"My Sick Husband Got Better and Our Marriage Got Worse"

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His Turn

"Abby is hopelessly tied to her mother's apron strings," said Nate, 34, an accountant. "She insists I'm screwed up because I come from a broken home and my father is an alcoholic, but she's the one with family issues. She asks her mom's advice on the most trivial matters, and her brothers and sisters feel free to drop in unannounced. It drives me insane!

"Abby was fantastic about nursing me back to health, but that's not a normal situation. I'm better now, and I want to develop a deeper relationship with my wife. Instead, I'm desperate to get out of the house just to avoid dealing with her family. One brother in particular really bugs me. I'm sure Abby mentioned the roof incident. To say this guy is not a handyman is the understatement of the century. He's the last person I wanted up on that ladder. Sure enough, he lost his grip on a hammer and it missed my head by inches. Yes, I went nuts and yelled at him, but Abby should never have asked for his help in the first place. And yes, I bring work home, and I like playing on the office softball team or golfing with my friends. Abby really hates that -- she drives me crazy by calling almost every hour to ask when I'm coming home. But if she really wanted me to stay home with her, she'd talk to her family about letting us live our own lives.

"I fell in love with Abby almost from the moment I met her. She's pretty and smart, and I get a kick out of hearing her talk about her students. She's a phenomenal teacher. It's that same giving streak that made her such a wonderful nurse when I was recovering from the surgery. I honestly feel I owe my life to her. At the same time, her very niceness may be why she can't say no to her family.

"I know I have a short temper and sincerely want to learn to control it. If I can figure that out, maybe Abby can figure out how to ease up with her family. I've had a second chance at life, and those frozen sperm are waiting. They may not be good enough to get Abby pregnant, but I can't help fantasizing not only about surviving my cancer but also about becoming a father one day. There's no one else on earth I'd want as the mother of my child. I adore Abby and desperately want to make a go of our marriage."

Continued on page 4:  The Counselor's Turn


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