30 Days Til Divorce – More to that story…

This story is not my own… I read it years ago in a Prodigy forum (yes, that long ago!).  I saw it again today as a snippet on Facebook and had to search to find the “complete” story.  Whether true or not, it’s worth reading.

This is the scoop from Snopes.com

“This tale of an errant husband who learns too late the value of his marriage has been circulating on the Internet since at least May 2004.  We first spotted it as a newsgroup post originating from Malaysia, but even then its authorship was unknown.  (The person who posted it said the item had been received in e-mail.)  It has since rolled through a number of Asian online forums and newsgroups, only gradually escaping those confines to reach a larger international audience.  (Now you know why the wife threw down her chopsticks.)”

On my wedding day, I carried my wife in my arms.

The bridal car stopped in front of our one-room flat.  My buddies insisted that I carry her out of the car in my arms.  So I carried her into our home.  She was then plump and shy.  I was a strong and happy bridegroom.

This was the scene ten years ago

The following days were as simple as a cup of pure water: we had a kid; I went into business and tried to make more money.  When the assets were steadily increasing, the affection between us seemed to ebb.  She was a civil servant.  Every morning we left home together and got home almost at the same time.  Our kid was studying in a boarding school.

Our marriage life seemed to be enviably happy.  But the calm life was more likely to be affected by unpredictable changes.

Dew came into my life

It was a sunny day.  I stood on a spacious balcony.  This was the apartment I bought for her.  Dew hugged me from behind.  My heart once again was immersed in her stream of love.  Dew said, “You are the kind of man who best draws girls’ eyeballs.”  Her words suddenly reminded me of my wife.  When we were just married, my wife said, “Men like you, once successful, will be very attractive to girls.”

Thinking of this, I became somewhat hesitant.  I knew I had betrayed my wife.  But I couldn’t help doing so.  I moved Dew’s hands aside and said, “You go to select some furniture, O.K.?  I’ve got something to do in the company.”  Obviously, she was unhappy, because I had promised to do it together with her.

At the moment, the idea of divorce became clearer in my mind although it used to be something impossible to me.  However, I found it rather difficult to tell my wife about it.  No matter how mildly I mentioned it to her, she would be deeply hurt.

Honestly, she was a good wife.  Every evening she was busy preparing dinner.  I was sitting in front of the TV.  The dinner was ready soon.  Then we watched TV together.  Or, I was lounging before the computer, visualizing Dew’s body.  This was the means of my entertainment.

One day I said to her in a slightly joking way, “Suppose we divorce, what will you do?”  She stared at me for a few seconds without a word.  Apparently, she believed that divorce was something too far away from her.  I couldn’t imagine how she would react once she got to know I was serious.

When my wife went to my office, Dew had just stepped out.  Almost all the staff looked at my wife with a sympathetic eye and tried to hide something while talking to her.  She seemed to have some hint.  She gently smiled at my subordinates.  But I read some hurt in her eyes.

Once again, Dew said to me, “He Ning, divorce her, O.K.?  Then we live together.”  I nodded.  I knew I could not hesitate any more.

When I got home that night as my wife served dinner, I held her hand and said, “I’ve got something to tell you.”  She sat down and ate quietly.  Again, I observed the hurt in her eyes.  Suddenly I didn’t know how to open my mouth.  But I had to let her know what I was thinking.  “I want a divorce.”  I raised the topic calmly.  She didn’t seem to be annoyed by my words, instead she asked me softly, “Why?”  I avoided her question.  This made her angry.  She threw away the chopsticks and shouted at me, “You are not a man!”

That night, we didn’t talk to each other.  She was weeping.  I knew she wanted to find out what had happened to our marriage.  But I could hardly give her a satisfactory answer; she had lost my heart to Dew.  I didn’t love her anymore.  I just pitied her!

With a deep sense of guilt, I drafted a divorce agreement, which stated that she could own our house, our car, and 30% stake of my company.  She glanced at it and then tore it into pieces.  The woman who had spent ten years of her life with me had become a stranger.  I felt sorry for her wasted time, resources and energy but I could not take back what I had said for I loved Dew so dearly.

Finally, she cried loudly in front of me, which was what I had expected to see.  To me her cry was actually a kind of release.  The idea of divorce, which had obsessed me for several weeks, seemed to be firmer and clearer now.

The next day, I came back home very late and found her writing something at the table.  I didn’t have supper but went straight to sleep and fell asleep very fast.  When I woke up, she was still there at the table writing.  I just did not care so I turned over and was asleep again.

 In the morning, she presented her divorce conditions: she didn’t want anything from me, but needed a month’s notice before the divorce.  She requested that in that one month we both struggle to live as normal a life as possible.  Her reasons were simple: our son had his exams in a month’s time and she didn’t want to disrupt him with our broken marriage.

She passed me the agreement she drafted, and then asked me, “He Ning, do you still remember how I entered our bridal room on the wedding day?  And how you carried me over all thresholds?”  This question suddenly brought back all those wonderful memories to me.  I nodded and said, “I remember.”  “You carried me in your arms,” she continued, “so, I have a requirement, that is, you carry me out in your arms from now to the end of this month.  You must carry me out from the bedroom to the door every morning.”

Just to make our last days together bearable I accepted her odd request.

I told Dew about my wife’s divorce conditions.  .  She laughed loudly and thought it was absurd.  “No matter what tricks she applies, she has to face the divorce,” she said scornfully.

My wife and I hadn’t had any body contact since my divorce intention was explicitly expressed.  So when I carried her out on the first day, we both appeared clumsy.  Our son clapped behind us, “Daddy is holding Mommy in his arms.”  His words brought me a sense of pain.  From the bedroom to the sitting room, then to the door, I walked over ten meters with her in my arms.  She closed her eyes and said softly; “Don’t tell our son about the divorce.”  I nodded, feeling somewhat upset.  I put her down outside the door.  She went to wait for the bus to work.  I drove alone to the office.

On the second day, both of us acted much more easily.  She leaned on my chest.  I could smell the fragrance of her blouse.  I realized that I hadn’t looked at this woman carefully for a long time.  I realized she was not young any more.  There were fine wrinkles on her face, her hair was graying!  Our marriage had taken its toll on her.  For a minute, I wondered what I had done to her.

On the third day, she whispered to me, “The outside garden is being demolished.  Be careful when you pass there.”

On the fourth day, when I lifted her up, I seemed to feel that we were still an intimate couple and I was holding my sweetheart in my arms.  This was the woman who had given ten years of her life to me.  The visualization of Dew became vague.

On the fifth and sixth day, she kept reminding me something, such as, where she put the ironed shirts, I should be careful while cooking, etc.  I nodded.  The sense of intimacy was even stronger.  I didn’t tell Dew about this.

I felt it was easier to carry her.  Perhaps the everyday workout made me stronger.  I said to her, “It seems not difficult to carry you now.”

She was choosing what to wear one morning.  She tried on quite a few dresses but could not find a suitable one.  Then she sighed, “All my dresses have grown bigger.”  I suddenly realized that it was because she was thinner that I could carry her more easily, not because I was stronger.
Suddenly it hit me… she had buried so much pain and bitterness in her heart.  Subconsciously I reached out and touched her head.  Our son came in at the moment and said, “Dad, it’s time to carry mom out.”

To him, seeing his father carrying his mother out had become an essential part of his life.  My wife gestured to our son to come closer and hugged him tightly.  I turned my face away because I was afraid I might change my mind at this last minute. 

I then held her in my arms, walking from the bedroom, through the sitting room, to the hallway.  Her hand surrounded my neck softly and naturally.  I held her body tightly; it was just like our wedding day.  But her much lighter weight made me sad.

On the last day, when I held her in my arms I could hardly move a step.  Our son had gone to school.  I held her tightly and said, “I hadn’t noticed that our life lacked intimacy.”  She said, “I wish you could hold me forever.”

I drove to the office…. jumped out of the car swiftly without locking the door.  I was afraid any delay would make me change my mind…I walked upstairs.  Dew opened the door and I said to her, “Sorry, Dew, I do not want the divorce anymore. “

She looked at me, astonished, and then touched my forehead.  “Do you have a fever?”  She said.  I moved her hand off my head.  “Sorry, Dew,” I said, “I won’t divorce.  My marriage life was boring probably because she and I didn’t value the details of our lives, not because we didn’t love each other anymore.  Now I realize that since I carried her into my home on our wedding day I am supposed to hold her until death does us apart.  So I have to say sorry to you”

Dew seemed to suddenly wake up.  She gave me a loud slap and then slammed the door and burst into tears.  I walked downstairs and drove away.  At the floral shop on the way, I ordered a bouquet of flowers for my wife.  The sales clerk asked me what to write on the card.  I smiled and wrote, “I’ll carry you out every morning until death does us apart.”

That evening I arrived home, flowers in my hands, a smile on my face, I ran up stairs, only to find my wife in the bed – dead.

My wife had been fighting CANCER for months and I was so busy with Dew to even notice.  She knew that she would die soon and she wanted to save me from whatever negative reaction from our son, in case we push thru with the divorce.  – At least, in the eyes of our son— I’m a loving husband.

The small details of your lives are what really matter in a relationship.  It is not the mansion, the car, property, the money in the bank.  These create an environment conducive for happiness but cannot give happiness in themselves.  So find time to be your spouse’s friend and do those little things for each other that build intimacy.

Do have a real happy marriage!

If you don’t share this, nothing will happen to you.  If you do, you just might save a marriage.

Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.

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