A Rock and a Hard Place

I have copied and pasted the reply Shu Mei sent to me, with a re-reply from me below it:

From: Shu Mei
To be honest with you, I still do not want to do
anything with you. The hurting feeling is already
happened to me and to all my family. We are not going
to forgive about it.

I will not talk to you anything about save this
marriage. According to what you said before and what
you yelled at me every day, I will never be a good
mother and a good wife. I decide not to live with
these words with me in the rest of my life. Remember
you always call me “stupid”. I do not want to be
stupid anymore. If I do not be with you, I could be
smart again.

Shu Mei,

Well, that wasn’t the response I was hoping for. Why is this “saving face” concept more important to you than having a happy family with me? Is it such a bad thing to take blame for something? I take a lot of blame, but not for the things you just wrote in your message. To my recollection, I have never called you “stupid”. I don’t believe that you are stupid. Honestly, there have been times when I thought you did something stupid, as I’m sure you have thought the same about me, but that’s what people who have problems think. It doesn’t mean that this is how we see each other all the time. It just means that we need help bridging the gap between us, instead of making it wider.

I understand that you don’t want to talk about a future with us together, so I must tell you this in an email message. My parents have a lifelong friend in Idaho Falls, John Harris, who was a family counselor for many years. My father could take us up there to see Mr. Harris twice a week for a month. The cost would be minimal, maybe even free. I feel that a separation would be good at this time, for you to take the boys to America as was planned before. That way, we wouldn’t see each other for two months. Then, when I arrive there, we could speak through a counselor, instead of trying to talk back and forth with each other.


That is the next step, not divorce. Divorce is a terrible thing and should be used as only a last resort. We are not at that point yet. We disagree on a lot of things, most recently on the events of last Saturday. I have no idea how I could have acted any differently, given the circumstances I found myself in. If you could understand how I felt, I think you would agree. Maybe not. Maybe I was totally wrong, but I cannot see that. Maybe through a counselor’s help, I would understand that I was wrong. However, I cannot do it alone, because there would be nobody there to present “the truth”.

I’m not asking you to forgive me. I’m just asking you to go through with the plans to go to America and then go to counseling with me there. Isn’t the possibility of having a happy eternal family worth it?

I understand that it is bad for our boys to see all of this. It gives them a bad example. That is why I agree that it must stop. However, quitting also gives them a bad example. It shows them that when times get difficult, it is okay to avoid the problems, instead of discovering the causes of the problems and then working to solve them. I don’t want our boys to end up in a relationship like we have now, either. But, I hope you agree that it would be bad for them to marry someone and then get a divorce because they couldn’t figure out how to get along. Let’s try and show them that to at least try and solve the problems is the right thing to do.

I believe that counseling will help us. I hope you’ll agree that the small session we had with the Monsons did wonders for us, for a period of time. Can you imagine what several of those sessions could do? Family therapy doesn’t dwell on the problems, like we’ve been doing. It focuses on the solutions. That’s what we need, solutions. We’ve had too many problems in our marriage and done nothing in the way of trying to solve those problems. Counseling will direct us toward a way to solve them.


Last, but not least, I get the feeling that your immediate family is of the position that you should get a divorce. And you told me that they are more important to you than your sons. Although I don’t understand this, I acknowledge that this is how you feel. Because you may have told them that you’re getting a divorce, to change your position on that matter now would possibly be seen as “losing face” in their eyes. Again, you need to weigh the benefits of making a future with our family, rather than having your future be made by your immediate family. How can “saving face” be that important?

Regarding your family, I do not hate them. In fact, I had Billy and Tyley give your mother some flowers on Mother’s Day to show that I cared. The flowers were from the boys, but they were my idea and I bought them. If I hated your mother, I wouldn’t have done that. Your mother has helped me out a lot. I was upset at her that night, for injuring Tyley, but that story is best left to a future time – hopefully with a moderator (i.e., counselor) overseeing the discussion.

So, what do you think?


From: Shu Mei
The only thing I would talk to you is about how to
plan for you going back to US with the boys.

Yes, I do love the boys. I also know that if I try to
keep them with me is not a right choose for you. It
is hard for me to let them grow up with fighting and
arguing, so they would have a same marriage as we do.
I also do not want them to treat their wives as you
treat me. It is best for them to live either one of
us. I am hoping that they could learn better values
in their life.

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