"I Want to Feel Closer to Him"
Her Turn, continued
"During our six-month engagement, he was enthusiastic about our life together. We were in sync on everything, including our mutual decision not to have kids. I was surprised that, shortly after the wedding, Tom started putting up boundaries between us -- everything from separate bank accounts to separate bedrooms. I found the sleeping arrangement curious, because Tom never complained about my snoring when we shared a bed on the weekends, but then he didn't have to get up early for work. Reluctantly, I put up with his requests. For the first year or so that we were married, Tom and I had sex occasionally in one of our beds -- and then one of us moved to the other bedroom to sleep.
"But then our sex life cooled off. When I asked Tom why, he said that I'd gained too much weight. I'd put on about 30 pounds; I didn't think it would be enough to affect his sex drive. I kept telling him that I craved more intimacy -- to no avail.
"I coped with my loneliness by concentrating on my graduate studies (I had gone back to school to become a guidance counselor) and lavishing attention on our dog. Then, two years ago, after we moved into a new house, Tom distanced himself even more. He focused exclusively on the house, making chores his priority at night and on weekends. To make matters worse, Tom is now extremely defensive if I question him about anything, whether it's why he left his dirty dishes in the sink or why he installed the latch on the fence a certain way. He goes ballistic, cursing and yelling. I retreat, so nothing gets resolved.
"Recently, I decided to explore my own emotional issues in therapy, and asked Tom to join me. 'If you don't, that's fine,' I said. 'But unless our relationship improves, I'm filing for divorce. I can't live like this anymore.'"