"His Elderly Parents Are Too Demanding!"

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His Turn, continued

"I married my first wife, Bonnie, when I was 26, and we had Adam when we were in our early 30s. Our relationship was placid but it lacked physical passion and the shared interests I wanted for the long haul. Realizing we were better as friends than spouses, we ended our 12-year marriage.

"I'd been divorced for four years when I met Lisa, who was -- and still is -- the most beautiful woman I'd ever seen. She's tall and slender, with blond hair, hazel eyes, and a dazzling smile. Plus, she's smart and sophisticated. On our first date, it wasn't the wine talking when I said I'd marry her. I felt it in my gut, because of the intense physical attraction and the way our personalities clicked. I felt that she understood me in a way Bonnie never did. 'You're my soul mate,' I told her after we'd been dating for a few weeks. 'I want us to spend every moment together.'

"Now, nine years later, I avoid her whenever possible. She is always in attack mode, pouncing on me the minute I walk in the door. I'd rather stay late at the office or help my parents than face Lisa's tirades and the kids' unruly behavior. I'm sad that Adam keeps his distance, but I don't blame him, because Lisa either ignores him or makes snide remarks about his clothes and friends. Sometimes I think Lisa mistreats Adam as a way of punishing me for spending time with my parents -- and that upsets me more than anything else Lisa does, including rejecting me in bed.

"We haven't made love in a year, and believe me, it's not for my lack of trying. She just pushes me away. I miss not just our lovemaking, but also holding hands and kissing good morning -- the routine affection that was once part of our daily lives. Yes, I know I shouldn't crack jokes about our sex life in front of friends, but I'm so frustrated I can't help myself.

"I love Lisa and still consider her my soul mate. The other night, after she blew up about the money I gave my parents, she said she wanted a divorce. I can't bear the thought of losing her. 'Please, let's try marriage counseling,' I begged her. I'm not terribly hopeful, but it can't hurt."

Continued on page 5:  The Counselor's Turn


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