"I Caught Him, Red-Handed, Cheating on Me!"

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Her Turn, continued

"My parents are Holocaust survivors who emigrated from Poland after the war. I was the oldest of the family, with two brothers, eight and 10 years younger. If I had any problems, Mom would say, 'What are you complaining about?' Or, 'Nothing that's happening to you is as bad as what I went through.' Though I tried to be the best daughter in the world, my mother was always distant and sad. And unforgiving. 

"I met Gary on a blind date when I was a senior in college and he was in his first year of medical school. We had a great time that night, and the relationship became serious quickly. After 10 months, we were engaged. It's hard to pinpoint when we started to have problems; they've really built up over time.

"For the first five years we were married, I worked as a guidance counselor. When our daughter, Diana, was born, I quit my job to stay home with her, and then my son, Peter, came along. I loved being a mom, but it was stressful, and I was upset that Gary was hardly ever around. He was in his residency and worked late nights and weekends at the hospital. Not much changed after he started his own practice.

"He never has had much patience when I bring up my anxieties about the kids, or anything else for that matter. He simply tunes me out, or he agrees to do something, but rarely follows through. For instance, if I ask him to enforce our son's 9:00 p.m. bedtime, he'll say yes, then let him stay up till midnight. He doesn't take my feelings into account. If I feel he's driving too close to the car in front of us, he'll refuse to slow down, saying 'I've never been in an accident.' If we are going someplace -- to the theater, a movie, to my parents' house, to meet friends -- he's always late. Then I lose my patience and start yelling. 

"I Feel Like a Fool"

"It's true that we sometimes went a few weeks without making love, but I just chalked up the lack of sex to his schedule and the general busyness of our lives. When we do make love, everything seems fine, so I've never been too concerned about it.

"Since I found out about his affair, Gary has been the perfect, attentive husband. Though I'm angry, I also see a glimpse of the kind, gentle man I fell in love with. He's incredibly solicitous -- bringing me coffee in the morning; asking if I need him to do anything. So what do I do now? Gary was my first love, and I don't want to be divorced. But I feel like a fool. I don't think I can forgive him."

Continued on page 3:  His Turn


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