Most relationships begin with attraction.
But looks fade over time, and what remains is the personality someone falls in love with.
Unfortunately, sometimes, people become too shallow and their eyes begin to wander when they have been in a relationship for a long time.
A person in a long committed relationship may, one day, meet someone who they find more attractive.
They may, in the process, forget about their loving significant other, whose inner beauty shines and who has loved them unconditionally and supported them for years.
This story, about a situation just like this, is one everyone should read – whether married or not.
One day, as his wife served dinner in their dining room, a husband took her hand and told her that he wanted a divorce.
Immediately, a look of pain flooded her eyes.
For a while, she ate quietly, then she asked him why he was deciding to do this.
He could not answer her because he was ashamed of the truth.
The night ended in his wife’s tears, and they did not speak again that evening.
The husband couldn’t tell his wife of ten years what was going on, because he had actually met someone else: Joan, a younger woman.
He had fallen out of love with his wife in the process, which is why he wanted to end things.
Still, he felt sorry for her when he saw her sadness.
So he wrote out an agreement for their divorce that would allow her to keep their car and house, as well as 30% of their shared business.
The wife took one look at the written “contract” and chucked it away.
After a decade, she hated the fact that they now behaved like strangers.
The husband could not help pitying his wife, who had wasted time and energy on their marriage for so long.
But he loved Joan, and not her any more.
After a while, his wife began to shout, berating him.
This only made him want the divorce more.
The next day, the husband returned from spending his day with Joan and saw his wife writing intently on a piece of paper.
He was tired from the day, so he just went straight to bed.
The next morning, he awoke to see that she had just finished writing.
She handed the piece of paper to him, and he realized that she had written her own divorce conditions.
She did not want the house, the car, or business shares.
Instead, she wanted one month’s notice before they solidified the divorce, during which they would carry on living as though nothing had happened and not tell their son about it.
She explained that this was because their son had big exams that month and she didn’t want to distract him with such sad news.
She also requested that every single day, the husband would lift her into his arms and carry her to their room, just like he had when they first were married.
The next day, he started to carry her, and it was slightly awkward at first.
But their son was so happy to see this, clapping and excitedly cheering – and this hurt him deeply.
It was only a 10-meter walk, but it felt like forever.
The next day, he had to do it again.
This time, both parties were more calm.
The husband could feel his wife’s skin against his and smell the perfume on her blouse.
He also couldn’t help noticing how much older she looked – graying hairs and wrinkles, seemingly caused by their marriage.
He wondered if he had made a mistake.
On the fourth day of this routine, the husband felt some affection returning.
He realized that this woman had spent 10 years with him and gave her life to him completely.
His love for her continued to grow over the next few days.
There was also a new development – she was becoming easier and easier to carry every day.
At first, the husband thought he was simply getting stronger.
But it soon became clear that this was not the case, as his wife could no longer wear most of her dresses – they had all become too loose.
He then noticed how thin she had become, and he wondered if he had caused her that much stress.
On the last day of their agreement, their son ran into the room, and he excitedly exclaimed that he couldn’t wait to see his dad carry his mom again.
The husband realized with a pang of sadness that he may never see this again.
He did as he usually did – he carried her in his arms, noticing her thinness, noticing her frailness, and noticing her beauty – both inside and out.
After he was done, he realized he did not want to divorce her.
He hurried to Joan’s home and talked to her.
He confessed that he and his wife loved each other, but had succumbed to routine and forgotten to value each other – something he now knew he wanted to fix.
He said he would not be divorcing his wife, and told Joan he would no longer see her.
Horrified and upset, Joan kicked him out – but he didn’t care.
On the way home, the husband stopped to buy flowers for his wife.
On the card, he wrote that he would continue to carry his wife every day “until death do us part”, as in their vows.
He rushed home to her, but when he arrived home, she was lying in bed, unmoving.
She had passed away.
The wife had developed cancer in the past few months, and he had been too busy enamored with Joan to notice as she became weaker.
Knowing her time was limited, she had asked him to postpone the divorce so their son would remember his father as a good husband and loving man – even though he had failed in that respect.
This story teaches us that even the smallest details can be the most important in a relationship.