Richard Evans is one of the best-selling authors of New York Times and USA Today. Coming along his life, I came across one of the most beautiful stories I’ve ever read. Richard shared his marriage life which according to him was on the verge to a near divorce where one question completely changed the ending with a happily ever-after.
Richard Evans and his wife Keri were struggling, trying to keep their marriage alive for the sake of their daughter, Jenna. However, they would fight day and night unable to accept each others existence in their lives.
As Richard was on a book selling road trip with his team, he called up Keri but ended up with yet another argument which led him to one fine debate with none other than God, himself. He turned to God, not praying but shouting…that marriage was wrong and he had done a great mistake doing so with Keri. However, Richard wasn’t comfortable with the idea of divorce but living with Keri wasn’t easy enough either.
“I couldn’t figure out why marriage with Keri was so hard. Deep down I knew that Keri was a good person. And I was a good person. So why couldn’t we get along? Why had I married someone so different than me? Why wouldn’t she change?”
And that is when the thought rang in his mind and he prayed, “If I can’t change her, God, then change me.” That is when the question came to his mind that he believed could change his life from negative to positive and with a sight of hope he packed his bags.
Returning home, Richard and Keri lay in bed inches in distance yet it seemed as though they were miles apart. As they woke up, Richard rolled over to Keri and asked her, “How can I make your day better?”
As Richard told his story, he continued asking Keri the same question every morning and night to which he would get responses like, “clean the kitchen” or “clean the garage.” This would anger Richard greatly, but he kept his calm and hoped for the best.
After two long weeks, when Richard rolled over to Keri asking her the same question, she broke into tears saying, “Please stop asking me that. You’re not the problem. I am. I’m hard to live with. I don’t know why you stay with me.”
That was the moment when the wall between the two broke down and the two exchanged the three words that had been lost from their life for quite a while. Wrapped in each others arms, the couple talked and talked, discussing the matters that had pulled them apart, sharing issues that both were facing…a conversation that brought back the bond between the two that they had once shared.
Richard is now happily married for a good 30 years and he believes that a little change and compromise can lead to successful marriage. However, he carries on saying that it may not be possible that this question may prevent all couple from divorcing, or that all near to a divorce marriages would have the same ending. But he does believe that a little effort could never harm anyone.
“Real love is not to make another person a carbon copy of one’s self. It is to expand our own capabilities of tolerance and caring, to actively seek another’s well being. All else is simply a charade of self-interest.”