"I Wasn't Excited About My New Baby"

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Her Turn, continued

"I've known Sean since high school, but we didn't get romantic until my last year of college. He was my older brother's friend and used to hang out at our house a lot. Sean says it was love at first sight for him. For me, it was best friends at first sight. Being with him was fun, pure and simple. A month after I graduated, he joined the Army. That's when I realized how much I loved him.

"We were such good friends that I never dreamt we'd fight so much. We can be nasty -- shouting, name-calling, slamming doors. Once Sean threw a vase, missing my head but hitting the wall. I'd never witnessed anything like that. My parents were teachers -- Mom taught middle school art, Dad high school physics -- who were very loving. I don't recall them ever fighting.

"Even when we're not arguing Sean can be passive-aggressive. For instance, he undercuts rules I've put in place. He'll come home at 7:30, Jake's hard-and-fast bedtime, and decide the two of them should wrestle. He gets Jake so riled up that it takes me another hour to settle him down.

"On the rare occasions that Sean helps out, it ends up as more work for me. He bathes Jake and the bathroom looks like a hurricane hit. It never occurs to him to pick up the wet towels. Then there are the countless times he promises to do something -- like check airfares to Seattle, so we can visit my family -- but forgets. It's infuriating to find out days later that he didn't do it.

"Another huge strain is Sean's mom. She divorced her first two husbands -- both abused Sean physically -- but a few years ago, she married a very decent, quite wealthy man who lives half an hour away from us. This proximity apparently gives her carte blanche to drop by any time she wants.

"The woman meddles nonstop. She tells me I don't dress the boys nicely and buys them expensive outfits. She complains to Sean, within earshot of me, that our place is a mess. Sean never defends me, then gets angry when I refuse to have Sunday dinner at his mother's house.

"I just can't take it. I love Sean, and he says he loves me, but I'm not sure our marriage is going to make it."

Continued on page 3:  His Turn


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