"He Says I'm a Hypochondriac"

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His Turn, continued

"When I met Gwen, I was struck by her energy and take on life. She was so much fun and so caring. I couldn't believe she was even interested in me. She's outgoing and all-American and I'm, well, bookish and kind of nerdy. For the first few years, I think we were both happy. Then Gwen's medical problems surfaced and, like I said, she obsesses about every little ailment.

"The night she told me about her asthma is a perfect example. I came home from work and she immediately launched into this lengthy explanation of how her doctor had told her she had a subclinical asthmatic condition. Now, to me, subclinical means not really much of a problem. I know she expected a lot of sympathy, but I just didn't feel it. This is a particularly painful subject for me since, fifteen years ago, my mother died of an asthma attack. My father had died a year before, and none of us was aware how serious Mom's condition was. So to hear Gwen go on and on about her barely existent ailment hit all my buttons.

"I can't stand her total self-absorption. I'm as lonely as she is, but I can't talk to her about anything. She has so many problems, I wouldn't dream of bringing up one of my own.

"Weekends are really hard for us. We can't get in sync. I don't particularly like to go out, but Gwen wants to fill up every minute. We hardly talk during the week, but Saturdays and Sundays we have nonstop arguments. I love Gwen, but I'm beginning to wonder if we're fundamentally incompatible."

Continued on page 5:  The Counselor's Turn


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