Michael sat there on the edge of the bed. He was enjoying one of his favorite pastimes. Watching his wife of 30 years as she prepared herself for an evening out for dining and then dancing. This time was different from all the others. This time while he enjoyed watching her, he was also almost overwhelmed with sadness.
"She is more beautiful today than she has ever been in all the time that I've known her", he thought.
Dawn was going to be 50 tomorrow and since they had planned a family party to celebrate her birthday with their two children and their families, tonight was going to be a private celebration for just the two of them. As she sat there at her dressing table, he deliberately let his gaze rove over her face and body.
"She's still got it!" he mused. "Gorgeous hair, beautiful face and the same trim figure that she has worked so hard over the years to maintain. And don't forget that wonderfully shaped ass that she teases me with all the time."
He felt deeply his pride and love for her and then the sadness again crept into his heart. He was a practical sort of guy. He prided himself on his analytical abilities. If there was a problem, especially at work, then he was the man to go to for the answer. It might not be the fastest answer but you could put money on the fact that it would be the most logical and well thought out answer. Which, unfortunately, is why he found himself sitting on the side of the bed, in their bedroom, watching his wife prepare for the evening out with a very heavy heart.
"Is this the last time I'll get to enjoy her doing this? I still love her with all my heart, body and soul! What did I do wrong? Why couldn't I see this coming in time to do something about it? Am I right? Do I really know her?"
The questions seemed to roll across his mind and then back again as though they were ripples across a pond. He knew that this evening was going to be the most important crossroads of his life. Taking the right turn would be either a new beginning for him or the end of his life, as he now knew it. He had been planning for this for over two weeks now and tonight was the perfect opportunity for him to conduct the most important conversation of his life between him and his wife. He had spent countless hours trying to discover just how they had reached this point in their marriage. He had discovered so many things in the last few weeks. As his thoughts became clearer, so did so many of the signs that were clear indications that maybe they weren't the couple that everyone thought they were. Again, he sadly listed them carefully in his mind to ensure that maybe he had missed something or even misunderstood what he had concluded.
"For some months, I'm not sure exactly when, she had been distant and distracted with me. In looking back, I realized that our sex life had taken a slow but steady decline to the point of extinction. Then there were the times that she over reacted to something minor that I had done wrong and royally reamed me out. The times when she had obviously lied about where she had been and whom she had been with were especially disturbing. The charge on her credit card for a dinner for two at Jollie's on a night that I knew I had not been with her was a clear signal to me that maybe I wasn't the only one on her mind. The last two weeks though had been the period that made my suspicions seem to be all the more real. Almost overnight she has seemed to change. Now she is attentive to my every word and need. Now she seems to crave making love at every opportunity. Now she wants to be the wife and companion that she hasn't been for so long. What happened this time? It is maddening. I can't figure out why she changed all those months ago and I again have no clue as to why she has changed again. But in each case, it is obvious to me that neither woman is the woman that I married and loved for all these years. Where has that wonderful, caring and loving woman gone to and can I ever find her again? Who is this woman that I don't know and what has happened to create her. I don't like either one of these two women! Well, enough is enough! It's time to get this show on the road as they say."
"Honey, I just want to tell you how much I love you and how much I love watching you." Mike said. "You are some kind of good looking babe! You know that I love and adore you. I have always loved you and I always will."
Dawn looked into her mirror at Mike's reflection with a curious look on her face, "Why thank you Mike, I don't know what prompted you to say that but I want you to know that I love you just as much!" Dawn looked carefully at her husband "I wish I knew what has been bothering him so much lately. It seems the more I try to work at our relationship, the more withdrawn and distant he seems to be." With a mental sigh, she thought, "I just have to keep trying. I am not going to give up on us. I just love him so much and I want him to love me the same way!"
"I wonder if you really love me as much as I love you," Mike muttered softly. "What did you say, Michael? You've been muttering a lot for the last couple of weeks. I really wish that you would speak up." Looking her in the face, he said, "I wonder of you really love me as much as I love you?" The look on her face would have been funny in most any other circumstances. The shock of his words left her with her mouth hanging open and gasping for air. With hurt in her voice, "Why would you say something like that? How could you even possibly think anything like that much less say it out loud? Maybe you're just trying to be a smart ass but those words really hurt!" "Honey," he said, "we really need to talk. We have a little time before we have to leave and I have some things that I want to say and a few questions for you. I don't need any answer yet but I certainly will want answers before the night is over." "Of course you can ask me any questions that you want. I have no secrets from you because you are my husband, my soul mate." Michael almost laughed out loud. The tension in his body was so strong that he felt like a wire stretched to its utmost limit. "Dawn, I want you to listen to me carefully. I have a number of questions and a few statements that I want you to listen to and I don't want any answers now. I would rather that you take the time during our night out to carefully think about your answers. This is going to be difficult request but you really should know that the life of our marriage depends on your truthful answers." "Oh Shit! He wants a divorce! I had no idea things could get this bad." Dawn gasped but as her husband had requested, she kept her comments to herself.
The Michael carefully and methodically went through all of his questions and statements about his fears that something was seriously wrong with their relationship. "First, you basically cut me out of your life for months, then for the last two weeks you act as though you are my slave and you go all out to meet my every need including any need I could want in our bedroom. Your mood swings have been spectacular and totally unpredictable. I have walked around for months as though I were treading through a minefield with your emotions ready to blow at the least misstep. You have lied to me more than once about where you have been and whom you were with. And the last nail in this old coffin of a marriage has been charges on your card for meals for two and I'm sure as hell that I wasn't with you. So where am I going with this? I think you are having an affair. I think that your affair has recently ended and you think that you can leap from his bed back into mine. So the questions are (1) Do you want a divorce? (2) Do you love him? (3) How many times and how many guys have you been unfaithful with? (4) Do you want to stay married and if you do, will you continue to have more affairs? And (4), what reason or reasons can you give to me that will convince me that I want to stay married to you?"
Dawn just sat there. Michael thought that she was displaying tremendous control. He had really laid a major load on her. Dawn wasn't displaying control. She was simply speechless. Michael rose and said, "Dawn finish getting ready and I'll meet you downstairs. We need to hurry or we'll be late for our dinner reservations. Somehow she was able to finish her preparations and meet Michael downstairs. Somehow she was able to get through the evening and after Michael had reminded her that he wanted no further discussion about his accusations for the rest of their evening, she was able to almost enjoy the time she was spending with her husband. She did drink a little too much and by the time they returned home, she was only ready for bed and sleep. She was mentally exhausted and with the alcohol, knew that she was in no shape to continue any discussion with her husband. So, she begged off complaining of tiredness and a headache. She quickly changed into her nightgown and got into her side of the bed. Fortunately for her, she was asleep in moments. Michael decided that putting off the discussion was for the better and wasted no time getting into bed himself. Again, he had plenty to drink as well and he was able to drift off to sleep quickly and slept soundly throughout the night.