She had always secretly reproached him for not loving her enough. Her own love she considered above reproach, while his seemed condescension.
Now she saw that she had been unfair: If she had really loved Tomas with a great love, she would have stuck it out with him abroad! Tomas had been happy there; a new life was opening for him! And she had left him! True, at the time she had convinced herself she was being magnanimous, giving him his freedom. But hadn’t her magnanimity been merely an excuse? She knew all along that he would come home to her! She had summoned him farther and farther down after her like the nymphs who lured unsuspecting villagers to the marshes and left them there to drown. She had taken advantage of a night of stomach cramps to inveigle him into moving to the country! How cunning she could be! She had summoned him to follow her as if wishing to test him again and again, to test his love for her; She had summoned him persistently, and here he was, tired and gray, with stiffened fingers that would never again be capable of holding a scalpel.*
*Meaning that he had been with her for a prolonged time, a lifetime in fact, that continued to extend through his retirement and the years of his old age.
The Unbearable Lightness of Being
Milan Kundera 1984