I’m a woman in my 50s. How would you feel if you became rich one day? Once, I used to imagine how great it would be if suddenly I found bundles of money with no owner. Money can’t buy happiness, but you need money to be happy, and having money is never going to make you unhappy. So, the more money you have, the better, I thought. However, the moment the dream became a reality, I experienced that even if I had a lot of money, I could be unhappy.
I wanted to take this opportunity to tell you about it, so I am writing this story. I met my husband, who was five years older than me, at a factory where we worked together. From the moment we saw each other, we had a crush on each other, so we quickly became close. After dating for a year, we got married. My husband and I were not well off financially. I lived okay from the money left by my paternal grandpa, but I lived alone with my dad, who became a widower and blew all his money.
My husband lived in the countryside in his 10-year-old trailer home with a single mom who was paying off his father’s debt, with a young sister who was eight years below him. As both sides of the family were poor, we could barely afford a small wedding and started our newlywed life in a one-room studio rental in a basement, with one thousand dollars paid as a deposit. Our newlywed life started with hardly anything, with bare minimum.
Anyway, that’s how we started as a husband and wife. My husband was kind and sincere, and I was very thrifty to the extent of being called a miser by the people around me, but we were happy every day, as if we were playing house. We decided to have a baby when our circumstances improved and saved nearly 80 percent of our pay. When we saved money this way, we thought we’d be able to buy our dream house because we had a dream.
We weren’t tired even though we worked overtime into the night. We were happy when we could eat ham and fried eggs as a treat once in a while. After seven years of such a married life, my husband said we should have a baby now that he earned enough. However, unlike my husband, I wanted to postpone getting pregnant because we hadn’t purchased the home yet. If I got pregnant, our income would be much less than what we presently earned, and after having the baby, I might have to quit working at the factory to raise our child.
So, even though I felt bad for my husband, I felt the time was too early to get pregnant. At first, I secretly took contraceptive pills and pretended that I wasn’t able to get pregnant. As time passed by, my husband started to become worried and said, ‘I think you can’t get pregnant because you worked too hard.
From now on, why don’t you let me earn money and you stay at home to rest? People say that a mother must rest in order to have a baby. He seemed worried about this for a long time and asked me to quit my job. I said, ‘If I can’t get pregnant, it can’t be helped. Why should I quit my job?’ I said angrily to my husband.
My husband seemed to think that I was being sensitive because I was under stress from the inability to get pregnant. He really seemed he wanted to have a baby and told me, ‘I’ve been very happy being married to you up till now. I want to be happy having our own child. Whenever I think about you and our baby, I want to buy fried chicken on the way home after work, like any other husband, and on weekends go to a zoo or Disneyland.’ Silently, I thought to myself, ‘To be happy like that, we need a lot more money. This man is only dreaming and doesn’t know the reality.’ And I thought him to be so unrealistic.
However, I couldn’t bring myself to say that out loud. After that, my husband would stare at other children passing by for a long time. At first, watching him do that upset me, but as I watched my husband being like that, I started to waver. Then, one day, I wanted to visit my only co-worker that I befriended at the factory. Upon hearing the news that she had a baby, I also felt that I wanted to become a mother for the first time.
So, I told my husband that I would work until I get pregnant and I would quit working. Then, I quit taking contraceptive pills secretly from my husband. I thought I would get pregnant soon after I stopped taking the pills, but I may have thought it not seriously. The pregnancy didn’t happen as easily as I thought. Because my husband knew I didn’t get pregnant easily, he didn’t think too differently. But unlike my husband, he became very worried. ‘Am I infertile? Did I take the pill too long, so I can’t get pregnant?’ So many thoughts occurred to me.
After much contemplation, I decided to quit working and try hard to get pregnant. We tried for three years, but we had no joy of getting pregnant. Every time we checked the pregnancy tester with high hopes, we experienced heaven and hell, looking at the single line on the tester. We eventually became exhausted. Then, one day, my husband helped me and said, ‘It would have been great to have a baby, but I think it’s just as okay to live just you and me together, only. So, don’t get stressed and leave it up to God. You tried hard enough. You tried so hard on your own, and I’m just wishing for a baby. I feel too bad to watch you struggle like this. So, let’s go back to the way we used to live and forget about it.’
My husband comforted me, saying it was okay not to have a baby. And thanks to him, he protected me from his family who was waiting for a grandchild, saying that there was something wrong with him. Time passed like that. We were no longer newlyweds, had no baby, and with reduced income, it was difficult to find happiness. However, an unexpected thing happened to me one day. My father, who had passed away four years ago, left me a piece of land. And there was news that a big developer would be building a large apartment complex on that land.
It was a piece of land that wasn’t worth much to sell, and I had no solution except just leaving it. Because the land was large enough, it brought me over 10 million dollars into my bank account. Until I saw it with my own eyes, I couldn’t believe it. So, I did not even tell my husband. But when I saw the numbers in my account, I kept looking at it. I couldn’t believe it, thinking it could be a dream. I felt dizzy. However, at that moment, the first person I thought of was my husband.
We had lived such a tight life where all we did was struggle to save every penny. I wanted to show my checking account to my husband that had 10 million dollars in it as quickly as possible. That evening, I waited happily for my husband to come home. And when my husband heard my story and saw my checking account, he said he couldn’t believe it too.
And as I had done, he kept counting the zeros. We got so excited that we could not sleep a wink that night. He and I thought about all the things we could do with this money all night long. It was worrying happily. I thought of our dream home, and my husband thought of opening up a fancy steak restaurant.
People around us envied us for our sudden riches, and people started asking us to lend them money by telling us their difficult situations. Of course, we had no reason not to help the people who were very close to us. But somehow, people we hardly knew found out and kept asking us to lend them money. So, it was very troublesome for a while. We said emphatically no to all those kinds of people. Then, their envy turned to hatred, and they started to act maliciously toward us.
They began spreading bad rumors about us, which were totally nonsense and ridiculous. In retrospect, I think it was the beginning. When we got a large sum of money overnight, the people who used to be close with us started to keep their distance from us. And people who weren’t interested in us but in our money started to flock to us like flies. The rumors spread like fire, which stated that we did not earn that money but just got lucky to get free money. And the attitude that they could just overcharge us became rampant.
We had no choice but to sever our ties with all the people we knew. Then we moved to an area where we knew no one and moved into a new house. My husband opened up his restaurant that he wanted. My husband went all over to visit famous street restaurants to learn the recipes. And after his hard work, our restaurant became a hot place speedily. I realized the meaning that it takes money to earn money. I was very grateful to my father who left me his land.
Then one day, an unexpected thing happened. When my husband’s family heard the news about my inheritance, one by one, they started to ask me for money. I hate to say this to you, but I am too old and my health isn’t good, and it is too hard to pay your father-in-law’s debt. Is it possible for you to help? There was not anyone but my mother-in-law’s request, so how could I say no? Of course, I paid off the debt at once.
With those ridiculous requests from my husband’s family, they continued. ‘You guys live in a great place and live well. So, aren’t you sorry toward us? Please buy us a home that’s just as good as yours, no, better than your house. As your parent, shouldn’t your house be better than yours? Isn’t that right, sis? I’m going on a blind date with a dentist. Please buy me a new outfit and a handbag. When your sister-in-law is getting married, could you buy the wedding gift and please buy the jewelry for them too?’
‘It’s not anyone but your sister-in-law. Also, could you do that much, right? Oh, keep in mind that to marry a doctor, she needs to come up with at least three carats. That’s just a basic norm.’ Their demands were so ridiculous that I was speechless. At first, I knew my in-law’s financial situation well. So, right, I only have my in-laws as my family, so help them when we have the money. But they started to spend my inheritance money as if it was theirs, and I became very upset at their attitude.
Then one evening, when my mother-in-law spoke about her daughter’s wedding expenses, I told my husband, who came home after working at the restaurant, that I would no longer give money to his family. He agreed with me readily, but he didn’t seem very happy about it. It bothered me a little, but I didn’t believe he would think I hated spending money on his family when I had spent so much money so far. Then, there was no more talk about it.
After that, the husband that I knew would understand how I felt. But as time passed, I could feel that my husband had changed. A restaurant that had a very good reputation as a popular hot place gradually began to get fewer customers. I wondered what the cause was and decided to go to the restaurant during lunchtime. My husband was managing the restaurant well, and when I dropped by without any notice, the employees looked very surprised, and my husband was nowhere to be found. I found out that my husband had lied to me.
He had been going to a restaurant every morning and hadn’t been coming to the restaurant for a long time. That was the problem. When even the owner pays no attention to the restaurant, what customers would come? Since there was no boss, that restaurant was doomed. I even doubted if, at that moment, I had heard that if a man suddenly gets a large amount of money, he would turn into a person of vanity and easily fall into temptation and even have affairs. I prayed that he didn’t end up like that.
I followed him secretly when he said he was going to work. Then he went to a paid parking place that was some distance from our home and got into an expensive foreign car that he didn’t discuss with me to buy. I then witnessed him changing into full golfing gear and outfitting himself to play golf at a golf course. I was surprised, but I only wished that he wasn’t cheating on me. But my husband crushed all my hopes in an instant.
My husband, who entered the golf course, met up with a young lady who seemed much younger than I was and was kissing her. When I double-checked the credit card bills, his having an affair was true. At that instant, I felt so betrayed by my husband and his family. With whose money did their lives change for the better? I couldn’t forgive myself for being a sucker for all this time and, like a stupid fool, who believed in my husband so innocently.
I went directly to an attorney’s office to get a consultation and divorce. It was apparent that it was very advantageous for me to get a divorce judgment. And that night, I handed over to my husband the divorce papers. It wasn’t even enough if he had begged for forgiveness, but he acted as if he had been waiting for me to ask for a divorce and immediately agreed to get divorced. I became furious inside to see my husband’s thick face and his sickening attitude.
But it was even worse what he said the next day. ‘When we get divorced, you do know that we need to divide up the property, right? Let’s split it 50/50.’ It is really ridiculous to divide up the property. Is that money yours? That’s the money I inherited from the sale of my dad’s property. What right do you have to ask for the money? What is important whose money it is? You and I are a couple, and that money is common property as a married couple. So, it’s only right to divide it.’
‘And did I not work? I also worked at the restaurant to earn money.’ ‘Yeah, that’s why you bought the expensive foreign car and golfed and cheated on me behind my back. Do you know what we call such a person? That is the spouse at fault. You won’t be able to ask for anything from me. Are you saying that you won’t give any money? Of course! Do you think
that’s all the debts that I paid for your family and all the wedding expenses when your sister got married will be all calculated to be invoiced back to you?’
My husband couldn’t say a word to me. It looked like he didn’t think about that. Then the next day, he kept glancing at me like a dog with his tail down between his legs. It seemed that he went back to work at our restaurant as before. ‘Honey, I must have been crazy for a while. I’m so sorry, darling. I’ll start working hard like before and won’t fool around anymore. My mom and my sister are so grateful to you, so please don’t be angry anymore and forgive me just this once.’
I heard that when a husband is good to his wife in old age, it’s because the husband caught a lot of heartaches for his wife when he was young. My husband then catered to me like the way he used to when he first got married and obeyed me unconditionally. After that incident, as a beloved husband. At first, I didn’t open up from the betrayal I felt from my husband, and people around me criticized me for being too hard on my husband when they didn’t know the story behind us.
Then one incident happened. My mother-in-law said, ‘Honey, you’re being too much, no matter. It is your inheritance from your father, but there is no property in your husband’s name. When there is nothing in its name, how could your husband conduct business? I’m very disappointed when I see my own son living with no pride like that.’ Then my husband said, ‘Mother, stop it. The inheritance my wife got is in her name, so why should it be in my name?’
‘Naturally, it should be in her name. Don’t say things like that when you and I live well because of her.’ I couldn’t stand my mother-in-law when she spoke. But when my husband covered like that, I felt uncomfortable. As time passed, my husband still seemed like he was trying to make up for his wrongdoings and trying to be good to me by working hard. In time, I started to open up my feelings a little bit by bit. In my mind, since we had that incident before, I thought my husband would not repeat his mistake out of fear, and I decided to forgive my husband.
Then, as if to smirk at my decision, I saw the real man my husband was at a totally unexpected place. The husband who said he was sorry and who told me that he quit his relationship with a girl and sold off the car was still riding the same car with the girl that I saw. To look at a model condo. ‘Honey, are you really buying me this condominium?’ ‘Of course! Have I ever lied to you?’
‘If your wife finds out, she won’t let it pass by. Would you be okay?’ ‘Don’t worry. I have an idea, so just trust me and be happy. Let’s get this place and have a pretty baby and live happily together.’ As I heard their conversation, my hands were trembling because of what my mother-in-law said, and most of all, I was going to place my trust once more in my husband that I had changed the title of the restaurant into his name.
That wasn’t all. I didn’t want my husband to worry about operating expenses, so I had put a part of my inheritance money into his checking account. I was in shock and barely standing. But I could no longer endure it. ‘Hey, you guys, have you looked all around?’ My mother-in-law approached two of them happily. She treated that adulteress as if she was her daughter-in-law and was holding her hand.
‘I can’t sleep because I have no grandchildren. In the old days, a childless wife was kicked out. I hope you will give me a grandchild to continue our family name. Don’t worry. But I don’t want to be a mistress. Of course, we know that. Please wait a little more. We are almost there.’ When I thought about it, I was so lucky to come to see this model condominium. And I wanted to punish them right away, but I decided to stop myself.
Then, for the first time in my life, I went to see a detective and hired them to find everything they were doing behind my back. As a result, I learned that my husband was checking here and there to get my inheritance money to prepare before he divorced me. I found out that he was trying to do everything he could to persuade me to change the title to his name. What was giving me the chills was that my mother-in-law was in the middle of that.
Seeing those leeches who tasted the money go crazy, I had to think about how I could get back all the money I had poured on them. As I perused the calendar, I came up with a strategy. The day that I was to use the strategy was on my mother-in-law’s birthday the following month. I thought of a bait that my mother-in-law, my husband, and my sister-in-law would go crazy for, which was a reservation for a luxury cruise to Northern Europe.
‘Oh my darling, what is all this? A cruise?’ ‘Mom, are we taking this ship to go abroad on a cruise? But why go on a cruise? We should get on a plane. It’s enjoying traveling on a ship. Wow, you even remembered me. Thank you so much, honey. Isn’t this too much?’ ‘I don’t need to go.’ My husband said, ‘You have never taken a day off working at the restaurant. I want to go with you, but last time I checked, I just can’t leave the restaurant to the employees, so why don’t you be good to your mother on my behalf and go?’
‘Really, since your wife is being considerate, thinking of us, it’s not good to refuse her. Let’s go and have a good time. Thank you. You are our lucky charm.’ As I watched my mother-in-law, my husband, and his sister, I smiled brightly as if a beast was hiding her claws. Then the day I said farewell as they left for their trip, I started to prepare for the hell one by one they would face when they got back.
The first thing was to sell the restaurant that I opened up for him. And because I was his wife, I was able to sell it without any suspicion. I asked to get the final deposit transferred as soon as possible and went to my in-laws to put the condominium where my mother-in-law lived up for sale. It was very lucky that when I bought it, I had put the title in my name. I also asked for the escrow’s closure so that I could get my money quickly.
Within two weeks after they left on a cruise, I was able to get back the majority of the money that I had poured on them. After I finished everything, I went to see my sister’s husband and said, ‘I don’t know if you know, but I had paid for a lot of things for my sister-in-law like a house, the car, and the hospital. Those were all paid from my father’s inheritance. If I get divorced legally, your wife needs to return all that back to me. So, will you return it or just keep all that and divorce your wife?’
As my brother-in-law’s face turned white and then red, he said he would repay the money. Then I went to see my mother-in-law’s brother, who lives in the countryside. As soon as I saw him, he said, ‘If you came here to get money, you can forget about it. I won’t give you anything.’ I laughed and said, ‘I didn’t come to ask for money. I came here to give you money.’
‘What do you mean? Are you trying to mock me?’ ‘My uncle, you lived in a pigsty all your life. But because I’m a kind person, I will give you this much money so you can finally live a better life for your remaining days.’ As I showed the amount of money, my uncle’s eyes widened in disbelief. ‘Where did you get this much money?’ ‘It’s the inheritance from my father.’
My uncle grabbed the money and held it tight, but he was still worried and asked, ‘Why did you give me this money?’ ‘I came here to tell you that I was going to go on a honeymoon with my husband. But after seeing you living in a pigsty, I couldn’t go. So, I wanted to leave this money to you so you can be a little more comfortable.’
My uncle seemed very touched and apologized for yelling at me. As I left, he thanked me for what I had done for him. Then I went to the bank where I had saved the money and made a big loan by using the money as collateral and put it in a different account. I had to get the money ready for the day my husband and his family came back. I thought it would be a bit more difficult since my mother-in-law’s brother lived in the countryside, but it was much easier than I thought.
The day that my husband, my mother-in-law, and my sister-in-law returned, I felt like it was Christmas. I looked forward to this day more than any day in my life. I knew that I wouldn’t be able to make up for the betrayal I felt from my husband, but at least I was able to satisfy my revenge by making them lose everything they had. I was waiting for the moment they would beg me to give them money. My husband was at the airport holding a bouquet of flowers. He looked good, as if he was 10 years younger.
When I went to greet him and gave him a hug, he was speechless for a while and looked happy. ‘My love, how have you been?’ ‘I’ve been doing very well. I’ve been very busy these days, so time passed quickly. How about you? How was your trip?’ ‘It was very, very great. Thank you for allowing me to go on a trip.’ ‘What are you saying? Why wouldn’t I allow you to go? I was glad that you had a good time.’
As soon as I got in the car, I asked him about his trip. ‘You must have had a good time because you went to see so many beautiful places.’ ‘Yes, but I was so sorry. You know that your mom is getting old, so I took her and your sister to Europe. But I didn’t know that Europe was so expensive. We used up all the money that we had in our checking account. We used our credit cards, but it was still not enough. So, what should I do now?’
I grinned at my husband’s words. ‘How can we be short of money?’ ‘Yes, what do we do now? We spent more than we brought because it was too expensive. I feel sorry to even look at your face.’ ‘Don’t worry about it. That’s why I asked you to come home early, so you can start working from tomorrow.’ ‘What? What are you talking about? When we arrived, I even went to the car shop and sold off the car. Then, I told my sister-in-law to start working at the restaurant as soon as possible.’
‘I think it will be good for your sister-in-law to start working from tomorrow as well. Please let your mother know too. If she lives with us, she will eat well and rest comfortably.’ ‘Oh, I was going to suggest that.
We are so lucky to have you as our family.’ ‘We’re the lucky ones. We have a mother who has a lot of money and works hard. From now on, let’s be good to each other like a good family.’ My husband didn’t know that he had become the victim of my revenge.
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