I ate lunch with 22 relatives from my dad's side yesterday. To my right sat my cousin, a woman in her mid-thirties with a ten-year-old son.
She told me the story of her husband.
After ten years of marriage, he began to see another woman outside their marriage. My cousin found out and asked him for a divorce. He insisted on making the marriage work. During their negotiation, a mutual friend rebuked the husband, "Your wife has been with you when you had nothing. Now your money situation is finally getting better, and you do this kind of thing?"
The husband broke down in tears and ended things with the mistress. He convinced my cousin to give the marriage another go.
Six months later (around two years ago), he traveled to Hangzhou on a business trip. After arriving at the hotel, he didn't answer his wife's phone calls for a day and a night. She grew increasingly worried, and finally convinced a friend to go to his hotel. When the friend kicked down the door, the husband laid on the ground in a comatose state.
The friend called an ambulance and took him to the hospital, where the doctors diagnosed him with a brain hemorraghe. My cousin flew out, and was told by the doctor, "If your husband goes home alive, count yourself lucky."
The husband survived, but is now paralyzed on one side. He can move one arm, but the other side has no sensory ability. He said to my cousin, "If you ask for a divorce now, I'll sign it right away. You're still young. You can find someone else."
She said, "I come from a line of people who do not abandon others in their time of need."
"If the situation were reversed," he said, "and you were the one who fell ill, I don't think I could take care of you the way you're doing for me."
"That's the difference between men and women," she said.
He earns medical disability now, and she works a job selling a sketchy genome mapping kit.
She said to her husband, "If I can make good money, then you can 跟我吃香的，喝辣的 (eat fragrant food and drink spices, which translates to "live the good life"). If I have trouble earning money, then we'll eat 榨菜 (cheap pickled vegetables)."
Tears rolled from his eyes as he looked up at her from his wheelchair. "I haven't done right by you," he said.
I was very touched by this story. I told it to my brother, who said, "Tears only rolled out of one of his eyes, right?"