"Living Together Was So Much Easier Than Being Married"
His Turn"Maybe We're Just Not Compatible"
"I love Sarah and I want this marriage to work," said Josh, 33, a soft-spoken man with dark hair and a modest demeanor. "But I'm worn down by the stress and tension at home. We seem to have different points of view on so many things and spend most of our time together disagreeing -- not talking.
"Sarah says I don't keep the house neat. Well, she's neat to the point of being neurotic! Fold the towels in thirds? Line them up like bowling pins? Sorry, but I don't think that way. Same with the car. I bet she'll be mad at me about that for months, but I feel strongly that buying from my dad's friend was the right thing to do. So what if we waited a little longer to get it? What's the big deal?
"Sarah doesn't realize this about herself, but she can be very controlling and dramatic when things don't go her way. She's always grilling me about what I want to do or where I want to go. When I make a suggestion -- say, 'Let's go to some art galleries' -- she tells me, 'That's not specific enough.' Instead of arguing, I walk away. She's even critical in bed. I approach the bedroom terrified that I won't be able to make her happy. Lately, I don't want to make love, or even hug or kiss her.
"I don't know why we didn't have these problems when we were living together, but we didn't. If I wanted to go skating but she wanted to see a movie, it was no big deal. We just went our own ways. Nowadays, Sarah gets stressed out by so many things -- cleaning the house, her work, whether we're having 'fun.' I always feel like I'm failing her.