When the security guard called me down to the office lobby, I thought for sure Lou had shown up and would cause a scene, since I had missed one of his many calls and pages. Instead, I found a huge bouquet with a birthday balloon, which only served to piss me off. I popped the balloon to stop people from coming to my desk to say Happy Birthday and admire the flowers, which I may or may not have offered to give away a couple times. Snap Snap Snap of the rubber bands on my wrist. That’s gonna leave a mark.

Lou came into my bedroom that night to make an offer he thought I couldn’t refuse. He said he understood that I wanted a divorce, but offered me birthday sex, since it must be difficult for me to go without. At 39, I finally have absolutely no problem saying no to sex with him.

I keep snapping the rubber bands and hoping he will concede to divorce without any more fight. I’m not giving in, but I cannot get him to agree, and I’m afraid that if he doesn’t get on board with an arrangement, it will be ugly. People tell me all the time to just do it. Make him move out, or just move out myself. Sounds so simple, but I know better.