Friday, May 10, 2013

End of a Marriage

I saw this on another website today and it touched me deeply. I don't know who wrote it. The only thing I could find as to the author was this: Credits: Prince (NBBC)

End of a Marriage

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 and I have given it to Jane. 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 because I loved Jane so dearly.

Finally, she cried loudly in front of me, which was what I had expected to see. To me, her crying 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 home very late and found her writing something at the desk. I didn't have supper but went straight to bed and fell asleep very fast because I was tired after an eventful day with Jane. When I woke up, she was still there at the desk writing. I just did not care so I turned over and went to asleep again.

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.

From the bedroom to the living room, then to the door, I walked 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, while I drove alone to the office.

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.

On the fourth day, when I lifted her up, I felt a sense of intimacy returning. This was the woman who had given ten years of her life to me. On the fifth and sixth days, I realized that our sense of intimacy seemed to be growing again. I didn't tell Jane about this. It became easier to carry her as the month slipped by. Perhaps the everyday workout was making me stronger.

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.

Our son came in at that moment and said, "Dad, it’s time to carry mom out." To him, seeing his father carry 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 living 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."

I drove to the office and jumped out of the car swiftly without locking the door. I was afraid any delay would make me change my mind. I walked upstairs. Jane opened the door and I said to her, "I'm sorry, Jane, I don't want the divorce anymore.

She looked at me, astonished, and then she touched my forehead. "Do you have a fever?" She asked.

I brushed her hand off my head. "I am sorry, Jane," I said, "I won’t divorce her. My marriage 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 do us part."

Jane seemed to suddenly wake up. She gave me a harsh slap and then slammed the door and burst into tears. I walked back downstairs and drove away in my car. At a floral shop along the way, I bought a bouquet of flowers for my wife. The salesgirl told me to write something on the card. I smiled and wrote, "I’ll carry you out every morning until death do us part."

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.

"A writer soon learns that easy to read is hard to write." ~CJ Heck

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