Your boyfriend hates you. He’s dimly aware of this fact, climbing up the base of his skull, but he isn’t quite ready to fully accept it and do something about it. But make no mistake; he hates you.
He hates the way you shoot him a dirty look when he mentions that one of his female friends from high school emailed him today. He hates how you casually mention your old boyfriends on the same days when you have had big arguments, and how you pretend it’s just a coincidence. He hates the way you scowl when you come home and he happens to be flipping through the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition. He hates it when you drop hints about what kind of wedding ring you want. He hates it when you drag him to a boring party where he doesn’t know anyone. He hates it when he takes you to a fun party and you refuse to leave his side for even a second. He hates the way you flaunt your extra-sexy clothes on Girls’ Night Out and then laugh derisively when he mentions it. He hates how you don’t understand simple HTML or the Electoral College, and you refuse to bother trying.
He hates those times when you start crying and you make him feel like a monster, and then five minutes later you say the cruelest, coldest remark with a tiny smirk. He hates how you act bitchy to cute waitresses. He hates the way you taunt him about his taste in movies. He hates it when you whine about how you think your feet are ugly and you blow him off when he reassures you that they aren’t. He hates it when you say nasty things about his friends. He hates how you use sex as a bargaining chip. He hates the way you act just a little too drunk after two beers. He hates your apologies that drip with insincerity. He hates the way you brag about being independent and then borrow two hundred dollars from him until next payday. He hates how you scream at him for going out for a drink after work with his coworkers.
He hates how, every single day, you make him feel inadequate as a person, a boyfriend, a lover, and a man. He hates how you are in fact the inadequate one, yet he stays.
He thinks of me. He fantasizes about me. He lies to you about me, because he’s too weak and too weary to tell the truth. But he remembers me often, my words and my skin and my eyes and my smile. He wonders about me, wonders what it would be like to be with me, instead of you. He wonders if he’ll ever kiss me again.
In five years’ time, we will be married and living in a new city together.
But right now, my husband is still your boyfriend, and he hates you.