My spouse declined to take pictures of me on our vacation—his explanation shocked me, but my revenge left him in tears.

Hannah here, hello to all of you. I feel compelled to tell this experience even if it is tough to do so. I am 38 years old, the mother of two wonderful children, ages five and seven, and I have been married to my husband, Luke, for over ten years. Like every relationship, we have faced our fair share of difficulties. But I was stunned by something that occurred during our most recent trip to Mexico.

Envision yourself in Mexico, encircled by breathtaking beaches and radiant weather. This excursion had me giddy with anticipation. Admittedly, I had painstakingly prepared everything since, well, I seldom get a break as a mom.

This was meant to be our time to reconnect, relax, and just enjoy one other’s company. But Luke was acting strangely from the beginning.

He would always say no when I asked him to take a picture with me or of me.

He might remark, “I’m not in the mood,” or, “Can we do it later?” I didn’t give it much thought at first. Perhaps he was simply fatigued from the journey? However, it continued to occur.

I was wearing a new outfit that I had purchased especially for the vacation, and we were on this gorgeous beach. It’s not often that I feel good about myself, especially with two kids and everything. “Could you take a picture of me with the sunset?” I requested Luke.

“Not now, Hannah,” he mumbled, with a sigh.

I scowled, a little offended. “Why not? It will just need a moment.

He yelled, “I said I’m not in the mood,” and turned to walk away.

That hurt. We’re on vacation, what gives him the excuse that he can’t stop and take a picture? I was perplexed and humiliated.

I saw that he was extra careful with his phone the whole trip. Every time I passed, he would conceal the screen and even carry it into the restroom. I tried to ignore the feeling in my stomach that something wasn’t right.

Luke was taking a shower one day when I noticed his phone on the bed. The moment I took it up, my heart raced. I had to know even though I know it’s immoral to violate someone’s privacy. I browsed his recent texts on his phone and unlocked it immediately.

A group chat with his pals was there. And my blood ran cold at what I read. “Imagine, guys, at her weight, she still wants me to take pictures of her,” he had written. In what part of the picture would she possibly fit? She has changed significantly since having birth.

My eyes filled with tears, and I felt as though I was gasping for air. Behind my back, this man—the father of my children and the man I loved—was saying such harsh things. I believed we were a couple and that he accepted me for who I am, but instead he was making fun of me in front of his pals.

I sat there in disbelief, putting his phone back. How was he able to? I was heartbroken and deceived. Even though our marriage was far from ideal, I never would have guessed he had such low regard for me. I sobbed in private so the kids wouldn’t hear.

My tears eventually stopped flowing, and I started to feel angry instead. I would not allow him to escape punishment for this. I had to take action to demonstrate to him the repercussions of his statements. That’s when it dawned on me.

I pulled out my phone and looked through the pictures I had shot on the journey. Choosing my favorites, I shared them on Facebook with the comment, “Searching for a new travel companion.” Is my appearance so unappealing that even my spouse is reluctant to have me photographed?

The post started receiving likes and comments almost instantly. Several of my acquaintances and friends also sent encouraging remarks. They expressed their dismay at Luke’s actions and complimented my pictures, calling me gorgeous. I did not elaborate on the details of his remarks, but the meaning was evident.

Luke realized my mood had changed as he got out of the shower. “Is everything alright?” he said, perhaps detecting the anxiety.

“It’s just fine,” I said, not taking my eyes from my phone. I was unable to look him in the eye since I was still so wounded and angry.

I was still in awe at Luke’s treachery the next day. The things he had spoken about me stayed with me. However, something occurred that caused this already complex scenario to becoming much more difficult.

I had learned just before our vacation that my uncle—whom I had never met—had passed away and bequeathed a sizeable estate to me.

I thought it would be a happy surprise to tell Luke this news, so I had planned to do it on our trip. However, after learning the truth about his true feelings for me, I chose to keep it to myself.

Luke’s mother, who had learned about the bequest, somehow passed the message to him that morning. I had just finished packing our things and was about to call the trip when Luke entered the room with a bouquet of flowers.

I had noticed his embarrassed expression on a few other occasions when he realized he had made a mistake.

He said, “Hannah, I’m so sorry for everything,” and held the flowers out. I accepted them silently, waiting to hear his thoughts.

“I know I’ve been a jerk,” he went on. That was not the right thing for me to say. However, my dear, you may hire a trainer and drop some weight with your newfound wealth.

I was astounded by what I heard. Did he really believe that an apology and a recommendation that I utilize my inheritance to make myself different for him would be enough? I said, “Maybe I will, but without your advice,” in a fit of wrath.

His expression was so precious. He thought I would simply forgive him and go on. But I had had enough. This was it—my breaking moment. “Luke, I’m divorcing you,” I stated, maintaining a calm tone despite my internal conflict.

His mouth dropped open as his eyes grew wide. Then he started crying, which surprised me. He pleaded, “Please, Hannah, don’t leave me.” “Now that I don’t have your money, all my plans are ruined. I was going to buy a new SUV to go off-road with my friends.”

I was in disbelief. I realized then how little he thought of me. What my money could buy him was what mattered, not our bond or our family. I fixed a pitying yet determined glance on him.

You seem to cherish my money more than I do. You won’t use my money or subject me to humiliation in order to get your SUV; you will find another method. Luke, good bye.

I left him then, feeling both strangely relieved and saddened at the same time. Though this wasn’t how I had imagined my life to go, I had to take responsibility for my happiness now.

The remainder of the day was devoted to organizing my return home and initiating the divorce proceedings. My family and friends never stopped being there for me. I was able to reclaim my self-worth and confidence with the support of each message and remark.

I came to the realization that I didn’t require Luke or anybody else to affirm my worth or beauty. I was sufficient in my own right. I made the decision to go on with my life and put my children and myself first.

In the days that followed, I began exercising because I wanted to feel stronger and better, not because Luke advised it. I made more time for friends, picked up new interests, and even thought about returning to school.

I ran into Luke at the mall one day. He half-complimented me, which astonished me. “Hey!” Hannah, I nearly didn’t recognize you. You appear different. How are the kids and you doing?

I said, “We’re both doing great,” not wishing to carry on the discussion.

“Hannah, I wanted to ask you if…”

Luke, I’m becoming late. I have to be someplace. I apologize, I said, and I turned to go. His normally composed, self-assured visage was marred by sorrow and perplexity, as I could see from the corner of my eye.

But since I could finally live my life on my terms and feel confident in my own skin, it stopped bothering me. Instead of lamenting my failed marriage, I was prepared to go on with courage and self-love.

So, what are your thoughts? Did I respond appropriately, or did I go a bit too far in my response? In my position, what would you have done differently?

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