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After The Shut Up Ring

I waited eight years to marry the father of my children.

I worked at our relationship. I was patient. I forgave—the thoughtless remarks, the disappointments, the test results when I was expecting our youngest that proved he hadn’t been “working late.”

Then, when we finally made it to the altar, he looked deep into my eyes, smiled, and cracked a fat joke.

That wasn’t the worst of it.

His vows weren’t a promise to love. They were a final test of exactly what I’d do to get his ring on my finger—what I’d take—in front of our family, friends, and their cell phones.

Was I going to be internet famous? Another sad bride who must’ve known the kind of man she was marrying?

My two little girls stared up at me with big, round eyes. Was I really going to laugh it off like I always did?

In that moment, my house of cards came crashing down.

When the moment was over, for some reason, my best friend’s older brother was on his feet with his chair knocked over like he was about to punch someone.

This is the story of what happened next.

Please check the author’s note for specific content warnings. Standalone. No cheating. HEA guaranteed.


FMC contracted HSV-2 from cheating ex. Toxic relationship including emotional abuse. Visitation issues with ex. Disclosure of STI. FMC and MMC experience loss of a parent before the story begins.

shut up ring (noun) – a marriage proposal meant to get you off his back, intended to last indefinitely

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