“I could only wonder what sort of model husband and father he might be if he changed. But change that elemental would come only if he hit rock bottom, such an unpleasant place for him to regard that I knew he would never reach it. Opportunities had come and gone and Maureen was no longer willing to sacrifice another day of her future or her child’s to him, in anticipation of the day when he could admit that he was as human and vulnerable as the rest of us, no better, no worse.
He had squandered years of her life. He had courted and married a rigorous beauty whose spirit and nature proved antithetical to his; facing her day after day must have forced a reluctant and impossible self-examination and created in him an ear-ringing panic. A weak husband living with an excellent woman–that is enough to scare a man to death and shake him off his rails. And he had the shame of knowing that anything he truly loved about life, when all the pretense was put aside, had come from her. It wasn’t his.”
-Kaye Gibbons, Divining Women