Life Lesson: The Husband Who Left His Wife in a Capsized Ship for a Lifeboat

September 10, 2019 Updated: September 11, 2019

Words of Wisdom aims to highlight important morals, which we feel our readers will benefit from reading. We hope you enjoy this fable.

What would come to your mind if you heard that a man jumped onto a lifeboat and left his wife behind on a capsized ship? It’s heartless? Selfish? Well, the reason behind his actions is something you might not expect.

This is a story that has been circulating on the internet about a life lesson that one teacher taught to her class. The lesson was about a cruise ship that capsized at sea and how a couple was forced to make a decision about who they should leave behind, as the life boat only had space for one person.

Illustration – Shutterstock | Eric Gevaert

At that critical moment, the man pushed his way through and jumped onto the lifeboat, leaving his wife standing on the sinking ship. She then shouted something to her husband.

The teacher stopped the story to ask the class, “What do you think she shouted?” The majority of the students said that the woman shouted, “I hate you!”

It does not come as a surprise to us that the students would think this way. Most of us would have thought the same, as the answer seems logical, considering that the man left her behind to die alone. But there was one boy in class who didn’t speak, and the teacher noticed his quietness.

She asked him for his answer and he said, “Miss, I believe she would have shouted, ‘Take care of our child!’”

Illustration – Shutterstock |

The boy’s answer surprised the teacher. She asked, “Have you heard this story before?”

He shook his head and said, “Nope, but that was what my mom told my dad before she died.”

“That answer is right,” the teacher told the class.

After the ship sank with his wife, the man went home to bring up their daughter by himself. The daughter later found her dad’s diary one day while tidying his belongings many years after his death.

Illustration – Shutterstock | Evgeny Atamanenko

She discovered the reason that her mother was left behind—her mother was diagnosed with a terminal illness, and therefore her father had to save his own life in order to raise her.

“How I wished to be at the bottom of the ocean with you, but for the sake of our daughter, I had to let you lie forever below the sea alone,” he wrote.

Illustration – Shutterstock | Katya Shut

Everyone was silent by the time the teacher finished the story.

Though this might not be based on a true story, it does teach us never to judge someone by looking at things from the surface, and this is something that we should always remember.


Thumbnail Credit: L: Illustration – DVIDS, R: Illustration – Shutterstock