Kim Thi Bich Tien’s love story with her armless husband started out with curiosity that turned into a happy ending.
Tien, a 26-year-old kindergarten teacher, originally from the Mekong Delta province of An Giang, was doing household chores in her rented room in Binh Hoa Ward, Thuan An City, located in Binh Duong Province, approximately 30 kilometers east of Ho Chi Minh City, waiting for her husband to get back home from work.
Their marriage did not come easy, with Tien defying opposition from her own family over her choice of an limbless man, 29-year-old Nguyen Minh Tri.
True love triumphs over adversity
Tien shared she first spotted Tri, who was born without arms, walking in the schoolyard while she was waiting to take a college entrance exam at An Giang University back in 2014.
Not knowing that Tri had no arms, Tien thought he was just pretending to put his arms under his sleeves.
In her second year of college, her roommate turned out to be Tri’s classmate.
Curious about how an armless man handles food and other things, she asked her roommate to invite Tri out for a meal, Tien recalled with a smile.
When she met him, the sophomore was immediately touched by his extraordinary will and cheerful personality.
Tien was eager to help Tri in his studies and daily life, and the pair became the best of friends.
As time went by, the two got closer and their feelings began to grow.
Tien was more convinced that Tri was the right man for her.
Worried that he might be afraid to express his feelings, Tien was the first one to make her affection known.
Tri, now an information technology specialist, admitted he was surprised that she felt the same way that he did.
The thing that matters is they are passionately in love and are happy together.
Like most couples with one disabled partner, Tien and Tri’s biggest hurdle was objection from the former’s family, especially her father, who by no means wanted their daughter to have the unhappy life they imagined for the couple with the latter’s disability.
“You should end the relationship, or you both will end up in misery,” Tien was told.
Tien’s mother was more sympathetic.
She wanted to be on her daughter’s side but kept up a stern attitude over concerns about whether Tri could manage their own family and their children would inherit the condition from him.
Despite being daunted from time to time that their love story would go nowhere, the young couple thought they needed to persuade Tien’s family to approve of their relationship and organize a dream marriage.
The young woman then tried to get her mother on her side, without much success.
After failed efforts, Tien was ready to do what it took.
“I love Tri with my whole heart. The last thing I want is to disobey you, but I can’t fail him either,” she recalled telling her parents with all the courage she could muster.
“Without your nod, I’ll stay single for the rest of my life.”
At the same time, the young woman arranged meetings between Tri and her parents so that they would get to know him better.
Her efforts finally paid off.
Her parents no longer stood their ground following the several visits and later came to accept their marriage.
After six years of continued efforts, there was a happy ending to the fairy-tale love story, with wedding receptions held in both the duo’s hometown -- An Giang and Binh Duong -- where they currently work, in October 2020.
The news of their wedding came as a surprise to friends and relatives of Tien’s parents.
Tien shared that her mother showed everyone a photo of her future son-in-law to get them prepared when she handed them the wedding invites.
She also proudly said that there was not so much that was impossible for her son-in-law, in response to the guests’ concerns that he might become a burden for her only daughter.
“After going steady with him for such a long time, I’m fully prepared for our life together ahead and never feel I’m suffering any hardship,” Tien noted, excitedly pointing to her bridal photo collection.
Among them is one photo capturing the groom singing merrily with the microphone held between his toes at their wedding.
The newlyweds moved to a rented room in Binh Hoa Ward, Binh Duong Province, where they currently work.
Tri was born with no arms but he does not let that stop him from performing daily routines and working.
There are few tasks that Tri has to ask his wife for help.
His routine chores include cooking, cleaning, and washing the dishes.
“I’m so lucky to marry such an honest, caring man. Despite his imperfections in outside appearance, he’s a perfect husband to me,” Tien proudly said of her husband.
“He always goes straight home from work.
"During meals, he often picks up food for me with his feet and helps me around the house.”
Tien also shared good news: her two-month pregnancy.
“We’re elated and pray that the baby will be healthy and have no birth defects,” she said.