"He Never Comes Through for Me"

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"Sara is the love of my life"

"I had a decent childhood. Dad was a telephone repairman; Mom stayed home to raise my older sisters and me. I was very attached to my mom, who had a loving and generous nature. She never missed my school plays or soccer games, and she always had an encouraging word about my performance. Dad worked hard to provide for us, but he offered little praise or emotional support. He was bossy and controlling, which put a wedge between us. When Sara orders me around, she reminds me of my dad -- and the image stirs up a lot of anger.

"I was instantly attracted to Sara: With her radiant smile, intense green eyes, and wavy auburn hair, she was the most beautiful woman I?d ever seen. But I'm shy, so it took me a month to work up the courage to introduce myself. I still remember our magical first date: We were already close from our dinner conversations, and as I held Sara in my arms on the dance floor I knew I'd marry her. We talked freely and our personalities complemented each other. I'm quiet, serious, and laid-back; Sara is outgoing, witty, and assertive. Her sharp sense of humor made me laugh -- and laughing together felt good.

"Unfortunately, it's been far too long since Sara and I laughed -- or did the things we once enjoyed. In my opinion, this is our chief problem -- not my failure to complete chores on her schedule. For the past few years Sara has been absorbed in her job, working late hours and traveling every month, and I miss her when she's not home. It's really a vicious circle: The less time we spend together, the more neglected and the less motivated I feel. Out of loneliness and laziness, I surf the Internet, play video games, and watch TV until I doze off. I've gained weight and as a result have no energy to exercise. I'm sad that Sara no longer finds me attractive.

"Our problems aside, Sara is the love of my life. I'm devastated that our marriage is in trouble, but I agree that we must work things out before we become parents. It's wrong to raise a child in an unhappy home. I know I need to make changes to become a better husband, but Sara needs to take responsibility for what she's doing wrong, too."

Continued on page 5:  The Counselor's Turn


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