Leaving it for too late
An anonymous husband wrote:
One evening I decided to tell my wife I wanted a divorce. She was aware of the telltale signs, but still she softly uttered 'why'. I had no answer. She was weeping. She knew I didn't love her anymore. Now it was Jane whom I loved dearly.
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. She cried loudly.
The next day, I came home very late and found her writing something. I went straight to bed and fell asleep because I was tired after an eventful day with Jane.
In the morning she presented her two divorce conditions: one, 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 try to live as normally as possible for the sake of our son's exams.
Two, she also requested that every morning for the month's duration I carry her out of our bedroom to the front door to recall our wedding day. Just to make our last days together bearable I accepted her odd request.
Jane laughed loudly and thought it was absurd. No matter what, she has to face the divorce, she said scornfully.
My wife and I hadn't had any body contact since Jane. So when I carried her out on the first day, we both appeared clumsy. Our son clapped behind us; that brought me a sense of pain. 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.
On the second day, she leaned on my chest. I could smell the fragrance of her blouse. I realised she was not young any more. There were fine wrinkles on her face, her hair was greying! 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. Gradually I realised our sense of intimacy growing again. I didn't tell Jane about this. It became easier to carry her as the month slipped by.
She was choosing what to wear one morning. She could not find a suitable one. Then she sighed, all my dresses have grown bigger. I suddenly realised 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. 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.
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 office, jumped out of the car. I was afraid any delay would make me change my mind. I ran upstairs. Jane opened the door and I said, “Sorry Jane, I do not want the divorce anymore”. She looked at me, astonished. I continued: “My marriage was dwindling probably because she and I didn't value the details of our lives, not because we didn't love each other anymore. Now I realise I am supposed to hold her till death did us apart.” Jane 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 salesgirl asked me what to write on the card. I smiled and wrote: “I will carry you out every morning until death did us apart”. That evening I arrived home, flowers in my hands, a smile on my face, I ran upstairs, only to find my wife in the bed, dead.
My wife had been fighting cancer for months and I was so busy with Jane to even notice. She knew that she would die soon and she wanted to save me from any negative reaction from our son, in case we push through with the divorce. At least, in the eyes of our son I am a loving husband.
The small details of our 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.