"We've Been Growing Apart for Years"

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His Turn

I can't believe that Pam almost slept with someone else. She had mentioned Scott and their project, but I never suspected that they were more than just friends. I'd noticed that Pam seemed happier at work than at home. Her eyes would light up when she talked about her projects. I supported her decision to work full-time, but it makes me jealous to hear some of the stories, like when she went to lunch with colleagues and ended up laughing so hard she nearly choked. I can't remember the last time I made her laugh. Little did I know that those things were the least of my worries.

Pam says we're living separate lives, but I don't think that's true. Sure, we don't spend as much time together as we used to, but that's because life is busy right now. It's not like I avoid her on purpose. And she took my "it's a phase" comment the wrong way: I was trying to calm her down, not brush her off. As for interrupting -- I admit, that's not cool, and I've apologized for it. I think I was just so excited to have a conversation that wasn't about the kids, the house, or us that I wanted to jump right in and I started speaking over her. I didn't realize I was doing it until she called me on it.

I understand that Pam's got a ton on her plate, so I've tried to help out. If I've noticed we're running low, I'll bring milk home, but instead of being grateful, Pam will say, "Why didn't you call first? We needed eggs, too." If I don't fold the laundry exactly the way she wants, she puts me down. She treats me like the bad guy no matter what I do.

For me, the worst problem is that Pam's anger meter goes from zero to 10,000 in seconds. She calls what we do bickering? Try again. Our fights are so intense that the dog leaves the room. It makes me sad that Lauren and Jacob have heard our screaming matches. I don't want them to think it's acceptable for couples to act this way. Now I walk away to avoid another big scene.

It hurts to hear that Pam thinks I act like an employee. Of course I have ideas and opinions, but I've been deferring to her to keep the peace. We've been struggling, for sure, but I love her. I didn't mean to be indifferent to her feelings. And I'm sorry I made her miserable enough to consider having an affair. Pam says she wants to leave, but I begged her to try counseling.

Continued on page 3:  The Counselor's Turn

 

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