"My Husband Is Ashamed of Me"

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Her Turn, continued

"I quit my copywriting job after Matt was born 10 years ago, and Tommy followed two years later. I adored them, but being a full-time mother wasn't as wonderful as I thought it would be. Those early years were exhausting, and I missed the energy of the office.

"The other thing I missed was the equality in our marriage. The minute I stopped working, Bob expected me to handle all the chores and child care. Now, if I dare ask him to pick up a quart of milk on the way home, he'll bellow, 'Why can't you remember to do that?' If I'm sick and can't make a school meeting, Bob won't take my place. His career comes first.

"Sometimes I feel like I'm drowning in housework, and unless I do everything precisely the way Bob wants it done, I'm a failure. He'll complain about the toys in the living room or that the countertops don't sparkle. He even expects me to drive downtown to pick up his paycheck and deposit it in the bank-- even though they're a branch about six blocks from his office. He says that's part of 'my job.'

"I can't remember the last time we made love, and the closeness we used to have is gone. That was glaringly obvious last New Year's Eve. We always invite our extended family over, but this time, Bob insisted on including the people from his office. He spent the whole night with his co-workers and barely acknowledged the rest of us.

"After midnight, I was in the kitchen making coffee when I overheard voices in the next room-- Bob was with Claudia, a married co-worker. He was saying, 'It feels so good to share my feelings with someone.' That was it. I confronted him right after the party. Bob swears he's not involved with Claudia, and I believe him, but it's still devastating to realize that my husband would rather confide in her than me.

"Bob insists that these are all my problems and my issues. Maybe they are. Or maybe we've both changed so much that there's no hope for us."

Continued on page 3:  His Turn


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