Ira (not pictured) wishes he’d handled it differently (Image: Getty)
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It's a scenario that's been played out in countless films and TV dramas – sometimes even for comedic effect.
But when it came down to it, nothing could prepare Ira van den Heuvel for the heartbreaking discovery he made while working nights for a small local newspaper.
After all, there's no script to help you navigate finding your partner having sex with someone else after you decide to swing by home to "kiss my wife and son while they were sleeping and tell them I love them."
Years later, he admits he regrets his reaction.
During a break in his production schedule, Ira was told to drop off some flyers to a facility near enough his home to allow him to swing by and check in on his young family.
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"I was smitten with my family and hated working at night. Especially the part about being away from them," he admits on Quora .
"Pulled up in front of my house and immediately noticed that there was a big, black Dodge truck parked in my driveway.
"This truck was not recognisable as belonging to anyone I knew so I double-timed it to the front door out of concern for a possible intruder."
Soon, however, it became clear there was no intruder.
He'd wanted to surprise his wife
He continues: "Once at the front door, I could clearly hear sounds from the master bedroom window next to the door.
"Sounds I recognised as my wife whilst engaged in coitus. But with some other dude grunting and moaning along. Hmm. What to do, what to do?
"Noticing that the front door was ajar, I sprang into action. Gently as was prudent, I kicked the door the rest of the way open and said loudly, 'HONEY, I'M HOME!' In a really sarcastic tone.
"The ensuing chaos was mildly hilarious…a blur of naked male a** cheeks streaked from my bedroom to the bathroom, then closed and locked the door.
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"I looked in the bedroom at my wife. She was sitting up in the bed covered neck down with a sheet, sobbing and saying she was sorry over and over.
"I said as calmly as I could, 'I'm going to see your guest out, then I have to get back to work. For now, be a mother to our son. We'll talk in a few hours.'
"Then, I picked up a pair of pants from the floor that was obviously not mine and closed the door, my wife now becoming slightly hysterical."
Next comes the part Ira admits he regrets.
Now he says he wished he hadn't reacted with violence
(Image: Digital Vision)
"I knocked on the bathroom door and said as gently as I could, 'Say man, I have your pants out here. Open up a bit and I'll pass them through. Then get the f**k out of my house.'
"He opened up a wee bit and took his pants from me. Then, about a minute later, he opened the door.
"POW! I sucker punched the fellow in the mouth the second his face came into view, drawing blood immediately.
"A look of shock appeared on the guys face as if to say, 'What? I didn't do nuthin'!' I retorted, 'Leave. Now. Call the police if you must, but do it somewhere else.'
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"He never did. Turns out, he was a co-worker at my wife’s place of employment and was also married so he didn't want his wife to find out."
Explaining why he regrets doing what he did, Ira adds: "It is, and was, against my nature to use violence in an offensive manner. At the time, I rationalised it as being self defence, an intruder in my home.
"But that’s bulls**t. He didn't take anything my wife did not give up willingly; I was simply responding to the turmoil of emotions and that awful pain of heartbreak clawing my chest apart.
"Still not okay. I wish none of that evening had happened, but most of all wish I hadn't hit the guy."
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Unable to forgive his wife, Ira packed up his belongings and left.
He continues: "How my son was involved and affected is not relevant here, but suffice to say, he got hurt the worst of anyone involved.
"I regret that as well. "
Now, he has a "lovely lady friend with whom I am more than happy. A decent job, a home, a family. Not proud, not ashamed.
"And that's good enough for me."