In the gaze of the other

"My mistress' eyes are nothing…"

The Wife’s Rant

I know there is someone else. Well, I don’t know, but I sense something has changed. I am your wife. I should know.

And I wonder how you, who needed sex from me every day in the early days and later upon demand and pleading and arguing, get your needs fulfilled since I first said no. I denied you more and more frequently as time went on. I don’t know why or how it got to be so hard to want to. It just felt like more effort than it was worth. And I was always so tired. So much changed when we had kids. I was so tired and all you seemed interested in was getting your rocks off, even though I was so tired and worn out from feeding them, cleaning them, making sure they were safe every minute of the day and even when we slept, you did anyhow, and then woke up, you off to work and me to start the whole cycle again, feeding, cleaning, watching…

The time when Joey was so sick, puking all day and sobbing all night for two days. And you came home from work late, but I got up from my sleep to talk to you. When else could I? I knew not to call you at work, not since a long time. Too busy, an interruption of your tons of work and people to direct and money to watch over. So I told you all about Joey as your eyes glazed over and your eyes drooped. But you stayed awake, fighting sleep to listen. And I cried and you cried, we were so worried about him. He was our first, and we could not imagine anything happening to him, anything making him hurt we loved him so much.

And we had that moment, and then you caressed my hair and my face tenderly. But then your hands moved to my breasts, and that look in your eyes took over, the one that turns from tired to interested, the glaze turning into glare and gaze. I couldn’t believe it! I just told you how I had been up for two days and was wrecked and worried and beside myself in fear, and that made you hungry? It felt so greedy. I couldn’t get over it. Are you just always looking to get yourself satisfied, clueless to how I might feel? You have no idea how that feels, how I feel.

Ever since then, and so many times afterward, I was reminded of how everything turns into sex with you, how thoughtless and selfish you are. How am I supposed to feel about you? And then there is the sex itself. It just doesn’t do it for me any more. It’s the same old thing and not as exciting as it used to be when we could not keep our hands off of each other, when we would just spontaneously rip our clothes off and fuck on the table, or leave a party after giving each other that leering look. And you were wild and I was always wet for you, just your kiss, your hunger for me.

But now it just seems like we’re both so tired, put no effort into it. You used to at least try to find my spot and a challenge to give me an orgasm. You don’t try and I don’t want you to. You have accused me of not liking sex, of being a prude, and closed up about sex. You have basically accused me of being a derelict wife. And to talk about it, that just makes it worse. What could I tell you? I don’t even know what I think, what I need. I just know it feels like you just want to use my worn out body to deposit sperm into.

So when I decided I wasn’t going to go through the motions just to please you any more, lose any more sleep so that my day is worse for the extra half hour I lose letting you have your jollies, you stormed, you argued with me, you threatened to leave me, but I knew you wouldn’t. You would never leave your kids and disappoint your parents, look bad in front of your friends and colleagues. It would tarnish your sterling silver reputation. So you came to me then in a standoff, given up, til today. You don’t even ask any more. We are roommates.

You’re still kind and give the obligatory affectionate display of married people, a kiss on the lips hello, a pat on the ass, though without the leer. You have always said it is important that the kids see affection between their parents. Maybe that is why you do it. But I know the cold disaffection that lies deep in your pupils, in the lack of even the slightest glint in your eyes when you look at me, even as the corners of your mouth are upturned. I feel you gone dark.

So how do you get by? I know you get yourself off. I have heard you in the bathroom and walked in on you in the shower once or twice, even as you disengage quickly and cover up the act with an innocent turning into the raining water to hide the evidence. But I know. It’s been months, maybe years. How do you work your twelve hours a day and come home to tightlipped tenderness and feigned affection? Where do you release? You don’t seem crippled by the loss of our sex life. There must be someone else. How could there not be?

But I will never ask, never accuse. I have no proof. I don’t think you would, after all. I don’t even think about it. I have to drive the kids to football and soccer and the dance, then the orthodontist and then make dinner. I don’t think about it, you, unless it is to feed you or ask if I should pay to get the toilet fixed or wait til you can do it, to which you usually reply, “Make an executive decision.” Except when I do, you ask me why I would spend a hundred fifty dollars on something that costs fifteen to fix. There is no winning, and you make me feel stupid. It’s no wonder I don’t feel up to it, feel like fucking you. Let someone else.

But if I ever found out, I would divorce you and make you pay through the nose. I would make sure you never saw your kids again because they would know what a shit you are. I would be so hurt, so betrayed, so devastated. After 23 years, all we have been through. It would crush me to the floor. I wouldn’t know what to do, how to live. You would have to pay me to stay home with your kids, pay me for the rest of your life, pay a fortune. Then maybe you would regret having hurt me and your family so heartlessly, so selfishly. You fucker, you wouldn’t dare! I’d cut your balls off and serve them to you in your dinner, in your favorite dinner, steak and fries, the thin kind not the curly or the crinkled or the home fry cut, the bistro style thin kind that is easier to cook to a crunch. Fuck you and your fucking fries!! Oh please, God, don’t let him be cheating on me.

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