When Ben and Ashley, from England, first met in high school, the two fell in love almost immediately.
They were inseperable and the whole school knew the couple, sometimes jokingly calling them “Bashley”.
So nobody expected what would happen years later, not even Ben and Ashley.
It all had to do with this family photo below.
Ben and Ashley were eachother’s first and only. That’s why they were so close. In her final year of high school, Ashley also got pregnant.
As soon as they both graduated, they had their first child together. It was August when their daughter, Jill, was born.
Although they were both happy with the birth of their child, it happened rather unexpectedly. They weren’t married and didn’t have a home of their own. They also didn’t have enough money to move out of their family homes.
This is where the problems started. What were they going to do now?
2.A ‘temporary’ stroke of luck
Fortunately, Ashley’s parents were resilient enough to provide a temporary home for the young family. The teenagers and their young daughter stayed with Grandpa John and Grandma Katy for a year.
Although this was not their dream start, Ashley now had help taking care of the baby and, together with Ben, they were able to save some hard-earned money for a home of their own.
Everything seemed to be going well, but unfortunately, this didn’t last.
3.Home for rent
A few blocks away, Ben and Ashley found a house they could afford to rent by themselves.
They were both only 19 years old and for the first time in their lives, they had their own house, instead of a bedroom. They were in seventh heaven.
In the months that followed, they decorated the house to their liking. They found used furniture in several thrift stores, as well as the necessary toys for Jill.
Everything seemed to be going well for the young family…
4.Marriage + Extras
One beautiful summer night, Ben decided to ask Ashley to marry him. “This had always been her dream,” Ben said.
In the months that followed, many preparations were made – after all, it was going to be the most special day of their lives. And then in July, just after Ashley’s 21st birthday, the big day arrived.
The wedding was held on a beautiful sunny day. All the guests were present and the wedding party was great. But that wasn’t all…
Just two days after the wedding, Ashley found out she was pregnant again. Nine months later, their daughter, Laura, was born.
Ashley decided to stop working so she could fully concentrate on looking after the family.
But was this the best decision?
Fortunately, Ben had a good job as a banker and earned enough money to support his family.
Meanwhile, the couple had also taken out a mortgage and finally bought their own house. While Ben spent his days behind a desk, Ashley took care of the household and the children. The family seemed to have a perfect life.
In the years that followed, the couple had two more children. Four children and a house of their own – not bad for two childhood sweethearts!
But then, all of a sudden, everything collapsed…
Because Ben was the only one bringing in the money, the days and weeks that he worked got longer. After all, he now had six mouths to feed. Although Ben and Ashley were very happy with their family, problems slowly began to arise in their relationship.
After a while, Ben was hardly at home. He spent more than 16 hours a day in the office and only saw Ashley when she was already asleep.
The foundation that made their relationship so strong began to crumble underneath their feet.
And what happened next just threw oil onto the fire…
Ashley missed the attention Ben used to give her. She felt alone in the relationship and was extremely tired, practically raising the children on her own.
Ashley soon became friends with some parents at school. The children would be dropped off and the parents would have a chat. And then she met Kevin, one of the parents…
He was a nice person to talk to. He had been through a lot himself and was very understanding. Their similarities quickly created a close bond.
There was an unintended chemistry between the two. Would they act on it?
While Ben was working, Kevin visited Ashley at home regularly. They both got to know each other better and talked about their hopes and dreams. This went on for a couple of months in a friendly way.
Kevin was free and had nothing to worry about. Something that was sorely lacking in Ashley’s relationship with Ben. This automatically made Kevin very attractive.
But then came the turning point. They couldn’t hold back anymore. Their relationship grew into something special…
Ashley suddenly had a double life: she had started a family with her childhood sweetheart, Ben, but she was attracted to Kevin, with whom she now had a secret relationship.
Ben didn’t know about any of this… Or did he?
9.Caught underneath the sofa?
But when Kevin visited Ashley again one afternoon, Ben decided to leave work an hour earlier, to have dinner with Ashley.
What would happen now? Ben knew nothing about his wife’s double life.
Kevin had to leave as soon as possible. Panicking, he tried to leave the living room. But when he heard the door open, he knew it was too late.
He quickly dove under the cushions of the sofa and tried to hide.
Ben stepped inside, kissed his wife on the cheek, and saw that all four children were at home. It had been a long time since all six of them had been together, without anyone sleeping or busy.
This was the perfect moment for a family photo, Ben said. “We have to immortalize moments like this.” Ben then grabbed the camera and set the timer…
They decided to sit on the couch together to take a family photo. The last time they took a picture like this with the whole family was years ago, before Luke and Lloyd were born. After they took the picture and had dinner together, Ben went back to work.
He was so happy with the photo that he decided to print it in a large format.
But then he got a surprise he absolutely hadn’t counted on…
Ben wanted to hang the new family photo on the wall at home. But when the receptionist at the photo studio showed Ben the picture, he noticed that there weren’t six people present when the picture was taken, but seven…
There was another man in the house!
He looked carefully at the cushions of the sofa and saw an extra pair of eyes present in the photo. Who was this man? And why was he part of their beautiful family moment?
Ben came home upset and asked his wife to explain what was going on. Crying, she confessed what had happened over the past few months. “I’m going to divorce you,” he yelled at her.
Ashley burst into tears, but Ben didn’t care. She’d been fooling him for months. He quickly went to the bedroom to pack up his stuff.
“Who does she think she is? And who does this Kevin think he is?!”
13.A head full of thoughts
Ben went looking for a hotel. He didn’t want to live under the same roof as Ashley anymore.
“I’m never going back to that house”, Ben thought.
Numerous scenarios went through his head.She must not find me attractive anymore.He was a stalker who slowly tried to seduce her.She never loved me and only used me for my livelihood.
But, soon, Ben came to a completely different thought that was much closer to the truth…
14.“Of course we loved each other, we were childhood sweethearts and built something beautiful together. But I’ve been quite absent in the last few years”
Ben realized that because of all the hectic work, he hadn’t really been there for his wife and children. Missing special moments with the kids and failing to give the love of his life the attention she deserved, were all part of it.
He suddenly realized all the mistakes he had made in his life and knew he had to do something about it.
He quickly grabbed his car and drove home…
15.In the end, he chose to do a loving thing for his wife. He understood her and set the relationship free. She finally chose Kevin, whom she’s now blissfully happy with.
Ben is now a good friend and comes over to the house several times a week, which he told Ashley she could keep.
And even Ben, who at first was inconsolable, is slowly dating again.
The article you’ve just read is a fictional story created by our editors. Our intention with these stories is to bring some positivity into people’s daily lives.