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Bare in mind, I rarely read long articles. So if something keeps my attention, then it may hold yours as well.

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 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 cry was 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 at the table. I didn't have supper but went straight to bed and fell asleep. I'd spent the day with Jane.

When I woke up, she was still at the table writing. I 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.

This was agreeable to me. But she had something more, she asked me to recall how I had carried her into our bridal room on our wedding day...she requested that every day for the month's duration, I carry her out of our bedroom to the front door every morning. I thought she was going crazy. Just to make our last days together bearable, I accepted her odd request.

I told Jane 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. 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 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 day, I realized that our sense of intimacy was growing again. I didn't tell Jane about this. It became easier to carry her as the month slipped by. Perhaps the everyday workout made 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. This 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 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 that I hadn't noticed that our life lacked intimacy.

I drove to 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. Jane opened the door and I said to her, "Jane, 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, Jane," I said, "I won't divorce."

My marriage life was boring 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 from the day I carried her into our home on our wedding day, I am supposed to hold her until death do us apart.

Jane 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 salesgirl asked me what to write on the card. I smiled and wrote, "I'll carry you out every morning until death do us apart."

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

She 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 the whatever negative reaction from our son, in case we push through 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 or 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.

Many of life's failures are a result of people who didn't realize how close they were to success when they gave up.
 

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Thank you for sharing this. The story told here makes me terribly sad, but I will have to think more on that when I'm not at work. Again, thank you for sharing.
 
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Bare in mind, I rarely read long articles. So if something keeps my attention, then it may hold yours as well.
Thanks for posting such a lovely story. But why did I just know half-way through reading, that the wife was dying/would actually die? Something made me certain it would not be the happy ending we all hoped for. Still gave me goosebumps though!
 

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wow. The first part reminded me a little of "Serious Moonlight" for Meg Ryan.
 
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I'm sorry, Lad, but I can't click "thanks" for that story. I'm going through a divorce, and this brings up a lot of complicated feelings.

Like the man in the story, my husband had grown tired of me because he took me for granted...and truthfully, because I had given too much. I gave up my career to raise our children and put him through school. The result: after over twenty years of marriage, I was wrung out and tired. So he went out to find his own "Jane."

But the story you posted reads more like a fairy tale to me, because my husband never came to a realization of what he did. We went to therapy, sure, but the sessions were filled with his accounts of what I did wrong and why I "deserved" to have been cheated on. I even admitted that he might have done it because he found me boring after all these years, so why don't I try to either work a few more hours to earn a few more dollars or go back to school to make myself more interesting and more employable? He had ready made excuses for this too. I eventually got tired of bothering with this pointless exercise at one hundred bucks an hour.

The only reason I haven't already left is because I have two children who need me, and I don't have enough money to do so.

Even though the woman dies at the end of the story, at least the man dumped Jane and came to an appreciation of what his wife did for him. To me, that 's a happy ending. I don't see that kind of ending for me in my real life.

Might I give you younger women some unsolicited advice? Don't be stupid and sacrifice your education, your money, and years of your career to anyone you marry. It makes you vulnerable. Even if he is faithful, there's a chance that he could die unexpectedly, and where would that leave you? It is a wonderful ideal, staying at home with your children, but it's just that...an ideal. What's more, it doesn't encourage a woman to truly become an adult.
 

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periculosa, I knew it was a sensitive subject for a few people, but I figured the overall message was for the best. This specific fairytale won't apply to many people with regards to a 'happy' ending, but using it as a form of awareness will hopefully minimize circumstances of the situation you are describing, which I am deeply sorry to hear.

While I cannot begin to imagine what you, or JerseyDevil (just saw you post), are going through with your own lives, you have both offered your own forms of advice throughout the boards. We all acknowledge and appreciate that.

Sometimes posts or threads which may inspire emotion, in some cases negative, play a stronger role in self-understanding and invoke reflection. Hopefully our posts created that situation for others. With that said, I respect input and from every angle. I also believe that even the people that "thank"ed the story, will appreciate the other side of the coin and I thank you for sharing that.

In the end, I am sorry if I offended or upset you in any way, that was not my intention.
 

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Might I give you younger women some unsolicited advice? Don't be stupid and sacrifice your education, your money, and years of your career to anyone you marry. It makes you vulnerable. Even if he is faithful, there's a chance that he could die unexpectedly, and where would that leave you? It is a wonderful ideal, staying at home with your children, but it's just that...an ideal. What's more, it doesn't encourage a woman to truly become an adult.
Thank you.

I plan to make self appreciation a very strong value in my life and my future husband will have to live with that.

I want a future career and dreams of my own, on my terms.
 

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periculosa, I knew it was a sensitive subject for a few people, but I figured the overall message was for the best. This specific fairytale won't apply to many people with regards to a 'happy' ending, but using it as a form of awareness will hopefully minimize circumstances of the situation you are describing, which I am deeply sorry to hear.

While I cannot begin to imagine what you, or JerseyDevil (just saw you post), are going through with your own lives, you have both offered your own forms of advice throughout the boards. We all acknowledge and appreciate that.

Sometimes posts or threads which may inspire emotion, in some cases negative, play a stronger role in self-understanding and invoke reflection. Hopefully our posts created that situation for others. With that said, I respect input and from every angle. I also believe that even the people that "thank"ed the story, will appreciate the other side of the coin and I thank you for sharing that.

In the end, I am sorry if I offended or upset you in any way, that was not my intention.
You didn't offend me, and I have to tell you I thought about it for a day before posting anything to this thread. Who knows, perhaps someone contemplating an affair will read what you posted and change his or her behavior because of it. Or maybe someone feeling just a little dissatisfied with his or her partner will read this and see another perspective.

There's no doubt that a long-term relationship involves sacrifice. If love is a constant, the sacrifice weighs so lightly that it's hardly noticed. It's only in situations like this that the sacrifice becomes obvious. For myself, it's hard not to become so bitter that I could never give myself to someone I love again. But there must be some sane medium between giving to the point of immolating oneself and being a person who only takes and never gives; there's the uncertain ground I seek.
 

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Thank you periculosa for your insight, I cannot imagine what it feels like to go through a divorce. I hope everything works out for the best.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
You didn't offend me, and I have to tell you I thought about it for a day before posting anything to this thread. Who knows, perhaps someone contemplating an affair will read what you posted and change his or her behavior because of it. Or maybe someone feeling just a little dissatisfied with his or her partner will read this and see another perspective.

There's no doubt that a long-term relationship involves sacrifice. If love is a constant, the sacrifice weighs so lightly that it's hardly noticed. It's only in situations like this that the sacrifice becomes obvious. For myself, it's hard not to become so bitter that I could never give myself to someone I love again. But there must be some sane medium between giving to the point of immolating oneself and being a person who only takes and never gives; there's the uncertain ground I seek.
Bold: We both know that's unlikely, but often a culmination of awareness and coping mechanisms, will hopefully help reduce future stressers within all relationships. I believe the initial post extends beyond just marriage & divorce, but relationships with anyone really.

Underline,

Those feelings are completely acceptable and no one can say anything negative about you for feeling the way you do. Generally, everyone really only intends to be married once, but things don't always work out like that. That's why your advice from earlier shines through very well. While it's an incredible feeling to love another, you should never shoot yourself in the foot for it either.

While it may not mean much, I want you to know that I respect your wisdom and insight on here, I respect the pain and conflict you have shared, and most of all, I respect that you were capable of doing so much for another human being. It speaks beyond words as to how much of a strong and caring person you are. I hope you will never suffer a day in your life after the dust has settled, but I hope will not be jaded towards future experiences because of the pain you have endured. My respect may not mean much, but I hope you can at least respect yourself. You're a phenomenal person -- I have never said that about anyone else.
 

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Bold: We both know that's unlikely, but often a culmination of awareness and coping mechanisms, will hopefully help reduce future stressers within all relationships. I believe the initial post extends beyond just marriage & divorce, but relationships with anyone really.

Underline,

Those feelings are completely acceptable and no one can say anything negative about you for feeling the way you do. Generally, everyone really only intends to be married once, but things don't always work out like that. That's why your advice from earlier shines through very well. While it's an incredible feeling to love another, you should never shoot yourself in the foot for it either.

While it may not mean much, I want you to know that I respect your wisdom and insight on here, I respect the pain and conflict you have shared, and most of all, I respect that you were capable of doing so much for another human being. It speaks beyond words as to how much of a strong and caring person you are. I hope you will never suffer a day in your life after the dust has settled, but I hope will not be jaded towards future experiences because of the pain you have endured. My respect may not mean much, but I hope you can at least respect yourself. You're a phenomenal person -- I have never said that about anyone else.
Lad, that's so lovely of you to say. Sometimes I write things on PerC and elsewhere and I think that no one is reading. Uh, I don't know what else to say in response because I don't take compliments very well (kicks dirt with her fancy Doc Martens), but hey, what phenomenon are you talking about LOL?

What fueled my remark about the "one person" who might read your initial post is my own experience as a political activist. About two years ago I started my activism by doing research and writing articles for my blog. I tried to get publicity for them by posting them to other Ron Paul blogs, but they got little response or fell off the active board with no comment at all. But someone who has a lot more experience in politics than I (a former mayor) told me that even if one person read what I wrote and it changed her perspective and inspired her to become politically active, that would be a huge accomplishment. So I continued to write and to post, and eventually was invited by two people to become the state coordinator of the civil liberties group I am involved with (BTW unpaid...indeed I sometimes pay out of my own pocket to do my job). I would have never gotten this opportunity if I had given up writing and putting my words out to a seemingly indifferent world.

To me, your little story is a work of activism. There's lots of people who come here as guests, or who are registered and who rarely post comments...and your post might speak strongly to one or a few of them. You don't know, and unless he or she reveals herself, you may never know.
 

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It made me think of my parents' recent divorce and brought tears to my eyes. It's bittersweet.
 

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Might I give you younger women some unsolicited advice? Don't be stupid and sacrifice your education, your money, and years of your career to anyone you marry. It makes you vulnerable. Even if he is faithful, there's a chance that he could die unexpectedly, and where would that leave you? It is a wonderful ideal, staying at home with your children, but it's just that...an ideal. What's more, it doesn't encourage a woman to truly become an adult.
That's great advice. It's the same advice my dad gave to me as I graduated high school. He said NEVER get married before you are done with your education because you will end up sacrificing too much. He did that and ended up in an unhappy marriage. Sadly, my mother was just as you described - vulnerable, no job, no money, little education. My dad had given her everything she needed to survive. When they got divorced, she was left with nothing, and while he was finally free to do what he really wanted to do, he had been spiritually dormant for 25 years because of this failed marriage. It all depends what angle you look at it. My mom was happy for 25 years and he was miserable. He is now happy and she is now miserable.

Anyway, that advice should also be for men, too. Finish your education, figure out what you want to do, before you settle down. Good advice. Thank you.
 

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That's great advice. It's the same advice my dad gave to me as I graduated high school. He said NEVER get married before you are done with your education because you will end up sacrificing too much. He did that and ended up in an unhappy marriage. Sadly, my mother was just as you described - vulnerable, no job, no money, little education. My dad had given her everything she needed to survive. When they got divorced, she was left with nothing, and while he was finally free to do what he really wanted to do, he had been spiritually dormant for 25 years because of this failed marriage. It all depends what angle you look at it. My mom was happy for 25 years and he was miserable. He is now happy and she is now miserable.

Anyway, that advice should also be for men, too. Finish your education, figure out what you want to do, before you settle down. Good advice. Thank you.
Hmm. Maybe I should revise, because your understanding of what I said shows that I did not adequately express myself.

People change. I don't know how a person at the age of 28 (which is how old I was when I married) could possibly know what would be important to me twenty years later. What do you mean by "settle down"? Do you mean that you have it all figured out, your career, your interests, your values, your passions, for the rest of your life? That you don't intend to develop other interests or to mature at all? Put another person into this equation...your spouse. That person may also develop and change in ways that neither of you could have predicted. If you have a good relationship, a lot of patience, and a lot of grace, then of course you can enjoy and experience those changes together. But for others, this just doesn't work out.

The person my husband married just isn't the person I am today. For one thing, I am a lot more assertive. That didn't fit in with his vision of me, the meek, mousy housewife who was easy to dominate. This was the woman who he thought he could rely on to take almost exclusive care of his children, but unfortunately for him, I developed into a person who believed that she should have other interests and rely on him to help in the care of our children.

I even wonder if an INFP should get married at all. I've read that INFPs are one of the types least likely to be satisfied in a long-term relationship. I've also read that we are one of the types most likely to change careers. Big surprise, I'm looking to leave my husband and change careers. But no one thinks it's a sin to change careers...but I've had to listen to people who have told me I am sinful for wanting to bail out on a bad marriage.
 

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Thank you Lad for the original post, but I'm not sure, I don't usually get moved by these sorts of story (and why does the person always have to die at the end). I've heard these sorts of stories before and I don't believe them.

I think the message is a good one and I'd like to believe these things happen in real life, but I'm not sure.

Sometimes divorce happens and its for a good reason. I was married to a borderline personality disorder woman who made my life a living nightmare until I couldn't take it anymore. Us INFPs give too much in a relationship and scarifice too much. And that is wrong. We should never sacrifice who we are to make others happy, that is not a marriage make.

Sacrifice some things, yes, but never sacrifice who you are.
 
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