"He Was Furious I Got Pregnant Again"

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His Turn, Continued

"In the past few years I've often wondered if Gaby even cares about me anymore. Our sex drives have always been out of sync, with me initiating and her 'not in the mood.' I try to brush aside the feeling of rejection, but I feel it all the same. She's so wrapped up with the kids that I feel irrelevant: It's as if I did my part by siring them and now I'm just a paycheck. We speak to each other only when we have to. When I walk in the door at night, I sense I'm crossing into enemy territory. Gaby seems annoyed to see me, and it feels as if she's lined the kids up against me, too. If I reprimand one of them, she rushes in to disagree, adding that she loves them very much. Like I don't? I just feel she's too lenient with them. We need to establish rules about when they're allowed to watch TV, play computer games, or text-message their friends, so that schoolwork is a priority. A few weeks ago, when Zach flunked a history test, I told him he was grounded for a week. Gaby immediately snapped, 'No, you're not!'

"As for football, Zach is a natural athlete and I love coaching his team. Playing football in high school was an incredibly positive experience for me, and I want that for my son, too. I just can't wrap my brain around the idea of skateboarding as a sport.

"My handling of the candy incident was inexcusable, no question. Yet I couldn't stop myself. I felt as if I were riding some out-of-control locomotive. That happens to me a lot. Unfortunately, my dad was the same way. He was a trial lawyer and a brilliant man but also quick to find fault, ruled with an iron hand, and lashed out whenever something rubbed him the wrong way, which was often. He set the bar high for all of us, but especially for me, the oldest.

"I hate the thought that in Gaby's eyes, and in the eyes of our kids, I'm just like him. More than anything else, I want to prove to her that I can be a good husband and father. I just hope it's not too late."

Continued on page 5:  The Counselor's Turn


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