Carrying My Wife

Those of you that know me personally already know that I so rarely propagate stories that I read on the internet, but this one serves a purpose. First let me say that, for those of you currently in a marriage that is breaking up – for whatever reason – there is no condemnation here, merely a call to all men in relationships to rise to a Higher Calling and to follow Ephesians 5:25 through action and heart change.

Carrying My WifeCarrying My Wife for 30 Days

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, for 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 back home very late and found her writing something at the table. I didn’t have supper but went straight to sleep 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 table writing. I just 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 eldest son had his middle school 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 out 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 younger son clapped behind us, “..daddy is holding mommy in his arms”! 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 sons 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 twenty 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 my wife 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, 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 younger 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, “I hadn’t noticed that our life lacked intimacy”.

I drove to the 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, “Sorry, 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 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 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 part”.

That evening I arrived home, flowers in my hands, a smile on my face, I ran up the stairs, only to find my wife had been driven home from work early, and she was confined to bed as she was too weak to walk. She died that night, at home in the bed I carried her from every day, for 30 days.
My wife had been fighting cancer for months and I was too busy with Jane to even notice. She knew that she would die soon and she wanted to save my reputation with our sons, in case we pushed thru with the divorce. At least, in the eyes of our son— I’m a loving husband….

Men, perhaps you’ve never gotten a divorce, considered a divorce, or even taken enough time and energy away from your family to consider yourself a failure. For the two or three of you that covers, congratulations! We could all do so much more to build intimacy with our wives, and if you’ve never failed in a big way, consider if you’ve ‘been all that you can be’ to your beloved. We don’t know how long we have, and we are so rarely aware of who is watching. Let us live as though our marriages are the first and brightest reflection of Christ, because they are!

There are several points in this story worth calling out. First, both spouses were angry… and that’s fine. The key is to handle our anger in such a way that it is not sinful. Focusing on ourselves, our desires, to the detriment of our spouse is sin. Second, while we all need to be motivated by a clean spirit and real heart change, we need to be aware that sometimes, behavior can change the heart! Sometimes, orthopraxy (doing what is right) can bring us to a fuller understanding and active living of orthodoxy (right theology). Third, see the realization and change in perception that took place when this husband spent one-on-one time with his wife. Understand that the same thing holds true in our relationship with God. Time spent with one another builds understanding and intimacy.  Fourth, this combination of right living and right teaching, when practiced over time, will change our focus from ourselves to others, and will enable us to live a life that glorifies God more and more each day. This man finally ‘saw’ his wife, after so many years of emotional neglect, because he was “living right”, and only for 30 days. What a difference in that amount of time! Finally, remember that our days are numbered. Take the time with your wife whom the Lord has given you, all the days you have been given on this earth. Delight in her as the wife of your youth, regardless your age and regardless how you stand with one another today. Take the time.

Thanks for reading!

Ron

P.S. For practical tips on what to do to rebuild your relationship and really focus on your wife in an intentional way, take “The Love Dare” as a start. This works, regardless where you are, and it gives a great deal of information to you about the places where your beloved can use time and attention.

This entry was posted on Monday, August 2nd, 2010 at 13:25 and is filed under Family, Men's Ministry, Wife. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

One Response to “Carrying My Wife”

  1. Mama Crow says:

    That was beautiful, and perfect timing.

    So very good to see you becoming active again … your blog had been quiet for a while.

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