"Following My Dream Nearly Cost Me My Marriage"

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His Turn

Control Issues

"In the world according to Gillian, she's always right," said Kevin, 42, a handsome man whose measured tone was laced with resentment. "As long as she gets what she wants, it doesn't matter what I think.

"Okay, that's harsh. But I'm tired of her controlling everything. I don't want to move my studio. I like the location and have loyal customers and students that I'll lose if I move.

"If Gillian wants to change her life, I'm not going to tell her she can't. But this big announcement shocked me. Then again, she's impulsive. I know our financial situation isn't dire, but I still feel stressed. I opened this small combination studio and photo shop about 10 years ago, right before Gillian became pregnant with the twins. She has been the major breadwinner for years, so part of me welcomes the challenge of seeing if I can truly grow my business. The other part is terrified of being the main paycheck. But instead of considering how I might feel, instead of really listening when I bring up money, Gillian gets mad.

"I want her to be happy and have more time with the kids. I've always been her cheerleader. But the flip side is that I want my turn to make my dreams come true. She doesn't seem to get that. I've tried to say it, but it comes out wrong. I get frustrated and we end up in a screaming match.

"She Was Out of my League"

"I fell for Gillian the day I met her, but I figured she was out of my league. She was in the cool group at school. But even then we felt a strong connection. And we balanced each other -- she's extroverted, I'm shy. I felt she understood me in ways my parents never did. I was the 'artsy' one, while my younger sister was more studious. My mom wanted me to do what I loved, but my father berated me and couldn't understand why I refused to join him in the construction business -- a 'man's job,' in his view. Photography? That was for sissies.

"After high school I enrolled in art school but dropped out after two years. I was just spinning my wheels. I got hired as an assistant to a photographer who specialized in fashion and design. The salary was terrible, but I was still living at home, so I had enough to pay rent to my parents and still have a bit left over. Besides, the guy was well known, and I was thrilled just to carry his tripod. I learned my craft from him.

Continued on page 4:  His Turn, continued

 

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