"My Husband Is Ashamed of Me"

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His Turn, continued

"I know I'm a perfectionist. I suppose that can be hard to live with, though it's a quality that serves me well at work: I push myself and everyone else to be their best. I get it from my mother, a housewife who would have put June Cleaver to shame. Our house was always immaculate-- underwear ironed and folded, toys neatly stacked in color-coordinated bins in my bedroom.

"Actually, my childhood was the opposite of Adrienne's. My father, a lawyer, did have a drinking problem, but he wasn't abusive, and we were all very close, loving and supportive. I always loved art, and my parents and teachers nurtured my talent.

"I was smitten with Adrienne the moment I saw her. She was so cheerful, so kind, such a good listener. When I learned how awful her mother was, I wanted to swoop in and take her away. I knew that if we stuck together, we were unbeatable.

"Now I find out that Adrienne has been unhappy for a long time. I don't get it. I thought this was the life she wanted. She always said she planned to quit work when she had kids and be the kind of mother she never had herself. Of course, I wanted that, too, even thought it meant putting the financial burden on me.

"Instead of appreciating the work I do, Adrienne is negative about me and our life together. It scares me to see my wife turn into a shrew, like her mother. I think Adrienne looks for things to be upset about; sometimes she'll yell at me about an incident that I barely remember.

"I'm so confused. We had a life plan, and somewhere along the way we got lost."

Continued on page 5:  The Counselor's Turn


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