Please be sure to read the Picture Perfect: Part 1 as well. Enjoy!
The alarm on his cell phone began to unexpectedly chirp, causing him to lose focus on the task at hand. He pressed one of the many buttons on his phone out of frustration, and immediately pulled up his calendar as he wondered how the third Friday of the month had arrived so soon. As he checked his schedule for reassurance, he saw that it was officially date night. He immediately shot an email to his assistant, who quickly replied, confirming his dinner reservations for that evening. The last thing he wanted was to give his wife something else to complain about, especially since date night was the only time they were more than cordial to one another.
As he began to shove papers into his briefcase, he checked his watch, making sure he still had enough time to stop off for a drink on the way to the restaurant. He preferred to be somewhat inebriated before arriving the restaurant. He found that it enhanced his performance and only made his role of the doting husband that much more believable. Not that it would seem that much of a stretch, because at one point and time, he had been just that, a husband who lived only to make his wife happy, catering to her every beck and call. But after the children came, that all changed. He still cared for her, but there was only so much love he had to give. And he’d never noticed how much attention and love his wife had required when it had been just the two of them.
He knew it wasn’t fair to blame his lack of affection towards her on the children, but they needed him more than she did. And when it came down to it, he picked them every time. And because she was the mother of his children, he had agreed to keep up pretenses that they had the perfect marriage. So once a month, he’d take her friends and their husbands to dinner. And for a few hours that night, they would fall into their old groove. Plus he’d convinced himself that by sharing the adventures of their jet setting lifestyle with those less fortunate, he was doing everything in his power to keep his wife happy. He also believed, that one good deed alone made up for his never ending indiscretions.
After she’d caught him cheating, their marriage had become more like a business partnership, for which they’d come up with quite an arrangement. They had both agreed from the very beginning that divorce was never an option. She didn’t want to go back to the small hick town she was from, so she and the kids would stay with him as long as he was able to meet their financial needs. He’d decided that was fair, after all, she was the mother of his children, and his father had taught him a long time ago that it was always cheaper to keep a wife, than to divorce her. He saw no need in paying multiple mortgages, and her allowance was enough to keep her from nosing around in his finances, ruling out the chance of her finding out about his off shore accounts.
They now slept in separate bedrooms, using the excuse that he often worked late and didn’t want to disturb her. And she’d long since stopped asking him where he slept most nights, leaving him to do just about whatever he saw fit. To him, their marriage couldn’t get any better, and was as close to perfect as it was ever going to get.