Tom and Grace had been married for years, but they started to hate each other. After deciding to divorce, their house caught fire. But they discovered two items in the rubble that saved their relationship
“I can’t believe this, Tom!” Grace yelled at her husband after returning home from work and seeing him playing video games. The house was a complete mess, and there were beer cans littered all over the living room.
“Why are you yelling at me? It’s my day off. I get to enjoy myself,” Tom said. Years ago,
Grace would’ve accepted his words. But this wasn’t a one-day situation. Tom did this every weekend, and he never picked up after himself. The house could be dirty, and he still wouldn’t move a finger to clean up a bit. He never helped her.
Did you at least order a pizza for dinner?” Grace asked, exasperated. But she was looking forward to eating something quick.
“Ah, yeah. But I ate it all. You’ll have to make something for yourself,” Tom replied. That’s it, she thought. I can’t take this anymore.
“Tom, I want a divorce. I know I haven’t been the perfect wife, but you are the worst husband in the world,” Grace said in a calm voice. She was done with Tom for the rest of her life.
“Of course, you haven’t been the perfect wife. I’ve been asking you to start a family for years, but you only care about your career! It’s all that matters to you!” he exclaimed.
There’s nothing wrong with advancing my career! I thought you were progressive!” Grace yelled.
“I am progressive, but YOU MISSED MY FATHER’S FUNERAL FOR A MEETING! I needed you there more than ever!” Tom screamed. Grace had tears running down her face, and Tom was breathing heavily.
We need to get divorced. We hate each other for many reasons, and I can’t deal with this anymore,” Grace said.
“I agree…I’ll…call the lawyer tomorrow. Let’s get this done,” Tom conceded. “I’ll sleep on the couch tonight.”
They each went to sleep separately, but neither was relieved with the decision. They should have been happy, but Tom and Grace were mostly sad that what started as the best relationship developed into such hatred.
That night, Tom woke up suddenly and smelled something burning. He quickly got up from the couch in the living room and saw smoke coming from their bedroom. He rushed inside because Grace didn’t wake up easily.
“GRACE! Wake up! There’s a fire! COME ON!” Tom yelled, shaking her shoulder.
“What? What’s going on?” she answered groggily, but Tom got tired of waiting and carried her out. She woke up fully once they were safely outside.
“OMG! Thank you, Tom! Why isn’t the smoke alarm working?” Grace asked.
“I don’t know. We just bought new ones. Let me go to the neighbors and call 911,” Tom answered. Despite their faulty fire alarms, the firefighters got there quickly and put the fire out after a few hours.
Mr. and Mrs. Walton, the fire originated from the master bedroom and spread to the kitchen. There was an oil pan on the stovetop, which helped it spread faster,” one of the firemen explained.
“Oh no, I left it there last night after making some dinner,” Grace muttered.
“But the rest of the house is ok. Now, about the fire alarm…well, we’ve had several issues with the model you bought. You’ll have to replace those,” the fireman continued.
“Thank you, sir. Right away,” Tom added.
“The cause seems to be a candle. You’ll have to be careful next time, ok? In a few hours, we’ll let you go inside and get your stuff,” the fireman finished and went back to work.
“I’m so sorry, Tom. I lit a candle to calm down and fell asleep,” Grace said apologetically.
“Don’t worry about it,” Tom replied, as he only cared that she was safe.
When the fireman let them inside, Grace went to their second bedroom, where they stored some clothes. Tom wandered through the kitchen and then their bedroom. Everything was gone. But there was something shiny on the floor.
In the remains of their nightstand, he saw their gold wedding rings and picked them up. They bought them after getting married but took them off because they were too valuable to wear every day. Tom was staring intently at the rings when Grace walked in.
Tom, I think I’m going to stay with my sister while we decide things…are you going to a hotel?” Grace asked.
No. We’re going to a hotel,” Tom said vehemently.
“Look. Our wedding rings survived the fire. I think neither of us wants a divorce. Not really. Let’s go to therapy. We both dropped the ball, and I was horrible. But we can fix things. Last night, I was so scared that something would happen to you,” Tom said and got teary-eyed.
Oh, Tom!” Grace exclaimed and ran to his arms.
It wasn’t easy, but they worked on their relationship in couples therapy and learned to communicate in effective ways. Tom stopped being selfish, while Grace didn’t focus on her work all the time.
They decided to renew their vows, and they never took their gold wedding rings off.
What can we learn from this story?
Don’t make decisions while angry. That’s the worst time to make a decision. You have to wait until things cool down and your head clears before making choices.
You can repair a relationship, but it’s not easy. Tom and Grace gained the chance to make things right after living through a scary situation. But they had to go to therapy and work hard.