"He Acts Like a Child"

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Her Turn, continued

"Maybe it has to do with his mother. She's constantly telling him what to do, what to wear and how to spend his money. Leo is always pleasant to her, but he usually does the opposite of what she advises.

"He does the same thing with me. When I tell him something, he calls me "Mom" in this really demeaning way. But if I don't remind him, nothing gets done. I have to mother my husband as much as I did my son.

"I quit working when Brian, who is now 19, was born. When he was 12, I got a part-time job at the gift shop where I still work. I bank my paycheck because I'm always worried about money.

"I often thought about college, but I wasn't sure I could do it, so I concentrated on taking care of our family. If I needed to work an occasional evening, I always made sure Brian and Leo's supper was ready so all they had to do was heat it. I raised Brian much differently from the way I was raised. He's a college freshman now and very self-confident. I doubt he appreciates all I do any more than his father does.

"Believe me, Leo's health would be a lot worse if I weren't so careful. If I were diabetic, I'd read everything I could get my hands on. When I first noticed my own symptoms, I went right to the doctor. He wanted to monitor the situation. I insisted on tests. I ended up having part of my colon removed.

"Leo tried to be helpful, but all he ever said was, 'Don't cry, you'll be okay.' He never seemed worried. He's never been verbally affectionate, even though I want so much to hear him say he loves me. Our sex life has become mechanical.

"There are times when I wonder why we go on together. You know those couples you see in restaurants who bring the newspaper to read while they eat? Well, that has become Leo and me.

Continued on page 3:  His Turn


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