"Our Two Faiths Are Tearing Us Apart"

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Her Turn, continued

We moved into the first-floor apartment of Steve's mother's two-family house to save money. That first Christmas, his mother wouldn't let me put a wreath and lights on the front door, and Steve said we shouldn't have a tree, either. The next year, I spent hours cooking a special seafood pie, a Venezuelan holiday tradition. Steve gobbled it up without so much as a "thank you," and went right to bed.

"I got very depressed as the months went by. Steve was working insane hours, and we hardly saw each other. I wasn't able to pursue my graduate degree in New York because I couldn't transfer all of my credits, and money was tight. Since nothing else in my life was going right, I thought it would be a good time to have a child. But Steve was rarely around during my pregnancy, and it's been no better since Michael was born. 

"Steve and I fight all the time, most recently about his trip to a medical conference in Atlanta. He doesn't want me and the baby to come, even though it means he'll miss Michael's first birthday! After our fights, I try to make up, but Steve pushes me away. Sometimes he won't make love or even talk to me for days. On top of that, my mother-in-law drives me crazy. When we're out, she goes into our apartment, empties the trash and roots through the closets for clothes to take to the dry cleaner. She calls it being helpful; I call it invading our privacy! Worst of all, Steve refuses to stand up to her.

"Now that Christmas is coming again, I know a bad situation is going to get worse. And the religious question seems much more real now that we have a baby. But if we can't resolve this, I told Steve I'm ready to leave."

Continued on page 3:  His Turn


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