I avoided her question. This made her angry. She threw away the chopsticks and shouted at me, "You are not a man!"
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 because I loved Jane so dearly.
In the morning, she presented her divorce conditions. She didn't want anything from me. What she asked for was one month’s notice before the divorce. She requested that during that one month, we would both struggle to live as normal a life as possible. Her reasons were simple. Our young son had exams in a month’s time and she didn't want to disrupt him with our broken marriage.
This was agreeable to me. But she said something more. She asked if I remembered how I had carried her into our bedroom on our wedding day. I told her I did. She requested that every day for the month’s duration, I am to carry her OUT of our bedroom every morning and to the front door. I thought she must be going crazy! But to make our last days together bearable, I accepted her odd request.
When I got to work, I told Jane about my wife’s divorce conditions. She laughed loudly and said it was absurd. "No matter what tricks she tries, she has to face the divorce." She said scornfully.
My wife and I hadn't had any bodily contact since I told her I wanted the divorce, so when I carried her out on the first day, we both felt clumsy. Our son clapped behind us, "Daddy is holding mommy in his arms!" His words brought me a sense of pain.
On the second day, both of us acted more easily. She leaned into my chest and 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 and her hair was graying! Our marriage had taken its toll on her. For a minute, I wondered what I had done to her.
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 she had grown so thin. That was the reason why I could carry her more easily. Suddenly it hit me. She had buried so much pain and bitterness in her heart. Subconsciously, I reached out and touched her head.
She looked at me, astonished, and then she touched my forehead. "Do you have a fever?" She asked.
That evening I arrived home, flowers in my hand, a smile on my face, and ran upstairs, only to find my wife in the bed, dead. I later found out she had been fighting cancer for months and I had been so busy with Jane I didn't even notice. She knew she would die soon and she wanted to save me from a negative reaction from our son, just in case we went through with the divorce. At least in the eyes of our son, I’m a loving husband.
The smallest details of our lives are what really matter in a relationship, not the house, car, property, or money in the bank. These create an environment conducive for happiness, but they cannot give happiness. So many couples give up, not realizing how close they were to success when they gave up.