"Our Daughter Is on Drugs"

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Her Turn, continued

"I can't stand it when William and I fight. In my family, we barely raised our voices. I really did have a picture-perfect Midwestern childhood. Dad taught high school math, and Mom stayed home to raise the three of us. Though we didn't have much money, I never felt deprived. I remember picnics on the lake, sight-seeing trips to nearby cities, church every Sunday. Everything was wonderful until my senior year of high school, when we found out that Helen was on cocaine, heroin--you name it, she tried it. Thank God, she's been clean for 15 years.

"College was a welcome escape for me after the grief my family went through that year with my sister. I met William toward the end of my sophomore year, and it was love at first sight. After our first date, neither of us dated anybody else.

"I'm a program coordinator at the local community center, and I love it. But William has never been happy with his work in the sales division of a manufacturing company here in town. I wish I had a nickel for every time I've suggested we work on his resume so he could look for a more exciting job. He just never makes the effort.

"Things get even worse between us when we visit my parents. I know my dad is pretty conservative and Mom speaks her mind. But William now refuses to visit them at all. Why can't he just ignore their remarks, the way I do?

"Another area we've always struggled with is our sex life, which is terrible. Frankly, I don't think about sex all that much even in the best of times, and right now, it's the farthest thing from my mind. But William is always ready, and if I refuse, he gets upset and thinks I don't love him. 

"Somehow Ariel managed to finish high school, and she's living at home. She's been good about doing her chores and respecting her curfew. Plus, she does seem to be sticking with this latest outpatient treatment program, and she's been working as a clerk in a video store. She hasn't expressed any interest in going to college, but we're hoping she'll be ready if and when she cleans up her act for good.

"We may not be able to save our daughter, but please tell me there's something we can do to save our marriage."

Continued on page 3:  His Turn


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