We went to another marriage counselor, but the session was not productive, as he just listened, but Lou appreciates that it is a man, rather than a woman he assumes will just take my side.

After our session, Lou complained that it didn’t seem like I was trying to work things out to save our marriage. I said, “You’re right. I never claimed I was. I agreed to seeing a therapist to talk things through, not to stay married.” I was in the Mercedes, and he was parked alongside in the Millenia, yelling at me through the open windows. I said I decided to buy a bed and sleep in the guest room. He had refused to let me move out of our bedroom and would not let me sleep on the couch. I finally stopped asking permission, because I was exhausted from him keeping me awake at all hours talking and talking and talking about why we should stay together. He argued that that Anjelica would know something was wrong, and fumed, “We might as well just go ahead and take off our rings!” He pulled off his wedding band and threw it on the console of the car. I calmly agreed, “Ok, if that’s what you want to do, that’s fine,” removed my ring as well, and stowed it in my purse. That notched up his anger to a new level, chiding me for easily taking off my ring after 20 years of marriage. I pointed out that it was his idea and that he went first. He just kept repeating how appallingly easy it was for me to do it, and that we really were through. Perhaps he finally gets it.

While in the mall trying out the different beds like Goldilocks, I realized that for the very first time, I was shopping with only what I wanted in mind. There was no consideration for anyone else’s preferences on how firm or how soft, the cost, manufacturer, or warranty. Nobody else was entitled to an opinion or any say in the purchase. I felt liberated when I paid for the bed that was just right.

Explaining to Anjelica was easy, not the traumatic event Lou imagined. I told her that he snored, and that moving and building the house had been stressful and I needed some rest and space for myself. It was the truth; not the whole truth, but it was nothing but the truth.

I like having my own room, where Lou can’t start talking and working me anytime he wants. He still comes knocking just about every night, but at least he does knock, and it’s usually a short conversation. I have peace to sleep and time to read without the tv and Lou’s mouth running.