I Devoted Myself to Gaining a Happy Marriage
I liked reading romance novels from my youth. I was often attracted by the stories advocating “Love is above all,” and would break down tears when reading passionate and moving plots. Influenced by them, I gradually admired the “sincere” love described in those novels, yearned for a happy marriage, and looked forward to meeting a partner in the future who could vow to stick together in life and death with me.
Afterward, in the face of opposition from my parents, I decidedly fell in love with a junior high school classmate and got married. After marriage, we worked as citizen-managed teachers in the same school. We went on and came off duty together every day. In our leisure time, we often told jokes and played checkers. Sometimes, I sang and he accompanied me on the Chinese fiddle. We companied and cooperated with each other well, which allowed me to be absorbed in happiness frequently that I had never felt. Two years later, our first lovely son was born and his coming brought us endless laughter. I thought I was the happiest woman in the world.
In 1977, the college entrance examination which we had longed for 10 years resumed. My husband’s entrance into a normal college moved me to tears. I was proud of him. However, after the excitement, his school fees became my problem. At that time, my family was poor and our shabby house was rented. My monthly allowance was only 5 yuan, while my wages in a year were only 50 to 60 yuan, which was not enough to feed us, let alone cover his school fees. Nevertheless, in order to have a happier life, I must have him go to school regardless of how hard our life would be. With such thoughts, I began to borrow money here and there, and early school fees were scraped up at last. And next I would face paying debts and later school fees. But actually, I was unable to make it by my small income. I had no choice but to borrow money again to raise pigs. Because of my family’s poor condition, I had nothing to feed pigs and so every day I had to go to mountains in early morning to mow pigweed, or I could travel over thirty-one miles to my parents’ home and ask my father, who worked in a grain depot, for a sack of leftover. In this way, during my husband’s college years, each year I would kill a pig more than one hundred catties, and sell half of it to pay the tuition fees. Besides, I had to work the land. But our farm was far away from home and located on the upslope. I could only use straw and wood ashes as fertilizer. When there were worms on the grain, I had no way of carrying water there to spray pesticide, so I had to kill the worms in the hot sun every noon so as to have a good harvest and get more money to pay my husband’s school fees. Once, when I put the school fees into his hands, he said gratefully, “I spent all of your hard-earned money. I owe you too much …” I said to him, “Don’t think too much. Just focus on your study. I’m willing to do everything for you, however difficult it is.” My words put a lump in his throat and he promised that he would treat me well and never betray me in the future. During that period, our hearts were more closely knit together.
Two years had passed quickly. My husband graduated and stayed at his school as a colleague teacher. Meanwhile I paid off all the debts. Two years later, I was converted to a regular teacher and was translated to the city where he worked. His bad health caused him to be in hospital once or twice a year and he needed to take medicine all year round. In order to take care of him, I cooked appetizing food; I wrote notes and stuck them on the head of bed to remind him lest he forget to take medicine; I even brought a basin of water in front of him so that he could bathe his feet. I was confident that our marriage was steady and could stand the exposure to wind and rain because we had been through a lot and shared so many joys and sorrows together.
The Cruel Reality Left Me a Wound That Was Hard to Close
In 1985, with the waves of reform and opening-up sweeping the Chinese mainland, my husband quit his job and ventured into business, publishing books and carrying on a bookstore. A few years later, he achieved success and was known for miles around. When seeing the reward for our years of efforts, I was very delighted.
Just when I drowned myself in happiness, he asked me for a divorce suddenly. Hearing that, I felt as if I was struck by thunderbolts. My blood was surging to my head, and I couldn’t tell how I felt. Where is he who once respected and nourished me? How come he ceases to be faithful in only a few years, and wants to betray our marriage? I couldn’t accept this fact anyway. I felt wronged and recalled that in the beginning, I ignored my parents’ objections and married him; when we had no money to support his schooling, I endured all the sufferings and hardships to pay the tuition fees; when he was ill, I took great care of his living and even brought the water before him for him to wash feet … Over these years, I had sacrificed a lot for the marriage, yet he wanted to divorce me. I felt very miserable.
Later, I got to know he had an affair. I reprimanded him, “You get a cheek! You have no consciences at all!” But he said shamelessly, “In this society, ‘being poor seems to be more shameful than being a prostitute,’ and ‘Man would be willing to die happily if he has one-night romance with a gorgeous woman.’ Who cares about conscience? How much is it?” At that time, I felt pain, as if someone dropped my heart on the floor and was trampling it. I began to hate his ruthlessness, and even more hated his lover. Had it not been for her, these matters would never have happened. All of my sufferings are brought by her. The more I thought, the more I hated her. I was so anxious that I wanted to kill her who broke our happy family, but I couldn’t do that. I could only shed tears in secret. Afterward, under his constant pressing, I lost the courage to live on. In a moment of anger, I took a handful of sleeping pills, hoping my death could awake his conscience. However, I was rescued from coma. I had originally thought that this matter would touch his heart, but something unimaginable happened to me. During the time I was given transfusion in the hospital hall, he never came to see me. Faced with his apathy, I felt utterly despondent, shedding tears every day. I paid all the price for him, and took care of the family with heart and soul. I thought he would see my efforts and took them into heart, and that he would be loyal to me at all times and live together with me till the hair turned grey. Unexpectedly, we just enjoyed several good years, and he became a ruthless man devoid of conscience. At that period, I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown and felt desperate … Half a year later, I was divorced from him helplessly.
After the divorce, I lived with my 4-year-old younger son. At that time, because I just divorced and had nobody to rely on, everybody picked on me. In my unit, the headmaster bullied me; when I paid bribes to change my job, the director took the opportunity to take liberties with me. These things made me feel sad and dismal. The indifference of society, hardships of life, mental depression and feeling of excessive inferiority made me fall into a decline and feel dreary all day long. I couldn’t get out of the shadow of my failed marriage, which was like a brand on my heart.
Healed My Wound
Just when I felt hopeless for my life, God’s salvation in the last days came upon me. I remembered that day was particularly sunny, and the sky was clear and blue. A student’s parent spread theto me. I saw God’s word saying, “Mankind, who left the supply of life from the Almighty, does not know why they exist, and yet fears death. There is no support, no help, but mankind is still reluctant to close their eyes, braving it all, drags out an ignoble existence in this world in bodies without the consciousness of souls. … 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.”
At that moment, I had a lump in my throat and felt God was consoling me like a loving mother. This spiritual comfort was what I had longed for a long time. God’s word like a warm feeling warmed my frozen heart. It turned out that the Creator has been protecting me and accompanying me. I, just like a lost and injured sheep, finally found home. My lonely and solitary heart was comforted at once and I also had courage to live on. Although my marriage and family all broke up, I didn’t feel lonely, because Almighty God is my true reliance. I felt steadfast and peaceful in my heart.