by Liu Xu
In my childhood, I saw that people of my parents’ generation carried each other through life’s ups and downs even without passionate love between them. I quite envied them and also hoped that I could have a partner with whom to grow old and spend my life, just like many other happy and perfect families. Later, after I was grown up, I got married and felt extremely happy in the first few years. My husband worked hard every day to support our family. In order to live a better life, he bought a truck for delivering goods. Every time he went out, he often gave me a call from time to time, letting me know he was OK; after he was back home, he took good care of our children and me. I thanked God from the bottom of my heart for granting me such a good husband. Hence, I really cherished my marriage. I looked after children carefully, and was very attentive to my husband, and took loving care of my parents-in-law. This was a hard-worn happiness, and I resolved to hold on to this.
However, later, my husband gradually returned home very late. When I called him, he often said he was treating his clients to dinner, and I took his word for it. But afterward, he even often didn’t bother to come back, and just told me that he had to go dining and singing with his clients, so he would stay out at night. And I was still persuaded. I was never suspicious of whether he had changed his heart toward me until later, when he didn’t answer my call and even turned off his phone once I called him. Yet I was just unwilling to acknowledge it was true. Rather I still trusted him, for we had an adorable son and daughter, I believed he would not do that for the sake of them. However, the fact greatly disappointed me: Half a year later, one day, he suddenly phoned me that he had an affair and he wanted a divorce. Hearing that, I only felt weak and limp from head to foot, just like a dying person. Not until then did I understand why he stayed out for such a long time and why he kept his phone off once I called him. Turned out that he was really having an affair and intended to abandon the family. I felt such extreme pain! Nevertheless, at the same time there was a strong thought in my heart: He is my own husband, and nobody can take him away from me!
Soon afterward, I asked my mother-in-law to persuade my husband. Unexpectedly, she said, “It is fairly common in this society, isn’t it? Just turn a blind eye to it!” Then I went to my brother and sister-in-law, hoping them to give my husband some persuasion, but they replied indifferently, “It’s none of our business.” At that moment, I stood still, wondering why they treated me as such. And I could no longer stop my tears of grievance and sadness from bursting out. Then my neighbor, an auntie, told me, “Actually, we villagers have long known all about it. We found your husband often took a woman to your in-laws months ago. Every time the woman came, she bought clothes for your mother-in-law and food for your brother-in-law’s family. And your mother-in-law grinned from ear to ear and was even proud of her son.” Hearing what she said, I really couldn’t believe that my whole family had already known about it, only except me who was totally in the dark. Why did they give my husband indulgence rather than help to persuade him? And what was the point of my life if my family was broken? With these thoughts in mind, I walked, and unconsciously, I went toward a bridge over a river, attempting to drown myself. But when I suddenly thought of my two kids who were sleeping soundly at home, tears welled up in my eyes. I could not help thinking: If I die, won’t they lose their mom? They are still so young. How can I bear to treat them like this? Then I thought: I need to find a way to redeem the heart of my husband and make him come around.
Later, when my husband came back, I suppressed my anger and pleaded with him earnestly, “We have been together for over ten years and I have contributed this much to the family. Do I not compare to a woman that you’ve met several months earlier? What about our children if our family breaks up? How poor they will be if they live in a single-parent family! Don’t you often pity my colleagues’ child who was left in the care of her grandma since the couple divorced? Then can you bear to put our children in the same situation?” When I mentioned our children, my husband’s eyes looked hesitant. But he soon stood up as though he had figured something out, and shouted at me, “Don’t you want me to break up with her for the sake of our children? Now I tell you, I just don’t wanna come back any more.” After saying that, he stormed out of the house angrily. Watching his resolute departure, my heart hit the bottom. Considering the marriage that I had managed painstakingly for decades would fall apart, I was heart-broken. Then I made up my mind, “Both the family and husband are mine. It is that woman who broke up my happy family and made my husband stay out! If someday I meet her, I’m gonna get even with her.” From then on, I lived in hatred: I hate my husband who betrayed me, I hate the woman who broke up my happy family, and I hate my mother-in-law who treated me unfairly. Since then, I shut the door of my heart, reluctant to talk with others. I was just like a walking corpse. Except for ferrying my children to school and looking after them, I did not have a clue to what the meaning of living in the world was.
When I was in extreme pain and lost hope in life, a friend spread the kingdom of God to me. I told my bitter experience to her in tears, she sympathized with me very much and consoled me, “Sister, don’t be sad. Today God comes to save us who are in darkness and have nowhere to turn. God is the mainstay of us. Whatever difficulties we encounter, we should depend on God as well as look up to Him, and ’s control and dominion over all things.” After that, the sister read a passage of God’s words, “The Almighty has mercy on these people who suffer deeply. At the same time, He is fed up with these people who have no consciousness, because He has to wait too long for the answer from humans. He desires to seek, seek your heart and your spirit. He wants to bring you food and water and to awaken you, so you are no longer thirsty, no longer hungry. When you are weary and when you begin to feel the desolation of this world, do not be perplexed, do not cry. Almighty God, the Watcher, will embrace your arrival any time. He is watching by your side, waiting for you to turn back. He is waiting for the day your memory suddenly recovers: becoming conscious of the fact that you came from God, somehow and somewhere once lost, falling unconscious on the roadside, and then, unknowingly having a father. You further realize that the Almighty has been watching there, awaiting your return all along” (“The Sighing of the Almighty”). Then the sister fellowshiped, “From God’s words, we can see God’s love and salvation for us humans. He is merciful to us who live under the domain of Satan. He is using His words to awaken us who live in darkness and in pain. He doesn’t want us to live so painfully, but rather, He wants to save us, bring us to the home of God so that we can accept His salvation. Only God’s words can bring peace and sureness to our heart, and only the Creator is loving us in every possible way….” Hearing God’s words and sister’s fellowship, I felt very warm in my heart, as if my lonely soul had found something to rely on at once, which made me sense the love and compassion from God. Actually I had always been so far away from God and even didn’t know the existence of Him. However, God was still watching by my side and waiting for me to turn back, and to return to His side and gain His care and protection. I felt God’s call to me, and the pain in my heart gradually lightened.
After that, I persisted in reading God’s word every day and attended every meeting actively. Once I encountered difficulties, I would communicate with brothers and sisters about them. And they all combined their experiences to give me fellowship of the truth patiently, which made me understand how to face these things. Little by little, I was not that painful anymore and the expression of a smile began to appear on my face. I thought, “Over these years, in order to own a happy marriage and beautiful family, I have been revolving around my husband, and working hard for this family. However, I wound up being treated by my husband in this way. I will no longer live for this man or the family alone. Instead, I will follow God properly!” Yet, coming out of the shadows of marriage, that was easier said than done.
One night in 2011, my children and I had already fallen asleep. Then suddenly, I heard a pounding noise at the door. I got up to open the door, only to see my husband enter the room while fiercely saying to me, “Bitch, you don’t want me to date Xiaohu, do you? Today, I brought her to my family and my parents were very glad. Are you jealous? Huh? Anyway, I am sure to be together with her. What can you do with me? Huh!” Hearing this, I snapped and just about fought with him regardless of life or death though I knew he came to provoke me on purpose. But when seeing my sleeping children, I gritted my teeth and swallowed all of this. Afterward, I went back to bed and lay down, unwilling to respond to him, but he followed. Then like a man possessed, He sat in front of the computer desk at my bedside, and went on to say something gross as he smoked a cigarette. His behavior rekindled the resentment of me: How can you abandon me despite our decades of marriage so easily? And how heartless you are to hurt me with such callous remark! You just want me to ask for a divorce by irritating me, don’t you? The family is mine. The more heartless you are, the less likely I am to divorce you. I won’t allow your plot to prevail… At this thought, I couldn’t breathe, feeling like there was something very heavy blocking my chest. And I began to tremble with anger, tears flowing in streams.
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