Fenshou: “Everything Was Perfect” Until Texas Tragedy

(photo by compassrose_04 via Flickr.com)

Would have, could have, should have. We all have moments in our lives where we look back sometimes and wonder, if I only did this or that, would things have been different? Better?

That’s what “Lisa” wondered about her “perfect” relationship with a Chinese man she met in the US (a fellow who, incidentally, joined the US Army after 9/11 and while he was still a Chinese citizen). Their romance suddenly unraveled after tragedy struck during her stay with him in Texas. Read on for the entire story, and my thanks to Lisa for sharing.

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I met a Chinese man while I was living in California and he was visiting from New York. He had moved from Northern China to the US when he was 15, and held a job in sports management. We came to find we had so much in common with each other. Our favorite sports teams were the same, and we shared the same life goals and values. He even related well with my family.

As we continued talking to one another over the phone, I came to understand he had a troubled life because of a tumultuous past marriage that later left him a widower. He felt guilty about the relationship he had with his lost wife and as a result pushed good people out of his life. He also had trouble sleeping at night, which I had noticed.

One day, he was given the opportunity to move to Texas for a job transfer — an opportunity that meant we could live together eventually. It was the first time a man ever spoke to me about marriage. Five weeks later I came to Texas to visit with him for two days. We had a great time together. His parents loved me even though their English was limited. He told me that they were just happy that he had found someone he cared about and made him happy. I honestly believe they thought I would be a future daughter-in-law. Everything was perfect.

On my last night there, it was raining outside. His dad wasn’t feeling well, but he still drove to work that night. Unfortunately, he got into a horrible car accident that was his fault, which we learned when he called us. We dealt with the insurance claim since our English was better. Later that night, when we picked up his mother from work around midnight and told her what happened, she mentioned that her dentist had passed away that day. So much tragedy in one day. I felt so guilty. If we hadn’t been out that day visiting the city, maybe we could have convinced his father to stay home?

Still, that night his mother told me how happy she was to know me. She then gave me a lot of her clothes to wear, and had me try on everything. I flew home the next day and everything still seemed okay. I received a text from him telling me he couldn’t wait to talk later when I arrived home, and that he was still working with his father to deal with the insurance claim.

I landed three hours later and called him, only to discover his attitude had changed completely. He seemed frustrated and wouldn’t tell me anything. I was so confused, and every call became shorter and shorter. One day later, he sent me a text stating he didn’t want to speak to me or anyone. I just didn’t know what to do.

Then I did something really impulsive. I flew to Texas one week later to confront him because I felt like I needed answers. Finally, he told me what happened in a text. His family lost a lot of money from the accident, and he wanted to end our relationship because he had to worry about his family.

I stayed in a hotel that weekend, and he came to visit me there once to give me some money for the plane. He looked defeated as he sat down on the bed. He wouldn’t look me in the eye when he explained what happened, and said I deserved better. I yelled at him and told him not to tell me how to think. But he said it wouldn’t be right to keep me in the relationship during that time. He didn’t want me to wait for him because he didn’t know when he would be ready for me. He sacrificed himself because he wanted me to have a better life with someone else. There was so much guilt and shame in his face. I never saw anything like this. I took out his army tags that he had given me and he told me he wanted to keep them (I still have them to this day). He suggested what to order on the hotel menu and turned on the TV. Then he kissed me and I told him for the first time that I loved him. Before he left, he held me and kissed me again. He said quietly that he wanted to make it work.

I was forced to go back home without him. I felt horrible and alone. I thought about it every day and just didn’t know why he had to leave me over this. It was awful but it wasn’t our problem. I think I was even angry at him for ending something so beautiful. He moved to Texas without me. And from what I have heard about him he hasn’t tried to make a life for himself there and instead lives like a hermit. I heard from a friend that he tried dating but nothing ever worked out. Since moving he has closed up. He told me that once he ends things, it is over. There is no chance he would come around even if he still loved me.

I’ll always wonder what might have happened between us, had his dad not gone to work that night.

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We’re looking for a few good stories from Chinese men and Western women in love — or out of love — to share on Fridays. Submit your original story or a published blog post today.

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12 thoughts on “Fenshou: “Everything Was Perfect” Until Texas Tragedy

  • August 16, 2013 at 3:16 am
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    wow, this is a really sad story. I can understand that he doesn’t want to start things after ending them as some people have difficulty moving on until they completely give up. IF that is the case though, it might be worth a try to at least visit him and resume your friendship. Because if you guys had such a strong connection, then it might spark again.

    You could also offer to help him, in whichever way possible. I am sad to hear your story and it must be very painful.

    Reply
  • August 16, 2013 at 9:27 am
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    Sigh, made me so upset… Having a Chinese husband I can understand a bit why he was doing that, not to mention financial trouble could make every guy feel like losing their face but as a little bit naive lady I cannot accept why do that thing? I wish ‘Lisa’ very best, same to that guy – hope everything will end up better than it seems today. Maybe try contact him again? There’s nothing to lose now. Keep my fingers crossed for you.

    Reply
  • August 16, 2013 at 10:03 am
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    You two have made a very big mistake! You don’t run away from something wonderful! Listen, those insurance co/ judges can only garnish your wages to pay back debts. Typical Chinese men will never let others help. Too bad you didn’t know friends like me. I would have told you two to stick it out. I said several times already here that if you’ve found someone special , never let that person go away. Who doesn’t have debts nowadays? Debts can be settled pennies to the dollar! hint hint …….

    Reply
  • August 16, 2013 at 10:27 am
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    My heart is with you…big hug.

    Reply
  • August 16, 2013 at 10:38 am
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    I’m sorry to hear that this happened and wish you all the best.

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  • August 16, 2013 at 11:54 am
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    Filial piety going overboard.

    Reply
  • August 16, 2013 at 1:10 pm
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    This is indeed a very sad story! It seems that the overbearing family placed the blame on her for causing the accident that resulted in a big financial loss. So sadly, he have to side with his parents because that whole filial piety thing…That’s just not fair!

    Reply
  • August 16, 2013 at 1:15 pm
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    Wow, this is so heartbreaking. I don’t know what I would do if this had happened to me.

    Especially the part with dog tags hit me hard, because (like all other Koreans) my boyfriend had to spend 2 years in the army and I know how much they meant to him when he gave them to me.

    Reply
  • August 16, 2013 at 9:04 pm
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    Sad story…
    It strikes me every time I read about someone leaving someone else like this. With problems that generally do have a solution.

    Anyway…
    If a guy really wants you to forget him and move on paying your flight back, telling you that he wanted it to work, giving you something to remember him and trying to look like a kind person who has no other solution is, from my view, not a way to help anyone, must be the way he is used to do things, but that way the other person won’t be able to move on. Now, if you want her to leave sad, guilty …yes do that,..make her feel bad about herself, the situation and yourself, and don’t lose your face.

    Reply
  • August 19, 2013 at 2:48 pm
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    The story is realy touching my heart. Wish the best for you.

    @Laura – Dont think anyone can forget the one who makes heart stop and skip. We will always wonder “what if” even without anything tangible.

    Reply
  • August 25, 2013 at 8:06 pm
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    My first reaction is it’s not really about a relationship — this man is living his life with a lot of personal issues. Romance relationship is just a mirror, perhaps the best mirror, that reflected all his problems. His sense of guilt that seems hard to understand for Lisa, which might indicate his high level of narcissism; His mental image of a “right relationship”; And his image of himself (“once he ends things, it is over”). And the insurance claim is a catalyst for his problems to burst out — it could be anything else in his life in my opinion.

    And I feel bad for Lisa because she is innocent. She might have her problems too but I don’t see that from this story. She was confused and angry and had no idea of what’s going on. I think every girl would feel the same because this man’s problem will emerge someday eventually in every relationship.

    I personally think Lisa might be better off without this man — at least before he took the time to really observe himself instead of trying to recess into a “secure” cave. Imagine what if the insurance claim happens after their happy marriage? That man’s inclination of “sacrificing himself ” might make this whole stuff really complex.

    Well it’s just my opinion, and I might be severely wrong because I knew their relationship from this short story which could be biased. But I do think love is impossible without a mature soul — or two souls.

    Reply
  • August 29, 2013 at 4:23 am
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    I’m sorry to be posting such a negative comment, but this guy is an idiot and an absolute dumbass.

    If it matters at all, I am also Chinese (by ethnicity but not nationality).

    Reply

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