Erin and Mike got married at 20 and had the best marriage anyone could want. But at 76 years old, Mike realized they were too old for all that romance, mainly because it was one-sided. Erin was heartbroken and asked for a divorce, but a shocking event happened.
“I don’t understand why you don’t bring me flowers anymore,” Erin whined to her husband, Mike, one day. After 56 years of marriage, her husband had suddenly stopped being romantic, something that had made their relationship the envy of everyone they knew.
“Erin, you are not going to die if I don’t bring flowers every day,” Mike answered from his place on the couch, his hand grabbing the remote control to flip a channel.
Erin was displeased. “But that’s not fair. For the past month, you’ve stopped every single romantic gesture. What’s happening? Are you having an affair? AT OUR AGE?” she exclaimed in outrage, placing her hands on her waist.
“For God’s sake, Erin. It’s been decades since we got married, and I’ve given you something every day since. But I stop for a while and suddenly I’m cheating on you? Are you crazy?” Mike asked, focusing on his wife.
“I JUST DON’T UNDERSTAND! DON’T YOU LOVE ME ANYMORE?” Erin yelled.
Mike stood up from the couch at that question and looked at his wife seriously. “Maybe I’m tired of being the only one making some sort of romantic gesture!” he blurted. “56 years, Erin! For 56 years, I was the only one expressing any kind of romance. I invite you on dates. I buy flowers. I buy gifts. I do EVERYTHING! And you simply take everything and give nothing back!”
Erin’s mouth dropped at her husband’s words, but Mike didn’t stick around to see it and went out for a walk to cool down.
Meanwhile, she slumped on the kitchen table and thought back to their marriage. Mike was not entirely wrong. She never asked him on dates or bought him much. Erin could excuse her behavior, saying that they were born in a different time, where the men made all the effort in the romance aspect. But that was a cheap cop-out.
Erin thought maintaining their home, cooking, and raising their children was enough. But their kids had moved away many years ago. She still cleaned and cooked, but clearly, her husband had all the pressure of keeping their spark alive. That was unfair to him, so Erin decided to change a few things.
When Mike returned, she asked him on a date and was going to pay. However, her husband refused.
“I don’t want to do that right now,” he said, going to their room and barely speaking to her that night.
Fair enough, Erin thought. Mike was angry at her, but she could be patient and wait for his anger to subside.
Unfortunately, nothing she did appeased him. Mike would not accept her tries at romantic gestures and grew angry every time she insisted. Erin bought him some flowers at one point, and he frowned at them.
“These are more for you, right?” Mike asked, still frowning and quirking one eyebrow. “You don’t have to keep doing these things, Erin. We are already too old for this.”
“What do you mean? I’m trying to give back what I haven’t in 56 years. Why can’t you accept it?” Erin snapped back, raising her hands at her sides. She was completely confused by his attitude now. Wasn’t this was he asked for?
“Because this is not what I wanted. I just want us to relax and stop trying so hard. We’re old. We’ve had more than enough romance in our lives. Now, it’s time to just… be,” Mike replied, giving her the flowers back and going to the porch for a smoke.
Erin looked at him sitting outside, and her heart broke. She couldn’t deal with it. She didn’t understand why he suddenly didn’t want any romance. Is there an expiration date for love? Erin thought glumly, walking back to her room.
She tried to make this new arrangement work, but it was hard. Mike didn’t kiss or hug her as often. Suddenly, she was also shy around him. That had not happened in half a century. Two months passed since then, and it simply wasn’t working.
Therefore, Erin asked him for a divorce. She couldn’t live with someone she didn’t love.
Mike was shocked but agreed to move while Erin stayed in their house. Their son, Henry, took him in, although this new arrangement concerned the rest of their children. Their two daughters, Alexandra and Marissa, tried to change Erin’s mind, but their mother was determined.
“If the romance is over, there’s no reason to be married,” she told her girls stubbornly. Shortly after, Erin filed for divorce, and a few months later, it was finalized.
Mike was still at Henry’s house when the landline rang. Henry’s wife answered and suddenly exclaimed, “What?!”
The older man looked up from his novel, focusing on his son’s wife, as she turned to look at him with the most concerned expression on her face. “Ok, we’ll be right there,” she said to the phone and hung up. “Mike, we have to go to the hospital. Erin just had a heart attack!”
Mike’s eyes widened in surprise before he went into action. He rushed to his jacket, throwing his book and reading glasses away.
When they reached the hospital, the doctor explained that Erin was alright but couldn’t move much. Mike sat down beside her and never left. He hand-fed her and kept her company. When she was discharged, he refused to leave their house, claiming that he was there to help.
But Henry, Marissa, and Alexandra knew the truth. Their dad was back home because he loved their mother and never stopped despite the divorce. Soon enough, the flowers and the romantic gestures kept coming again.
And when Erin got better, she returned the gestures so that Mike would never feel slighted ever again. They rekindled their romance and remarried on what would’ve been their original 58th anniversary.
What can we learn from this story?
- Reciprocation is essential in any relationship. Both partners must work hard to maintain a relationship.
- Find out your spouse’s love language. Some people love giving gifts, and others prefer acts of service. It’s crucial to find out what your partner likes before creating problems.