A woman was devastated when her husband left her after what she thought were 30 happy years and made a heartbreaking demand.
Ginas Carton was just 19 when she married Liam Barton. He'd proposed to her in the most romantic way possible, in a moonlit garden surrounded by hundreds of candles.
When Liam knelt at her feet and placed the beautiful ring on her finger, Gina knew she was the luckiest woman in the world. Thirty years later, her dream shattered and her world fell apart...
A divorce after 30 years of marriage | Source: Shutterstock
Two weeks after their thirtieth wedding anniversary, Liam called Gina from work one afternoon and invited her to have dinner with him at a fancy restaurant in the city. Gina was delighted. It had been years since Liam had invited her out to dinner!
Liam had once been the most romantic of men, but lately, he'd been distant. He's tired, Gina thought to herself, I must find a way to help him, make his life easier. The children had all left home, now, maybe she could get a job...
Gina called her hairdresser and arranged to have her hair done, and picked out her favorite dress. She was so excited! A date with her handsome husband. Gina smiled to herself as she drove to the restaurant.
How many of her friends were still in love with their husbands after thirty years? Very few... Gina walked into the restaurant and felt her heart beat faster at the sight of her handsome husband.
The proposal | Source: Unsplash
"Liam!" Gian smiled radiantly as she kissed him, "I'm so glad you called..."
Liam smiled back and pulled out her chair so Gina could sit down. Always the gentleman... "Shall we order?" he asked, and Gina nodded. Liam called the waiter over and ordered their favorite dishes.
"And bring us a bottle of wine..." he said.
"Champagne!" cried Gina, "We're celebrating!" The waiter nodded and vanished. Liam was looking nervous, pleating his linen napkin, and Gina leaned over and placed a calming hand over his.
"Hun, what's wrong?" she asked tenderly.
The anniversary celebration | Source: Pexels
"Gina, there's something we need to talk about..." Liam said.
"Goodness! The last time I saw you this nervous what when you proposed!" Gina laughed.
Liam stared at her. "Yes. Funny isn't it?"
"So? What is it?"
Liam cleared his throat. "Well, Frances has left for college..."
Gina smiled. "Yes! So how about a second honeymoon?"
A dinner invitation | Source: Unsplash
Liam looked put out. "That's not what I had in mind, Gina. I want a divorce."
Gina stared at him confused. "I'm sorry...I don't understand..."
Liam was irritated. "A divorce, I want a divorce. I don't love you anymore."
"You don't...But two weeks ago at our anniversary party, you thanked me for making you happy...You said you loved me..."
"Well of course," said Liam, "Our children threw us a party! What did you want me to say? Your mother bores me?"
Gina whispered: "I bore you?"
Liam went looking for glamour and excitement.
It was supposed to be a romantic dinner | Source: Pexels
"Look..." Liam said in his most reasonable tone, "I've met someone else, OK? We've been together for three years..."
"Three years!" Gina gasped, "So why now? Why wait?"
"Well, I was waited for Frances to go to college, I didn't want to traumatize her with a divorce."
Gina couldn't believe it. Her lovely life was crashing around her. Her love and her marriage were a lie. Gina got up and walked out without a word. She didn't go home. She booked herself into a hotel to think about her future.
Two hours later her phone rang. It was Liam. Maybe...Maybe he'd realized he still loved her... Gina answered the phone. "Listen, Gina," Liam said, "I know you're shocked, but I promise you a good settlement. You won't have to work."
He wants a divorce | Source: Pixabay
Gina listened in numb silence and Liam went on, "There is one thing I want from you: the engagement ring."
"My engagement ring?" gasped Gina, "NO!"
"It's mine," Liam said, "My mother gave it to me when I told her I wanted to marry you. It belonged to my great grandmother."
"But I wanted to give it to David when he found the girl he wanted to marry..."
Liam's anger sizzled over the phone. "I found the girl I want to marry and I want the ring back! Don't fight me, Gina!"
The engagement ring | Source: Unsplash
When Gina hung up her hands were trembling. Liam was stripping her of every last sweet memory of their love. She looked down at the rings on her finger and tears flooded her eyes.
She picked up her phone again and called her mother-in-law. "Hi, Janet? It's Gina..."
"Hello Gina, how are you? How's Liam?" the old lady asked.
"Good. Liam is very well...But...Look Janet I'm sure you already know...Liam is divorcing me."
"What?" gasped Janet, "I didn't know! You both looked so happy at the anniversary party..."
A phone call to the mother in law | Source: Unsplash
Gina choked back a sob. "Well apparently, he's been having an affair for the last three years. But the reason I'm calling you Janet, is that he wants the family engagement ring back."
"What? What for? I thought you wanted to hand it over to David one day..."
"Liam wants to marry again, give his new woman the ring... I can't stand the idea of giving it to him, Janet, so I was hoping I could give it to you. I don't want to see him, not now."
Janet agreed, and Gina placed her precious ring in an envelope and had it couriered over to her house. She sent Liam a message telling him to pick up the ring at his mother's.
Mother changes her will | Source: Unsplash
The next morning Liam walked into Janet's house. "Mom," he smiled, "Hello!"
Janet looked less than pleased. "Liam," she said coldly, "I spoke to Gina last night." She placed her hand over an envelope. "I couldn't believe my ears."
"These things happen, mom...Gina and I grew apart..."
"Oh, spare me the speech! I know what's going on. You know Liam, the divorce I can accept, but this thing about the ring...It's cruel, ugly."
"I don't agree," Liam said sharply, "Honestly, mom, don't be so sentimental!"
Janet stared at him. "Sentimental? Yes...I think you are quite right. No more sentiment. Here." Janet handed the envelope with the ring over and Liam smiled triumphantly.
All alone | Source: Unsplash
"By the way, Liam," Janet told him, "I'm meeting my lawyer this afternoon. I'm changing my will. You get the ring, but the children get everything else."
Liam was stunned. "Mom..."
"Except for a small bequest to Gina. I was thinking two million dollars, but that might seem petty compared to the size of the estate."
Liam walked out of his mother's house with the ring in his pocket and his plans for the future in shambles. When he told his lover what had happened, that he would no longer be inheriting his mother's huge estate, her passion for him cooled.
Liam tried to reconcile with Gina, but she wasn't interested in his excuses. Their three children were on their mother's side, and Liam ended up alone, and penniless.
What can we learn from this story?
1. Grabbing for everything can leave you with a handful of nothing. Liam wanted everything: his inheritance, a new love, and the engagement ring, and ended up with nothing.
2. Loyalty and love are the most important quality. Liam went looking for glamour and excitement., but when it turned out that he wasn't going to be rich, his girlfriend dumped him.
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Any resemblance in this story to actual events, locales, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
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