It is estimated that approximately 90% of people in Western cultures will marry by the age of 50, a statistic that clearly shows the importance that we still place on the institution of marriage within our society. Just take a look at the vast assortment of ideas, suggestions, and inspiration on Pinterest and you can’t deny the fact that Americans are preoccupied with the idea of weddings. In fact, CNN reports that the average American wedding in 2016 cost $35,329! One may argue that we are so preoccupied with the idea of the wedding, that we overlook the real point of importance – the marriage.
When the guests are gone, the cake has been eaten, the last dance is over and you’re settling into your new life together, you are going to be left with some great memories, possibly some amazing photos, and your life together ahead of you – what are you going to make out of it? It’s a major piece of advice that most, if not all, relationship experts will be quick to share – You need to focus on the marriage, not just the wedding. It’s the days, weeks, months and years that follow the big ‘I Do’ that will determine whether or not your relationship is going to stand the test of time.
There are a lot of great articles with wedding advice, videos inspiring you to reconsider the priority that you are placing on your spouse and rules that you should live by. Among these, there is one story about a couple whose marriage was on the brink of divorce, facing the potential of this life-altering change in their lives. The original source is unknown, as it has been changed, emailed, re-blogged and shared so many times. Unable to verify whether there is any factual base to it doesn’t take away from just how incredibly powerful this story is. Whether you are married, in a long-term relationship, or single with marriage not even a blip on your radar at this point in your life, the lesson you can take from this story is one that will truly get anyone thinking.
Read this powerful story about marriage. It will get you thinking about life and what really matters:
“When I got home that night as my wife served me dinner, I grabbed her hand and said “I have something to tell you.” She sat down and ate quietly. I watched and saw the pain in her eyes. Suddenly I did not know how to open my mouth, but I had to tell her what I was thinking: “I want a divorce”. She did not seem upset by my words and asked me softly, why? You’re not a man?
That night we did not talk, and she cried. She wanted to know what was happening to me …
It was something with our marriage, but I could not answer what exactly. It happened that she had lost my heart, and I had another woman named Joan. I no longer loved my wife, but I pitied her. With a great sense of guilt, I wrote a divorce agreement and with this agreement she got the house, the car and 30% of our business.
She looked at the agreement and threw it away. She spent 10 years of her life with me and now we were like strangers. I pitied her, for all the lost time, energy was not the same but it could not change. I loved Joan. Suddenly she started screaming. The idea of divorce was now clearer to me.
The next day I came home and I found myself writing at the table. I did not eat dinner and went to sleep, I was very tired having spent the day with Juana. When I woke up, my wife was still writing at the table. I did not mind, I turned around and continued sleeping. In the morning my wife introduced me to divorce conditions: She did not want anything from me, but needed a month’s notice before the divorce.
She asked me for a month, we would have to live as if nothing happened. Her reason was simple, our son had whole month of tests and she did not want to bother him with our broken marriage. I agreed, but she had another request: to agree upon me carrying her to our room like the day we got married. I thought she was going crazy, but that this alone was accepted.
My wife and I had no physical contact since I expressed my intention to divorce, so when I took her to the front door the first day, we both feel bad. Our son walked behind with clapping and saying: Dad is carrying mom is his arms! His words gave me a lot of pain.
I walked the 10 meters with my wife in my arms. She closed her eyes and said quietly: do not tell our son about the divorce. Then I went to work. I drove alone to work. The second day, we were both more relaxed.
She leaned against my chest, I could feel the fragrance of her blouse. I realized that I had not looked at it carefully. I realized she was no longer so young, had some wrinkles, some gray hairs … that was notable a damage of our marriage. For a moment I thought and I ask: what was it I did? The fourth day, I felt some affection was returning between us. This was the woman who gave me 10 years of her life. In the fifth and sixth day, it continued to. I said nothing about Joan.
Every other day it was easier to carry my wife and month was running. I thought I was getting used to her weight. One morning, she was looking for what to wear. She had tried many dresses on, but all of them were too big. It was then that I realized she was very thin, and that was the reason that I did not feel her weight load. Suddenly I realized that I had provoked much pain and bitterness.
Without realizing it, she touched my hair. Our son entered the room and said, Dad, it is time that you take Mom to the door! For my son, seeing his father day after day carry her mother to the door, that had become an essential part of his life. My wife hugged him, I covered my face. I was afraid I changed my thinking about divorce. And holding my wife in my arms to the door, it felt like the first day of our wedding.
She stroked my neck soft and naturally. I held her strong, just like our wedding night. I hugged her and did not move, but she was so thin and that made me sad. The last day I just hugged her and did not want to move, I told her I did not realize that we had no privacy. Our son was at school. I drove to the office, I left the car without closing the door, I climbed the stairs, Joan opened the door, and I said, excuse me, sorry, I do not want to divorce my wife.
Joan looked at me and asked me if I had a fever. I said:
My wife and I love each other, it was that we were doing everything as a routine and boring. We did not value the details of our life since I started carrying her to the room. Joan began to mourn, slapped me and closed the door. Going down the stairs, I went in the car and went to the florist.
I bought my wife flowers. The girl in the florist asked me what to write on the card? I told her to put: I will carry you every morning until death parts us. I arrived at my house with flowers in my hands and smile, and ran up the stairs; when I went … I found my dead wife. My wife was battling cancer, and I was so busy with Joan, so I did not realize. My wife knew she was dying and that is why she asked for a month’s notice before the divorce, so that our son will not have bad memories of divorce.
At least in my son’s eyes, the memory of his father who was a good husband who loved his wife will stay. These small details are what matters in a relationship, not the house, the car, the money in the bank. All this only creates an environment that you think will lead to happiness, but really … is not. Try to keep your marriage happy, share this story on your wall, you may be saving a marriage. All the stories of failure are equal; they give up when they are about to enter to success. We do not know what we have until we lose it…”