me to strip down and try it in front of him.

Which I never did. But Wayne kept them coming, and I kept stacking them in my closet. Soon, I’d begin a new life, and I’d wear them all.

A pink gift box | Source: Unsplash

A pink gift box | Source: Unsplash

By our first anniversary, I had transformed myself into the very image of societal perfection that my husband and his friends idolized.

I suggested that we do a big dinner with all of our friends—which was actually a stage set for the final act of my long-contrived plan.

The moment they saw me—using one of my new dresses, their astonishment was palpable, a mirror to my husband’s dazzled admiration.

A woman wearing a short blue dress | Source: Unsplash

A woman wearing a short blue dress | Source: Unsplash

Wayne and his friends sat around drinking beers, while I set the table, ready for dinner. Thanks to the beers, Wayne and his friends were in a great mood.

“Wayne, you didn’t tell us that Jane looks that good,” one of the guys said.

“I told you guys that she was working out more. And she’s been making us eat better now.”

“So you’re into your wife again?” someone laughed.

People drinking beer | Source: Unsplash

People drinking beer | Source: Unsplash

“Yeah!” Wayne said. “Did you see how she looks in that dress?”

I had never felt more objectified in my entire life.

I joined the ‘wives’ and listened to them talk about the importance of collagen for skin. When dinner was ready, we sat down.

As we raised our glasses for a toast, I seized the moment of silence to unveil my true intentions.

Collagen supplements | Source: Unsplash

Collagen supplements | Source: Unsplash

“I’m filing for divorce because I don’t want to ever feel downgraded again, compared to an ex or anyone else,” I said.

“What?” Wayne demanded, putting his beer down firmly on the table.

“Wayne once shared with you guys, when he thought I wasn’t around to hear, that being with me felt like a downgrade. That I wasn’t Nicole. That maybe, if I lost weight, and changed how I looked, he might change his mind.”

A collective gasp rippled through the dining room—my husband’s face drained of color, his eyes widening in shock and realization.

A shocked man | Source: Unsplash

A shocked man | Source: Unsplash

“But here’s the thing,” I continued, everyone hanging onto my every word. “I did not transform myself for him—I did it for myself because overhearing that conversation wrecked my self-esteem. Nobody should ever feel the need to change for someone’s shallow affection.”

My husband’s pleas for forgiveness and claims of change fell on deaf ears.

“Come on, Jane,” he said. “We can talk about this later.”

“No, we don’t really have anything to talk about now,” I said.

“Jane, please. I was a fool,” he said. “That was a year ago. I don’t believe any of that now. Can’t you see how much I love you?”

I shook my head, a sad smile playing on my lips.

A man looking down | Source: Unsplash

A man looking down | Source: Unsplash

“Why did you wait a year?” Wayne’s friend, Ross, asked me.

“Because, Wayne. Remember the prenup you insisted on? The one that generously compensates the ‘downgraded party’ in the event of a divorce initiated by dissatisfaction within the first five years?”

The silence was deafening as the implication of my words sank in. My husband sank back into his chair, the fight draining out of him.

“I don’t want your money,” I said, my voice softening. “But I will take enough to start a new life.”

I picked up my fork and continued to eat my dinner. I planned on packing my things and moving out as soon as possible.

A plate of food and a fork | Source: Unsplash

A plate of food and a fork | Source: Unsplash

In the past few weeks, I had already secured an apartment, signing the lease so that it was ready for me.

“Just like that?” Wayne asked a few days later as I packed all my books into a box.

“Yes, just like that,” I said. “You started this. You ruined this marriage before you really gave it a chance. So, I’m good now.”

“You really think I’m that shallow?” he asked.

I looked at Wayne for a moment, wondering if there was any remorse lying beneath his mask. But there wasn’t.

And even if, deep down, there was—it was just too late.

A cardboard box and books | Source: Unsplash

A cardboard box and books | Source: Unsplash

What would you have done?

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