„Later, at the reception, I watched as the two dark and light women flanked him, saw his eyes dart from side to side, saw how his hand cradled his drink, and his back arched slightly and stretched. Hal Wellmann, my boss and now Joe’s editor, was standing beside me, watching me look at Joe, and in a kind voice he said, „Don’t worry about that.“ I turned to him. „No?“ „No,“ said Hal. „Look, he’s feeling pretty full of himself. Anybody would.“ (...) Throughout the rest of the reception, Hal stayed beside me. (...) But for as many years as I needed him, Hal stayed with me at those cocktail parties, protecting me from something vague and threatening that was always in the room.“
Meg Wolitzer - The Wife (p. 115-116)
„Everyone needs a wife; even wives need wives. Wives tend, they hover. Their ears are twin sensitive instruments, satellites picking up the slightest scrape of dissatisfaction. Wives bring broth, we bring paper clips, we bring ourselves and our pliant, warm bodies. We know just what to say to the men who for some reason have a great deal of trouble taking consistent care of themselves or anyone else. „Listen,“ we say. „Everything will be okay.“ And then, as if our lives depend on it, we make sure it is.“
Meg Wolitzer - The Wife (p. 184)
„But there were tiny cracks. He began to cheat in obvious ways. (...) I ignored it whenever I could. It never occurred to me to say, Okay, here’s your part of the deal: Control yourself.
Control yourself. But they can’t, these men, can they? Or can they, and we simply don’t require them to? I tried to force him every few years, confronting him and making demands, and he’s be vague and apologetic or perhaps defiant, insisting I was making it all up, at which point I thought it was better to drop the whole matter. What if he left? I knew I didn’t want that, so why harangue him since he seemed incapable of change?
„You should take a lover,“ my friend Laura suggested. (...) But I had no interest; Joe was more than I could take.“
Meg Wolitzer - The Wife (p. 205)