"He Was Furious I Got Pregnant Again"
Her Turn, Continued
"I used to think it was my fault our marriage wasn't working, that if I could just be a more positive, supportive wife, like my mother, maybe Greg wouldn't be so angry, maybe he wouldn't ignore my needs. But my father, who was a science teacher, never raised his voice in anger, so it was easy for my mom to be positive. They have a wonderful marriage. To this day I've never seen them fight.
"Greg and I were fixed up by his mother and my sister, who worked together. Neither of us expected to have a good time, but Greg was so easy to talk to, I felt I'd known him my whole life. Everything happened fast. That first date was a week before Thanksgiving. He proposed on Christmas Eve and four months later we were married. I was 21 and he was 22.
"I was working as a junior buyer for a department store here in Denver and Greg had just started his first job, at a large brokerage firm. We were both eager to start a family, so we decided on our honeymoon not to use birth control. I got pregnant right away, quit work, and immersed myself in being a mom. For a few years we were fine, and Greg got promoted several times. But about two years ago his company ran into problems. They fired a lot of people, and Greg's workload increased. It wasn't unusual for him to work 80 hours a week, including weekends. Many nights he'd lash out at me as soon as he got home, claiming the house was a mess or that I needed to instill better study habits in the older kids. He didn't seem to notice or care that I was dead on my feet, too exhausted to worry if every toy wasn't perfectly stowed away.
"Greg and I go for days without talking. We never have sex -- and to be honest, I'm not even interested. But it's his temper I can no longer take. Last night we came home late from a church meeting to discover that our dog had eaten a whole bag of leftover Easter candy. Greg assumed that Zach had left the candy out, so, cursing, he raced into Zach's room, where he was sleeping, yanked off the covers and tried to pull Zach out of the top bunk, demanding he go with him to the animal hospital. 'This'll teach you to be responsible,' he bellowed. Zach, terrified, cried that he hadn't done it. And he hadn't. It was Zoe who'd left the bag out -- hardly a crime in any case.
"Well, that was the last straw. I can't let my kids think it's okay for their father to treat them like criminals. Or that it's okay for a husband to treat his wife as he treats me. My elder sister has said we can stay with her until I get my bearings. I need a marriage counselor only to help me figure out how to make this divorce as pain-free as possible for my kids."