I looked across the table at my wife and smiled faintly. This was the first time she’d seemed happy in months, and I felt relieved. Our kids were with their grandmother for the weekend, and I relaxed into my chair as our friends went around the table, refreshing our drinks of wine. I hoped to reconcile when we got home. We hadn’t been intimate in quite some time, and it was taking a toll on what little stability remained in our relationship.
She was beautiful, my wife — had been even before the plastic surgery.
There was no end to her vanity, though, to her need to be needed and wanted, to her obsession with being the center of every situation.
And even now as we all sat around, she gently nudged a piece of raven hair away from her eyes, and leaned her bosom on the table. It was something she did often — wield her sexuality to steer attention back to her — and it exhausted me. I found her increasingly insubstantial, and the feeling that she wasn’t enough anymore scared me.
“We had a good time, right?” I asked, as we got ready for bed later that night. She wasn’t likely to agree.
“Yeah…” she answered reluctantly. “But that doesn’t mean anything.”
And I knew in that instant that a storm was to follow. She would blame me for our lack of intimacy, I would tell her she is superficial and cold, she would tell me that I’m not a “real man,” and I would tell her she’s a bad mother.
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