"He Can't Handle My Illness"

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Her Turn, continued

"Adam says I overreact to everything, and I admit I have found myself screaming about things I know aren't important. Last week, I chewed him out for planting a new rhododendron bush too close to our apple tree.  

"But I'm not unreasonable when it comes to Adam's parents. I hate when they visit. His mother is always telling me how to raise the kids, and his father barely acknowledges me. Adam just says, 'Oh, that's how Dad's always been.' As if that's an excuse.

Their Background

"I never thought our marriage would turn out like this. We were always such good friends. Both of us grew up in the suburbs of Hartford, Connecticut. My father, an executive at a major department store, was warm and outgoing, but my mother was a total perfectionist. I know she loved my brother and me, but she'd snap at us if we didn't live up to her standards.

"Adam and I met in college, and I fell in love with his gentleness and romantic nature. We married after graduation, once I'd found work at an advertising agency and Adam was hired as a salesperson for a pharmaceutical firm. Brandon was born two years later, and I left work to be a stay-at-home mom. We always seemed to have time to go places and do fun things together -- and I had the energy for it, too.

"But one thing did happen back then that bothers me to this day. When I was nearly nine months pregnant with Brandon, Adam's company offered him and several other top salespeople a four-day tennis junket in Florida. I had a nagging feeling that the baby might come early, so I begged Adam not to go. He insisted, saying he needed a vacation -- and sure enough, I went into labor the day after he left.

"Now, once again, my husband is blowing off my concerns. If I had a broken leg, maybe he wouldn't think I was a hypochondriac. But this condition is far more debilitating, and I can no longer pretend we're this happy family. Things have got to change, or this marriage is over."

Continued on page 3:  His Turn


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