Would you still marry me?

Article:Jun Ting Liu / Picture:Zhong Shen Tu  2017-03-07


  The words I used to share with my wife were often direct and blunt. A happy conversation would immediately turn into a battlefield. It was an unpleasant showdown in an unpleasant atmosphere. My wife's thoughts are simple, while I tend to overthink things. I would often ask her to meet my needs, so our husband-wife relationship was often tense.
  One day I asked her, "Why must you always go to Tai Ji Men? Did it change your life or something?"
  She replied, "If I hadn't started going, I would have already gotten depression."
  This response was too much! I was speechless with that answer. Was I really that scary? Was this our plan when we fell in love with each other and got married? Would we continue down this road with our tense relationship? We believed that both of us had to change, so I joined Tai Ji Men to change myself as well.
  Shifu wanted us to learn to speak: our words had to be truthful, not blunt. What did truthful mean? I thought, it must mean to speak with an open heart to allow the other person, in a shameless and tranquil environment, to understand the message I was trying to convey. When telling the other person that they made a mistake or when discussing something seriously, I shouldn't rush to throw the figurative ball I hold. The harder and faster I throw the ball, the harder it will deflect back, and both sides are likely to end up losing.
  Before, when I threw the ball too soon and too fast, the other person would not only get hurt, but also hurl the ball back at me with equal strength. But if I smiled warmly and gently tossed the ball, the other person would happily receive my message. Wasn't this wonderfully beautiful? The "truth" that Shifu meant is to balance yin and yang, not to be harsh and blunt.
  Before I joined Tai Ji Men, I once asked my wife, "If you could make the choice again, would you still have chosen to marry me?"
  She replied without hesitation, "No."
  The atmosphere immediately rang with the sound of breaking glass, because my true heart, made of glass, had shattered. But after I joined Tai Ji Men and learned from my brothers and sisters, I changed my attitude. Now I show my gratitude for my wife and shower her with compliments. Every day, I see my wife - a hardworking and beautiful woman. Of course I have to give her hugs and kisses filled with love! Whenever we have disagreements, I have learned three tips on how to throw my ball gently.
  1. When I have suggestions, I convey them with love, especially when I'm writing on a note or in an email. I always start my message with "Dear Wife", and end with "With love, Jun Ting". If my wife hasn't seen the note or read the email carefully, I slyly hint, "Did you catch some love in that note I wrote?"
  2. When my wife isn't in a good mood and raises her voice, I hug her and say, "With that beautiful voice you have, it's a shame if you were to use it for yelling and not singing." This makes her smile, and sometimes, it turns the argument into a pleasant conversation.
  3. I can genuinely feel the effort that my wife makes. It used to be that when she smiled at me, it would only be because she wanted to buy something expensive. Once the item was in her hands, she would stop smiling. Now when she smiles at me, it's because she sees me as a cute Tai Ji Men brother. She also gently tells me where she would like me to improve.
  I think that we've all learned that mutual love isn't because you've found a perfect partner, it's because you've found a perfect way to look at the other's imperfections, and also because you're willing to include them in your growth. A few days ago, I asked my wife, "It seems like we haven't fought in a long time. Isn't that weird?" I was joking. I very much like this peaceful and happy time better than what we had before. In Tai Ji Men, I see a smile on my wife's face. It hasn't appeared in a long time. I regret putting her through 12 years of misery, but in the decades to come, I will hold her hand tightly and continue building our life together in Tai Ji Men.