"You're not funny and your problem is that you can't face the fact."
"You always sing off-key."
These things didn't matter to her. She didn't live inside her ego, so his jibes didn't touch her. But what did matter was knowing that he wanted to hurt her. What did matter was discovering that he wanted to destroy her confidence. What did matter was realising that he didn't understand her at all.
After all these years, he had no idea of who she was. The teller of corny jokes, the offkey yet joyful singer of songs, she was love.
He thought that he owned language, humour, sex ... and that she only borrowed them.
The things that she had known since childhood, he fed to her as though she were completely without understandings of her own. He handed her a book. "This will be good for you." Its pages were a reflection of her own soul, her inner self ... but he never noticed.