"We Got Married Too Young"

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Her Turn, continued

"I couldn't have been more wrong. As I sat home alone taking care of the baby day after day, I had a sinking feeling that I was never going to fulfill my dream of going to college and becoming a teacher. My friends from high school were doing well in college and talking about summer internships and job opportunities. All I could think was that I'd be stuck alone in this apartment for the next 18 years taking care of a kid.

"That's why it infuriated me so much when Matt would start in on how much he hated his life. He was majoring in finance and was good at it, but he was depressed because he was working toward a career that he didn't want. He was constantly telling me he'd rather be at West Point. When I'd tell him that I had to give up my dreams, too, he'd say that some day I could still become a teacher, but his dream of graduating from West Point was dead forever. 

"This same argument continued until Megan was 2 years old. Then one night at dinner, I told him that since all we ever did was remind each other how we had screwed up each other's lives, we might as well get divorced. Matt's reaction stunned me. He said he loved me and wanted to make things work. He promised that he would put West Point behind him and focus on earning a good living for us. And then he told me he wanted another baby. He said it would give him a sense of purpose and that he'd work hard for all of us.

"That kind of talk from the man you love -- and I have always loved him in spite of everything -- is hard to resist. I swear we got pregnant that same night. And he was wonderful during my pregnancy, coming home at a decent hour and helping with Megan. Within the next year, he graduated from college, landed a job on Wall Street, and our son Timothy was born.

From Bad to Worse

"I wish I could tell you that the new baby worked some magic for us, but it was just the opposite. Again I was stuck at home while Matt was out with his friends until all hours. I began consoling myself with food. Before long I weighed 200 pounds. I felt ugly, was irritable, and lost all interest in sex. I think Matt and I had sex once in six months -- and stupidly, we didn't use any birth control.

"You guessed it, Baby Number Three was on his way, along with more of the same fights about our lost dreams. Here I am, not even 30 years old, with a 9-year-old, a 7-year-old and a 3-year-old. I never went to college, we're still living in my parents' basement, I'm depressed and overweight, and my husband spends all his free time with his friends in bars. If you can put our marriage back together, you're a miracle worker."

Continued on page 3:  His Turn


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