"My Husband Is Depressed"

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She Controls, He Neglects

Rhonda:

Bill is an amazing father, and he's so strong -- those are some of the things that I love about him. But it's true that he's not the man that I married. Bill used to be so romantic. Now, when I come out of the bathroom after my bubble bath in the evening with a sexy nightgown on, he doesn't even look at me. I even ask him to come over and cuddle, and I get no response. One night I just sat there with tears streaming down my face. I feel completely invisible.

Bill:

I know I upset her. I know that I neglect her. But I'm really not doing it intentionally. I love Rhonda. There's just nothing I can do to ease her pain, because I don't even know how to make myself happy. I feel like a zombie sometimes. When she's at work, I take a lot of long drives and listen to music because it's the only time I can actually relax and take my mind off things. I'm so bored. I miss my career. I miss seeing people every day. And I don't feel like I'm doing my share at home.

Rhonda:

Oh, the driving! I didn't really know that he was doing that for the longest time and then after a few months I noticed that we were missing a lot of money. Bill has always handled our finances and been very responsible, but suddenly he was spending money on ridiculous things -- fast food, stuff at the mall, gas to drive all over the place -- that added up to a lot over time. I realized I was that stupid woman who doesn't know what's going on with her own finances, because her husband's always been in charge. And then, once I found out about it, I realized that I was going to have to take control of our money. It was just one more thing that had changed and one more thing I didn't want to have to deal with.

Bill:

I don't even know why I was buying things, except out of boredom. Or maybe it was to prove that I could. I mean, even though I'm not working I'm still bringing the same amount of money into the house through my pension and disability. I get why Rhonda wanted to take over the finances, but I don't like asking for money like a child when I want to do something. It makes me feel worse.

Rhonda:

Then we're even. Because having a husband who doesn't even notice me or want to spend any time with me makes me feel horrible about myself. He doesn't know it, but I've started fantasizing about cheating. Just the idea of being with someone with no complications -- someone who notices me and appreciates me -- is so tempting. I feel guilty even thinking about it, but I do have this guy friend and we've gotten close to crossing the line. I never thought I would be that kind of person. And I'm still not sure I could cheat, but the feelings scare the hell out of me. I'm basically just doing everything I can to make it through each day. Work is a relief. On weekends I try to stay as busy as I can by going to the gym, shopping...basically, I'll do anything to get out of the house. I know I said for better or for worse, but I didn't know it would ever be this bad. I want my old Bill -- and my old marriage -- back, but it feels like it's gone for good.

Continued on page 3:  The Counselor's Turn

 

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