As we danced at our wedding reception, Elon told me, “I am the #alpha in this relationship.” (...) He had grown up in the male-dominated culture of South Africa, and the will to compete and dominate that made him so successful in business did not magically shut off when he came home. This, and the vast economic imbalance between us, meant that in the months following our wedding, a certain dynamic began to take hold. Elon’s judgment overruled mine, and he was constantly remarking on the ways he found me lacking. “I am your wife,” I told him repeatedly, “not your employee.”
“If you were my employee,” he said just as often, “I would fire you.”
(...) Elon was obsessed with his work: When he was home, his mind was elsewhere. I longed for deep and heartfelt conversations, for intimacy and empathy. And while I sacrificed a normal family life for his career, Elon started to say that I "read too much," shrugging off my book deadlines. This felt like a dismissal
(...) I had turned into a trophy wife — and I sucked at it. I wasn’t detail-oriented enough to maintain a perfect house or be a perfect hostess. I could no longer hide my boredom when the men talked and the women smiled and listened. I wasn’t interested in Botox or makeup or reducing the appearance of the scars from my C-sections. And no matter how many highlights I got, Elon pushed me to be blonder. “Go platinum,” he kept saying, and I kept refusing. (...) In the months after our separation, I dyed my hair dark and cut it.