"Living Together Was So Much Easier Than Being Married"

Sarah and Josh had the perfect relationship until they got married. Why was living together much easier than being married? Can this marriage be saved?
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Her Turn

"We're Living Separate Lives"

"I think I've made the biggest mistake of my life," announced Sarah, 31, a vivacious brunette and an investment banker at a top Denver firm. "We've been married only two years and already we're living separate lives. What's so astonishing is that we dated for six years and lived together for two in Boston, and hardly had a single problem! I don't know what went wrong.

"We've become roommates, and not very compatible ones. Our sex life had always been great, but now we rarely make love. We hardly flirt or laugh anymore -- and we don't talk much, either. One reason I fell in love with Josh is that he was a wonderful listener. Now, he doesn't care about my world at all. And to be honest, I'm not sure I care about his.

"It's gotten to the point where we're leading parallel lives. I go to my office, and then, if I'm not too exhausted, drag myself to the gym. He is studying to get his PhD in psychology. When I get home, Josh is either studying, at the gym, or out with his friends from school. Though we both love Denver, moving here and leaving my family and close friends has been tough for me. I work long hours and, unlike Josh, I haven't had a lot of time to meet new people.

"But maybe the worst part of all is our perpetual bickering. Whether we're arguing about something big, like buying a car, or small, like folding the laundry, we never resolve a thing. Take the towel dilemma. I appreciate that Josh does the laundry. But instead of folding the towels in thirds and putting them neatly in the linen closet, he just smooshes them in and slams the door. He knows it drives me crazy that he doesn't fold them, so why can't he simply do it?

"Recently, we had an awful fight over buying a second car. After we got a price from a dealer here, Josh suggested calling a friend of his dad's, who has a dealership in Tallahassee, Florida. He gave us a better deal, which I ran by the guy here, who matched it. But Josh said he felt obligated to buy from his father's friend, which made no sense to me since the car was in Florida! We both dug in our heels, and it was so unpleasant that after a week, I caved. I always feel forced to do what Josh wants.

"The irony is that my husband complains that I'm controlling! I would love it if Josh made some social plans. He'll agree he should, but he never does it. So I pick a restaurant for dinner, or rent a movie, and then he complains we're always doing what I want to do. I can't win!

Continued on page 2:  Her Turn, continued


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