Looks like Lou and Tanya are finally done. Based on the e-mails I’ve read between them, he’s made several attempts to maintain the relationship, and outright proclaimed his love for her. But she thought it over and decided to stop seeing Lou.

I’m sure he is very sad, but I gave him the opportunity to leave and be with her. I was just done letting him do whatever he wanted and have it be seemingly ok with me. I didn’t make any sort of ultimatum to take action, and he didn’t challenge me to make one. He did give Tanya an ultimatum of sorts, and she ended the relationship.

I’d like to say this means it’s all done, and we can focus on our marriage. But right on the heels of Tanya’s breakup message, he was sending e-mails to local women on Love @AOL and chatting. I don’t imagine it will be long before he finds someone new.

I don’t get why he wants to stay with me. If he has been so unhappy for so long, why stay?

The better question that I should be able to answer, but can’t is, “Why do I stay?” I’m finding fewer and fewer reasons why I should. We’ve been married almost 20 years, and it’s certainly familiar. I wonder if the grass really is any greener in anyone else’s backyard. I know he can be a real pain in the ass, but it’s the devil I know. We do have a lot of fun when things are going well. Except this past year when he didn’t work at all, he’s generally a hard worker. He takes a lot of pride in his achievements, the care of our home and yard, and tries to be a great father.

I say “tries to be” rather than “is” a great father because I think he is just too tough on her. She’s only 7, and he already demands too much from her. For example, to motivate her to try her best in school, he told her if she got perfect grades this term, we would take her to Disney World. In her school, the teachers rarely give superlative ratings across the board. A trip to Disney is too big to lose because an essentially unattainable goal was set. He thinks it is a good life lesson. I think it is an unwarranted set up for failure that is just plain mean. It would be futile to do her best because it will never be good enough, so why bother trying. That’s how I would see it, anyway. I think it’s too big; he thinks I’m too soft.

She is such a sweetheart, and I really feel for her having to deal with all this. Mother’s Day was a disaster. Late one afternoon, I called him on my way home from work, and he was in the car with Anjelica enroute to the mall for Mother’s Day shopping. It was on my way, so I suggested we meet for dinner together and then they could do some shopping alone. I overheard Anjelica ask if they could go to the pet store to look at dogs. He did not answer her directly, but said to me, “Your daughter seems to think we’re getting two dogs.” I replied that was what he and I had agreed on and played back the content of a conversation we had about names for the two dogs. He started yelling at me, claiming he never said such a thing, would never consider having two dogs, that even one was going to be too much, and screamed into the phone that there was too much f**king pressure on him. I asked him to calm down with Anjelica in the car, suggested we discuss it another time, and said I’d see them at the mall shortly. I parked, went in the food court entrance, and immediately found them sitting at a table finishing their dinners. He said I should just go get whatever I wanted now. I explained that the idea was to eat together, so I didn’t see the point since they were already done. His eyes were dark, and his face was tense with anger, as he snarled that he didn’t want me to come to the mall in the first place, and that I had ruined everything. If he had told me that on the phone, then I wouldn’t have invited myself along. He was finished, but Anjelica was still eating, and he sat silently with his arms folded tightly and stared off in every direction but mine. I finally got up from my seat, and stood behind him, bent down, and very quietly said in his ear, “Let Anjelica pick out whatever she likes for me, but I want nothing from you.” I don’t know if he was more angry or shocked, but he turned to me and said, “Nice. I can’t believe you would say such a thing.” Anjelica finished eating, I hugged her, and said I’d see her later.

The gifts from the mall that I unwrapped on Mother’s Day were obviously not picked out by Anjelica. I got a tank top proclaiming I was Playboy material and Season One of The Sopranos. I was actually very pleased with the DVD set; despite that it came from Lou. I became addicted to The Sopranos while living in the hotel on my own. Lou knew this, and actually chose something I would like. After I opened those gifts, Anjelica asked where he had put her gift for me that she’d asked him to take care of for her until Mother’s Day. He brought her into the hot tub room, and Anjelica came out with a small brown paper bag. She opened the bag to pull out what I could see was a small potted plant. The pot had somehow broken, and the bone-dry dirt spilled out onto the carpet as she took it out of the bag. She tried to ask how it had broken, and why the plant was dead, but Lou was freaking out, hollering at her about the dirt spilling onto the brand-new carpet. Anjelica started crying since Lou hadn’t watered the plant, let the pot get broken, and was now scolding her for getting the carpet dirty. I got in the middle and said I would be able to clean the floor easily as long as nobody stepped all over it, which was true, because there was absolutely no moisture in the soil. I scooped up what I could and put together the pieces of the pot, saying we could fix it, and admired her artwork. I don’t think that he broke the pot and killed the plant on purpose. I do think that it wasn’t on his mind, and he carelessly forgot about her request for help.
She’s developed a bed wetting problem, which is likely a result of the long term, continued stress in our lives. I’ve been calm and supportive when it occurs. Lou is unsympathetic, gets mad and calls her lazy, then gets mad at me says I’m coddling her. Yet he acted like a child by storming off when he was goofing around with her in a way that wasn’t fun, and she asked him to stop.

I don’t know when and if we will ever return to the dog topic.