She starts off by recalling the events of one night out in August 2004, when the two started off the evening at a Hollywood event and ended up in a fight, back in their empty home.
It all began when Simpson, 39, and Lachey, 46, were entering a club and a string of women smiled at him.
“I waited until we were driving to ask him how he knew the girl,” Simpson writes.
He asked who she was referring to, and Simpson replied, “the brunette by the door.”
“She worked at the club, one of many that let us right in to drink for free, knowing they’d get an item in the tabloids that advertised their place to customers who would pay more to get in if they knew celebrities would be there,” Simpson writes. “Girls always smiled at Nick, right in front of me. Groupies will always be groupies, but there was something different about the way he looked at her.”
In the car, on their way home, Simpson says she accused Lachey of nodding at the woman. He looked at her in disbelief, and the circle of distrust and unhappiness began once again.
“Cue the cycle. I would accuse him of having a wandering eye, and he would rip into me, making sure I knew I was the one causing problems in our marriage. Everything was my fault. In a real way, I agreed,” she admits. “There was something Nick wanted from me that I no longer had, and emptiness that I couldn’t fill, and neither could he.”
She writes that she would “freeze in conflict,” she would let her anxiety kick in and be unable to get words out. This, she says, is something that started when she was sexually abused by a family friend as a child.
Despite the fact that she and Lachey “loved each other fine,” they got to a point in their marriage where they “just didn’t like each other.”
“I could feel him trying to like me, but everything I did seemed to annoy him,” Simpson writes.
When recalling her fights with her ex, Simpson writes: “We were not one of those couples that screamed at each other, let whatever fly out fo our mouths, and then make mad, passionate love. No, we would yell at each other, and then he would go out of town and not answer his phone. Vegas or Miami with his boys. Or he would just stay out late to teach me a lesson.”
Simpson says Lachey had a group of guy friends who would use him to get into places “and enjoy VIP treatment at strip clubs and bars.” She writes: “He liked that scene and I thought it was gross. There were times I tried to be sexy like that for him, and I even jumped out of a cake for his thirtieth birthday party in an outfit that I thought was burlesque but was really just sad.”
She thought that if she dressed like the women he partied with, he would look at her the way he used to — but that wasn’t the case.
“But he rarely looked at me anymore, period, and I had Newlyweds to remind me how much had changed,” she writes. “They still ran our wedding in the opener, that moment when he sees his bride for the first time. He gasps and all the ladies at home say, ‘I wish my man looked at me that way.’ It reminded people that there had been real love between us. Trust me, if he had still looked at me like that, all my resentment would have melted away.”
Simpson says that despite the fights, jealousy and heartbreak, divorcing Lachey never seemed like an option to her. She was committed to honoring her vows. But in the end it was all too much for them both.
In the chapter, she writes that she ended that horrid night of partying by locking herself in their room — in a house that felt more like a strange hotel than a home — removed her makeup, took a sleeping pill and went to bed. She didn’t care where Lachey was or if he’d join her. She no longer felt joy.
"Open Book" is set to be published on February 4.