In June 2010, when Jen Waite was 25 years old, she met Marco at the restaurant where they both worked in Queens, New York.
According to The New York Post, Marco was 32 and an undocumented immigrant from Argentina. He was living in the United States because he had a seven-year-old son from an earlier relationship.
Jen acknowledged that she was smitten by her future husband not long after they first met. As she told The New York Post, he always had the right thing to say:
“You know, I hadn’t allowed myself to be hopeful about ever being happy again until I met you,” he told me the night of our first kiss. I was giddy with the adoration.
Two-and-a-half years later, around Christmas 2012, Jen and Marco became engaged. Two months later, they married at City Hall, and Marco started applying for his green card.
Shortly after becoming husband and wife, Jen and Marco started a restaurant with another couple. It was something Marco had always dreamed of doing.
Jen explained that though it was his dream, it didn’t go over as planned:
I plowed $75,000 of my savings into the venture and my parents contributed $25,000. It had always been Marco’s dream to own a restaurant, and it had finally come true.
But cracks developed between Marco and our business partners. Within months, he pulled out of the arrangement and started a new job as a full-time restaurant manager in Manhattan.
Meanwhile, Jen was preoccupied with other endeavors — she was planning a wedding celebration and was 14 weeks pregnant.
A photographer happened to capture the moment that the universe opened up and revealed it's heartbreaking, hilarious,…
Around the birth of their child, Jen started noticing a change in her husband.
As The New York Post reports, Marco kept disappearing for long periods of time to make “calls to the restaurant.” After she and their daughter, Louisa, were discharged from the hospital, Marco suggested that Jen go to Maine to spend some time with her family.
He told Jen:
“[My boss] won’t let me take time off so it’s better you’re with your family.”
Two weeks later, Jen and Louisa returned home, and Jen began getting into the swing of a new routine. About a week later, she logged onto their computer for the first time since giving birth.
Jen clicked on an email Marco sent a real estate agent and later forwarded to a woman named Viktorja. She said it almost made her laugh out loud. The email read:
My girlfriend and I have decided to go with another apartment, but thank you for your time.
Jen initially thought it was funny that her husband of two years was still calling her his girlfriend. Then she discovered Viktorja, a perky, maybe 22-year-old blonde, was a friend of Marco’s on Facebook.
Insecurities began creeping into Jen’s mind, so she called Marco at the restaurant to ask him, point blank, if he was having an affair. His calmness caught her off guard:
“Baby, first of all, trust me. I would never, ever cheat on you. You are my life, OK?” He explained that Viktorja was a European co-worker with no savings or credit rating. She was having trouble finding apartments as brokers weren’t taking her seriously. She’d asked Marco to contact them on her behalf. “I was really trying to help [her] … I am so sorry, babe. I’m an idiot.”
An hour later, he stopped being so kind. He told Jen that he had lost all his feelings for her and that he wasn’t happy. But he still denied ever having an affair.
Then Jen stumbled upon more damning evidence — an email from Viktorja about falling in love and a text to his son’s mother, in which he admitted that he’s afraid of losing Louisa, but not Jen.
As the evidence continued to pile up, Marco began trying to put the blame on Jen, questioning her own insanity and blaming her paranoia on hormones.
Finally, after he admitted to having an “emotional” affair with Viktorja, Jen tried to put it behind her for the sake of their family. Sadly, Marco wasn’t ready to put the affair behind him:
Days later, I packed a sleeping Louisa into the back of the car and parked outside his restaurant at closing time. Two shadowy figures appeared from the doorway — Marco and a blonde I immediately recognized as Viktorja. He put his arm around her as they walked to a bar.
That’s when Jen discovered the most damning evidence of all, a 45-minute call between Marco and Viktorja the day their daughter was born. The affair was so much more than just “emotional” and it had been going on for months.
Jen and Marco have now been divorced for over a year. While it’s been a long road to recovery, the single mom admits to being stronger than ever.
Now, Jen hopes her story that she developed into a memoir will provide guidance for others. She hopes it proves to those stuck in a broken relationship that there is happiness on the other side and that despite the trials and tribulations that may come with ending a chapter, it does, in fact, get better.