"The Kids Are Gone and We're Strangers"

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He Says, continued

"I was raised outside of Boston. My family -- Dad, Mom, my older sister, and I -- lived in a three-bedroom apartment above the drugstore Dad owned. My mom was a school secretary. I got interested in computers in the early 1980s, switched from industrial engineering to software programming, and was hired by a large New York firm. I worked there for 15 years, but in the early 1990s, the company was forced to make layoffs, and I was one of them. I was out of work for seven months before I got my current job. It was a very tough time. I felt I was letting my family down. 

"Kate is the finest woman I've ever known. My meeting her was pure good luck. I was visiting my grandmother, and she asked me to return a book to the library where Kate was working. It was love at first sight for me. She thought I was kidding when I asked her to marry me so soon, but I couldn't have been more serious. I wanted kids right away, too. And she's wrong about the peace and quiet: I liked having kids hang out at our place; it's just that I also wanted private time with my wife. We're the only couple I know who've never once been away for a weekend alone.

"For a long time, I was so caught up with work I didn't realize we had drifted apart. Kate may have vowed to be a good mother, but I vowed to be a good provider so that my family wouldn't have to worry about every cent the way my folks did. When Kate complained, I didn't pay attention. I figured she was overreacting because of her lonely childhood. 

"I'd love to get back to the way we were. But I'll be honest: There's a lot about Kate I don't like anymore. She's always nagging me or the kids about something. But I swear, I am totally committed to our marriage."

Continued on page 5:  The Counselor Says


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