July 1997

Lately, I've been trying to improve my love lifeHappy Birthday to me. I typically feel like I need to do something to improve myself around my birthday. I get serious about diet and exercise and plan to get better at one thing or another. Then it wears off within a few weeks and I go back to normal. I view my birthday as many others regard New Year’s Day. And my resolutions last about as long.

Lately, I’ve been trying to improve my love life, but that doesn’t seem to be going very far. One night, Lou basically said that he felt our relationship had become too routine, and that there wasn’t enough romance. I couldn’t agree more. Actually, I don’t think there has ever been much, if any, romance between us, but I didn’t say that. What I did say was that it was something that we could work on changing together.

He has no clue that I can read all the e-mails that he sends and some of the ones that he gets under his screen name on our America Online account. I can only imagine what he is constantly chatting about online. But in the e-mails, I can clearly see that he is looking to hook up with a bunch of different women, and that he absolutely does regularly cheat on me. I don’t know what I can do about it, though. If I admitted to reading the e-mails, he would just turn that around as my fault for snooping and would say that I was taking the letters out of context. I have expressed my feelings that it seems he’s generally unhappy and that he is obviously spending a lot of time chatting online with women. His typical response is that I am paranoid, and that he’s doing nothing wrong, but that I will actually make it happen if I continue with “this vicious circle.” But in one of those typically futile conversations I initiated, he actually did share his feeling that the romance was gone from our marriage.

Oddly enough, I was thrilled to have something to try to fix. I bought a few books about romance that I showed him, including Light His Fire and 1001 Ways to be Romantic. I tried several different suggestions from the books intended for his pleasure and benefit. He didn’t respond to anything I did to woo him. I found the book Light Her Fire that I had given him to use as a tool to romance me back tossed in the back of the closet; the binding audibly cracked when I opened the book, which clearly meant that he didn’t bother to read any of it. I don’t think he really wants to change anything about our romance; I think he just wanted something that he could claim was wrong with us…wrong with me… to justify his actions.

His e-mails to other women don’t give me much clue why he’s really unhappy with our marriage. He explains what he enjoys, such as working out, traveling, and flying. The e-mails include details about specific things we’ve all done together, like flying to spend the day at a far-away beach, going to certain restaurants, or a trip out of state over the weekend, but the stories are told as if Anjelica and I don’t even exist and he did those activities alone.

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