"He Told Our Secrets Online!"

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His Turn

Struggling to Keep Afloat

"As usual, Isabella is blowing things out of proportion," said Ryan. "Look, I've been writing and drawing all my life. It helps me put things in perspective. On my blog, I might post my political views or a poem or whatever pops into my head. People respond with witticisms or advice. One guy who'd had similar issues with his girlfriend told me to 'hang in there.' Another said I had a right to be angry. It's like group therapy, but totally anonymous.

"Nothing in my life is working. I wake up every morning with an ache in the pit of my stomach. I've always wanted to write and illustrate comic books but I dropped out of college after my sophomore year and got a job selling furniture. Then last year, the store where I worked went bankrupt, and I had to take this dead-end real-estate job. Then my parents separated.

"When Isabella and I first met, we'd talk for hours. No one ever cared about me the way she did. Now, the first words out of her mouth when she walks through the door are to criticize me. 'You call this clean?' she'll scream. She sounds like her mother.

"In truth, I don't see that the laundry didn't get done or that there are dog hairs on the sofa. Those things aren't on my radar screen. Neatness was not a priority for my mom. She had her hands full keeping my brother and me fed. But Isabella's parents' home looks like a museum.

"Why Can't She Forget It?"

"My mom was just 16 and my dad 18 when I was born. Neither attended college, and my dad, who worked for a phone company, was an alcoholic. He humiliated me in front of people, called me stupid. To stay sane, I'd spend hours alone in my room reading or sketching. I surprised myself by how upset I was by their divorce. 

"Isabella's family is unbelievably close. I like them, but I'll never understand why Sunday-night dinner is a command performance, or why her younger sister, whose life is a soap opera, must come over every night. And yes, it's hard to watch Isabella spend money on fancy pillows we don't need -- and even harder to say so, since it's her money in the first place.

"The woman I fell in love with was caring and romantic. The one I live with now makes me feel like a henpecked old man. She's so melodramatic. Betrayal? Please. The blog is meaningless. Why can't she forget it?"

Continued on page 4:  The Counselor's Turn


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