I look better, and frankly, it’s easier to be on a diet and exercise schedule right along with Lou’s strict plan. Food is no longer an issue between us; I indulge in my allowed free days when he’s away. We were going to Gold’s Gym together most nights until he joined a second gym near a client’s site in New Jersey. His stated excuse was lame; the true reason for the new membership was so he could work out with another woman. I knew he’d been pursuing her; I had seen lingerie pictures and flirty e-mails between them on his computer. Somehow, working out with her feels like the greater betrayal. I started this program and working out together for his happiness, yet I’m now abandoned to go alone.

I think this woman distracts him, because Lou totally forgot my birthday. After 18 years of marriage, it should be something he knows. I know his social security number, and the birthdates of everyone in his family for God’s sake. On this particular July 30th, while we were eating yet another chicken and rice meal at the dining room table, my sister called. I answered the wall phone in the kitchen and talked for a short while; after I sat back down, he asked what was up. I simply stated that she wished me a happy birthday. He questioned why I had not reminded him. I recalled that I’d mentioned it recently after working out, lamenting about turning 37 at the end of the month. Apparently, that wasn’t adequate notice. We finished dinner with him in an irritable, crappy mood. He never did say or do anything to acknowledge my birthday.  It would have been nice enough to simply get out of his chair, walk around to my side of the table, give me a hug, and say, “Happy Birthday!” Or maybe go all out and also say something like, “I am so sorry I forgot your birthday; let’s go out for dinner this weekend to celebrate!”  Or how about even a simple gesture like, “It’s your birthday, you relax, and I’ll clean up after dinner.”  Nothing. Not even a cheesy belated birthday card the next day. 

I don’t expect much, but I think his pissy attitude was really out of place.  Shouldn’t I be the bitchy one over this? In all honesty, my internal bitch was articulate and vocal about all this in my head while I cleared the table, did the dishes, and prepped his meals for the next day. She even talked me to sleep. The next morning, I decided to let it go, knowing nothing beneficial would result from my petty complaints.