Jon and I thought we had overcome every possible obstacle a Singapore couple faced. Our families had issues; despite the fact that interracial couples are becoming more accepted in our community, we could both tell by the expressions our family members tried to hide that things were less than perfect, but when you’re raised in a large extended family — that describes both of us — you just know when they don’t approve 100-percent.
Our beginning was pretty typical. We met at a social mixer while both of us were at university and there was no question about the two of us being soulmates soon after we met. We were both hungry for careers and agreed that kids were in the future — just not the immediate future! If you know about traditional families in Singapore, you can just imagine how that news was received.
Sound idyllic? I was sure we had it made — until the day I happened to go out with some colleagues for drinks after working late. I spotted Jon leaning over a table toward one of the most beautiful and exotic women I had ever seen. She was pulling something out of a bag and handed it to him.
Even from across the restaurant, I could tell how delighted he was to have received this gift and for the rest of that evening I felt as though my world had come crashing down around me.
Things get worse
When I got home that evening, Jon was already there. He had showered and was propped up on the couch reading a journal article written by one of his colleagues on some esoteric medical engineering miracle that their corporation was getting ready to introduce to the world.
He looked up, blew me a kiss and grinned. “Don’t wait up; I’ve got to finish this tonight.” When I approached him to give him a hug, he waved me off. As you can imagine, I had quite the sleepless night. He snored happily like a hibernating bear after tip-toeing in hours later.
At first, I thought I was imagining things, but when he began coming home exhausted and sweaty, my suspicions kept growing. I cried, talked to my close friends and even thought about going to my family, but thought twice about that, in light of the already-thin barrier that would surely have pushed my parents from being tolerant to refusing to be in the same room as Jon.
I decide to confront Jon
When my professional buddies suggested I protect myself and my salary from court proceedings should our marriage wind up in a divorce court, I realised things had got to a point where I couldn’t ignore my hurt feelings any longer.
I waited up for him that night, going through periods of crying and anger — frustration and sadness. What did she have that I didn’t? I thought we were so blissful. Obviously not.
From the moment I saw his face — once again all sweaty and flushed — I totally lost it. He stood there staring at me as I raved on about what a fool I had been to think ours was the perfect marriage. Each time he tried to speak, I shut him down. Finally — and this made me so mad I began to look around the room to see what I could throw at him — Jon started to laugh hysterically.
“I had no idea you could get this jealous!” he finally said “and I think it makes me love you even more! Sit down. I don’t want you anywhere near projectiles when I explain.”
It seems my husband had joined his corporation’s running team and they were training like crazy to get ready for a big charity-focused marathon. The “gift” he had gotten that night was his team t-shirt. I was speechless.
Our lives change
“Why didn’t you tell me?” I screamed at him, feeling such a sense of relief I could hardly breathe.
“I didn’t want you to feel left out,” he explained. “It’s employees only.”
“I would love to run with you,” I said. “I haven’t since school!”
Jon’s face lit up like a holiday tree, “That’s all I’ve been thinking about — us running together. I love it!”
And from that moment, things began to change. Jon vowed never to leave me out of the loop again. He felt so bad, he could hardly forgive himself. I am pretty sure that our already-solid marriage grew even closer that day. I showed up at the race and cheered him on. I met the exotic woman (his boss!). And on the day after the race, we began running together.
That was a year ago. This time around, Jon had to turn down his boss’s request to run with the team because Jon and I were running as our own team! His sister and my brother were making it a foursome.
Can you imagine what might have happened if things had gone differently? Instead, we’re on rock solid ground loving our shared sport. Did running save our marriage? You better believe it did!
Jodi Summers is a high-profile legal professional who learned her lesson about jumping to conclusions. She says that while her story may have had some scary twists and turns, she is grateful for lessons learned. Besides, she says that now she never has to ask Jon what he wants for his birthday, since his appetite for running gear is “insatiable”!
The article is contributed by members of the community. All stories are based on real life personal experiences or actual events encountered by the authors and related parties. Some names and identifying details have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals.
Editing by RunSociety