Just two years after our marriage, my husband brought up the idea of asking his Mother to move from the rural hometown and spend her remaining years with us. His father passed away while he was still very young. His mum endured much hardship and struggled all on her own to provide for him, see him through to the university. You could say that she suffered a great deal and did everything you could expect or imagine of a woman to bring hubby to where he is today. I immediately agreed and started preparing the spare room, which has a balcony facing the South to let her enjoy the sunshine and plant greenery. Hubby stood in the bright room, and suddenly, he lifted me up and started spinning round and round. As I begged him to put me down, he said: “Lets go fetch mother”.
Hubby is tall and big sized and I love to rest my head on his chest and enjoy the feeling that he could pick me up at any moment, put me as smallish as I am into his pocket. Whenever we have an argument and one of us refuses to back out, he would lift me up and spin me over his head continuously until I surrender as I beg for mercy. I became addicted to this kind of panic-joy feeling.
Mother brought along her countryside habits and lifestyle with her. For example; I am so used to buying flowers to decorate the living room, she could not stand it and would comment: “I do not know how you young people spend your money, what do you buy flowers for? You also can’t eat flowers!” I will smile and say,: “Mum, with flowers in the house, our mood will also become better.” Mother will grumble away, and my husband will smile and tell her:”Mum, this is how it is in the city and with time you will get use to it”. Mother will stop murmuring. But thereafter, whenever I came home with flowers, she would ask me how much it costs. I will tell her the price and she would shake her head and express displeasure.
Sometimes, when I come home with lots of shopping bags, she would demand to know the price for each and every item, I would tell her honestly and she would get even more upset about it. Hubby playfully pinched my nose one day and said: “You little fool, just don’t tell her the full price of everything and that would would solve the problem.” This sparked the friction to our otherwise happy lifestyle and home.
Mother hates it most when hubby wakes up early to prepare the breakfast. In her view, how could the man of the house cook for the wife? At the breakfast table, mother’s facial expression is always like the dark clouds before a thunderstorm and I would pretend not to have noticed that. She would use her chopsticks or cutlery to make a lot of noise as her silent protest.
As a dance teacher in the Children’s Palace where i work, I come home exhausted from a long day of dancing around, and I do not wish to give up the luxury of that additional few minutes in the comfort of my bed and hence I turned a deaf ear to all the protest mother makes. From time to time, mother would help out with some housework, but soon her help created additional work for me. For example: she would keep all kinds of plastic bags with the aim of selling them later on, and at the end, the house is filled with all forms of trash bags; she would spill on the dishes, dish washing detergent when helping to wash the dishes and so, as not to hurt her feelings, I would quietly wash them again. One day, late at night, mother saw me washing the dishes, and “Bam” she slams her bedroom door and cried very loudly in her room. Hubby was placed in a difficult position as to whose side he should be on, and after that, he did not speak to me for that entire night.
I pretended to be a spoilt child, tried acting cute, but he totally ignored me…. I got mad and asked him: “What did I do wrong?” He stared at me and said: “Can’t you just give in to her once? We couldn’t possibly die eating from a bowl however unclean it is, right?” After that incident, for a long period of time, mother did not speak with me and you can feel that there is a very awkward feeling hanging in the house. During the period of the cold war, hubby was caught in a dilemma as to who to please.
In order to stop her son from having to prepare breakfast, mother took on the “all important” task of preparing breakfast without informing or discussing with any of us. At the breakfast table, mother would look at her son happily as he eats his breakfast and she’ll cast that reprimanding stare at me for having failed to perform my duty as a wife. To avoid the embarrassing breakfast situation, I resorted to buying my own breakfast on my way to work. That night, while in bed, hubby was a little upset and asked me: “LD, is it because you think that mum’s cooking is not clean that’s why you chose not to eat at home?” He then turned his back on me and left me alone in tears as feelings of unfairness overwhelmed me.
After some time, hubby sighed: “LD, just for me, can we have breakfast together at home?” I am left with no choice but to return to the breakfast table. The next morning, I was having porridge prepared by his mother and I felt a sudden churn in my stomach and everything inside seem to be rushing up my throat. I tried to suppress the urge to throw up but I could not. I threw down the bowl, rushed into the washroom, and vomited everything out. Just as I was catching my breath, I saw mother crying and grumbling very loudly in her dialect, hubby was standing at the washroom doorway staring at me with fire burning in his eyes… I opened my mouth but no words came out, I really did not mean it.
We had our very first big fight that day; mother took a look at us, then stood up and slowly made her way out of the house. Hubby gave me a final stare in the eye and followed mother down the stairs. For three days, hubby did not return home, not even a phone call. I was so furious.
Since mother arrived; I had been trying my best to put up with her, what else do you want me to do? For no reason, I keep having the feeling to throw up and I simply lost appetite for food, coupled with all the events happening at home, I was then at a low point in my life. Finally, a colleague said: “LD, you look terrible; you should go and see a doctor.” The doctor confirmed that I was pregnant.
Now it became clear to me why I threw up that fateful morning, a sense of sadness floaded my soul through that otherwise happy news. Why didn’t husband, or his mother who had been through this before, thought of the possibility of this being the reason that day? At the hospital entrance, I saw my hubby standing there. It had only been three days, but he looked raggard.
I had wanted to turn and leave, but one look at him and my heart soften, I couldn’t resist and I called out to him. He followed my voice and finally found me but he pretended he doesn’t know me; he has that disgusted look in his eyes that cut right through my heart. I told myself not to look at him anymore, and hail a cab. At that moment, I have such a strong urge inside me to shout to my hubby: “Darling, I am having your baby!” and have him lift me up and spin me around in circles of joy as he’s found out.
What I wanted didn’t happen and as I sat in the cab, my tears started rolling down. Why? Why couldn’t our love even withstand the test of one fight? Back home, I lay on the bed thinking about my hubby, and the disgusted look in his eyes I saw at the hospital. I cried out and soaked the pillow with my tears. That night, the sound of drawers opening in our room woke me up. I switched on the lights and I saw hubby with tears rolling down his face. He was removing all the money he had kept in there. I stared at him in silence; he ignored me, took the bank deposit book and some money and left the house.
Maybe he really intends to leave me for good. What a rational man, so clear-cut in love and money matters. I gave a few dried laugh and tears started streaming down again. The next day, I did not go to work.. I wanted to clear this out and have a good talk with him. I reached his office and his secretary gave me a weird look and said: “Mr. Tan’s mother had a traffic accident and is now in the hospital.” I stood there in shock. I rushed to the hospital and by the time I found them, mother had already passed away.
Hubby did not look at me, his face was expressionless. I looked at mother’s pale white and thin face and I couldn’t control the tears in my eyes. My god, how could this happen? Throughout the funeral, he did not say a single word to me, with only the occasional disgusted stare he gives. I only managed to find out brief facts about the accident from other people. That day, after mother left the house, she walked away dazed toward the bus stop, apparently intending to go back to her old house back in the countryside. As hubby ran after her, she tried to walk faster and as she tried to cross the street, a public bus came knocking her… I finally understood how much hubby must hate me…
The rest of the story will be posted tomorrow. Kindly subscribe to get the notification for part 2. Before you leave; What do you think was the source of their challenges? I think that lack of intimate communication (a.k.a Vitamin C, Vitamin Communication) was the foundation of their marital problems and a second after concluding, I’m of the opinion that it is a Mother in-Law “palava” (one of those big issues caused as a result of lack of understanding between the Mother-in-law and daughter-in-law). What do you think? Kindly let share your opinion in the comment box. (Story source : Closed Whatsapp group for Christian Women)
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