I’m a divorced woman in my 30s who is living alone very happily. Everyone has a different standard of happiness. Some will be happy if they have a lot of money, while others say they wouldn’t be happy if they could live without any worries. As for me, I feel that if my life isn’t ridiculously unhappy as it used to be when I was married, then anyway I will be happier to that extent.
My married life was an unhappy time with only wounds for me. Right after my divorce, I didn’t want to talk about myself when people asked me why I got divorced, but it seems right that the same time is medicine. Now I live comfortably and happily, so for once I wanted to look back on my past. Thankfully, I was born as the only daughter of an affluent family. My mother was very frail, so she barely could give birth to me, and my father didn’t want to risk my mother’s life from having any more children, so he said it was enough with just me. Thus, I grew up as their only child.
I was spoiled to death when I was young, having or doing anything I wanted. My parents said that I could do anything as long as I studied hard and was healthy. Until I graduated from college, I had everything and was loved dearly by my parents. Without experiencing any hardships of life and being so innocent, I met my husband when I was a freshman in college, without knowing that it was a step toward unhappiness.
I felt deeply in love. If I think about it now, people say that people are attracted to those who are the exact opposite of themselves, and I think I was drawn to my husband because he was so different from me. I was born and raised in the city and went to college and worked there, while my husband was from the countryside in the so-called Deep South.
According to my husband, his parents had no expectations for him because only maintaining livelihood was the most important goal for them. Because he grew up with nothing, all he could do was studying as a form of entertainment, like a hobby. It was something I couldn’t ever imagine. My husband read the encyclopedia that was thrown out like a comic book, and he read it over and over, so he was famous as an erudite person for knowing so many interesting facts. Also, he studied well in school and went to a magnet high school in a big city. He had a strong desire to get good grades and to succeed, which paid off for him to get into a prestigious university.
On the other hand, I had the best tutoring teachers for every subject and studied very comfortably. He was in my class in college, and when I heard his life story, it was as if I was watching a drama on TV and shocked me.
Even though he was my age, he seemed to be much more mature than I was. I even felt that a certain way of strengthening him, that no matter what happened in the future, he’d be able to overcome on his own. Moreover, he had his way of innocence about him, and he was very handsome, so many girls on campus were vying for him because that was his charm. Since my husband was so popular, I somehow felt distant from him, but he approached me first, so we became a famous campus couple.
Later, I asked him why he refused all those girls who were chasing after him and started to like me instead. He smiled shyly and said, “You seemed like an innocent girl who has never known any hardship in your life. I had such a hard life that I somehow was attracted to you, who is so snobby.” At first, I didn’t understand what he was talking about. I didn’t know whether that was making fun of me or complimenting me. Anyway, I understood it as he was drawn to me because I was so opposite from him too.
We were a campus couple until our sophomore year, and even when my husband went into the military, I didn’t date anyone else and waited for him. I graduated first from college and got a job at a major corporation.
I supported my husband when he got discharged and went back to college. We had small and big arguments now and then, but we continued dating for quite a long time. My husband graduated two years after me, but because his grades were excellent, he applied to the same cooperation where I worked and was offered a position right away. Continuing from being a campus couple, our relationship continued at the office, so everyone thought that we would naturally get married soon.
Of course, both my husband and I assumed that. Also, while working, I started to save money toward my wedding. Even though it was my first job, it was at a large corporation, so I received a higher pay than other people. And after three years, I was able to save quite a bit of money. On top of that, since my family was quite well off, even though I was working, my parents wouldn’t allow me to spend any money on them, so I was able to save a lot.
My husband didn’t tell me, but he was living totally differently from me. First, once he got his pay, he sent half of it to his family. He lived in a small studio by himself, and because he had to pay the rent and for his household expenses, it wasn’t easy for him to save any money. And whenever there were some events, his family would ask my husband for some more money. Because it was his family, my husband would send them money whenever they asked. Thus, even though he wanted to marry me, he couldn’t bring himself to propose to me.
After I learned the whole truth about my husband and his family, truthfully, it made me hesitate a bit. But because it had been a long time since we met, and I loved my husband as a person himself, I told him that it was okay.
At first, I even proposed to him. His family had no reason to object to our marriage since I was from a family who is financially well off, and we went to the same college and were working at the same great company. His parents welcomed me with open arms, but my parents seemed as if they couldn’t readily accept my husband as their son-in-law. But since I said I love him, they couldn’t object in the end and accepted him.
Taking my husband’s financial situation into consideration, they even got us our newlywed home and helped with our wedding. I don’t expect much from you. I just want you to care for Elizabeth, that’s enough. Could you do that? Of course, father. Elizabeth is too good for me. You’re allowing me to marry your precious daughter to someone like me, so of course, I should love her and care for her for the rest of my life. Please trust me, father and mother. I’ll become a very dependable son-in-law, like a son. I’ll do my best. I feel as if I can depend on you, right?
I never had a son, and just raised a daughter, so I wondered what it would feel like to have a son. I envied those with a son, so I would appreciate it if you’ll act like our son to us, Alex. I don’t want anything else from you. Just have fun and be happy, that’s all I want, mom. Don’t worry, dad. Alex
is a very good person. I’m confident in his personality.
In fact, since my parents didn’t have a son and always wanted a son-in-law whom they could depend on and who would help them when they are old, they often gifted us with money. My parents always said that they would give us a big gift after we got married. But they were different from the other parents who just give gifts when their children get married.
My parents usually weren’t stingy about money, but they didn’t give us a gift easily and said it was for our future. They also said that the gift would be so big that people would talk about it behind our backs. My parents had a big party when we got married, and it was on a totally different level from the parties that my husband’s family threw. They gifted us with a large sum of money, and it was talked about for a while.
It seems as if you’re uncomfortable. It’s not that. It’s just that I’ve never seen this much money in my life, so it feels strange. I know what you mean. I couldn’t sleep well yesterday because I kept thinking that my daughter received a lot of money as a wedding gift. You don’t have to worry about anything. Just think of it as a dream and be happy. I felt the same way when I married my wife and received a gift from my in-laws.
My parents said that they saved that money instead of spending it on their daughter’s wedding. That’s why I should give it to my son as a gift, they said. Even if my parents saved the money for a long time, it’s still a lot of money. You’re right. That’s why I’m telling you to be happy. If your parents gave you money as a gift, then you should cheer up and use it well. I’m grateful for their gift, but I don’t feel comfortable with it.
Instead of the amount of money, I’m more grateful that they said to me that they trust in me by accepting me as their son-in-law. I understand how you feel. But we won’t feel comfortable unless you take this money. We’re old, and we’re just sitting here. So please take it. We’ll feel at ease if you take it. I don’t want to act as if I’m treating you to get your money. Just think of it as a dream and take it. Please do so. We feel happier when you do.
I was so moved by what my parents said that I almost cried. At the same time, I felt as if I should be responsible for my parents and pay them back for the money and the love they gave me. That’s why I thought that I had to earn even more money. But I was also tired of my life because I was working in a competitive society where only people who are better than others succeed.
After living together with my husband, I realized that my husband had his scars too. It’s not just me. My husband also looked like he had everything, but he had his own wounds. It seemed as if I was looking at myself in the past. My husband was smiling when he was outside but had a sad expression when he was alone. I realized it after we got married and were living together. I felt sorry for him, and it hurt me. I wanted to do something for him.
From then on, I started saving even more money. I earned money by working during the day and invested money by studying how to invest at night. I didn’t waste time on my weekends and also worked as a freelancer. It was tough, but the money I saved up was increasing too. And one day, my husband’s former roommate approached me.
At first, he was looking for my husband, but as we talked, he said that he heard that I was good at making money and asked if I could help him. My husband’s friend said that he wanted to buy a piece of land but didn’t have enough money. He also said that he could pay back the money within a year. At first, I hesitated because it was a considerable amount of money. But when I heard that my husband’s friend also had his difficulties, I remembered my husband’s past and thought that maybe I could help him somehow.
So I lent him the money. As he said, he paid me back after a year, and he even thanked me. He said that I saved him and that he would remember me for the rest of his life. After that, he often came to me and asked for help, and each time, I lent him money. At first, I didn’t think it was a big deal, but I felt as if I was losing something as time passed.
At the same time, my husband’s friend seemed as if he was expecting more from me, which made me uncomfortable. I knew that it was my fault for lending him money when he didn’t even ask for it, but I didn’t want to disappoint my husband’s friend. I was scared that if I refused him, then my husband’s friend might be disappointed, and my husband might be hurt because of that. So I continued to lend him money.
Of course, my husband wasn’t happy about it. He said that he understood why I lent his friend money and that it was nice of me to help him, but he also said that it was enough and that I didn’t need to help him anymore. I was torn between my husband and his friend. But his friend said that he still had a lot of things to do and that he needed my help. He even said that he was going to pay me back as soon as possible. Because he said that, I lent him money again. As he promised, he paid me back as soon as he could. He also said that he was going to buy a car and asked me how to do it. I thought that he might have some difficulties, so I looked it up for him.
After that, he asked me for more help. And I kept helping him. One day, he told me that he was going to start a business and asked me for help again. I asked him how much money he needed, and he said that he needed a lot of money.
I hesitated for the first time, but I didn’t want to disappoint him. I also didn’t want to hurt my husband. So I lent him money again. He said that he was going to pay me back soon and that he would even pay me more for helping him. I felt as if I was losing something again, but I also thought that it would be the last time I lent him money.
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