"Following My Dream Nearly Cost Me My Marriage"

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His Turn, continued

"When Gillian and I got married, I took a better-paying job with a large photo studio near our home. I did weddings, portraits, bar mitzvahs. I didn't love this side of the business, but I learned different skills and it helped pay the bills. 

"Gillian, of course, was already making twice as much as I was. Did it bug me? A little. Did I make a big deal about it? No. Gillian has never made me feel like a loser. I did that to myself. Deep down, I believe what my father believes -- that the guy should be the breadwinner. And it was obvious I wasn't pulling my weight. 

"She Can't Have It Both Ways"

"When Gillian quit her job, I was concerned but didn't panic. I figured the money stuff would work out. But she has not changed her spending habits one iota. She's still buying clothes as if she goes to an office every day. The boys attend an expensive summer day camp, and we're either going out or ordering in food every night. We can't afford this now. 

"This 'togetherness' bit is driving me nuts, too. I like being with her, but just because she wants me home at 6:30 every night doesn't mean I can manage it. If I'm going to expand my business, I have to put in the time. That means nights and weekends, when people hold events. Gillian can't have it both ways. 

"Now that she's home all day, she notices stuff she never cared about before. Her to-do lists are endless. I spent two days putting the kids' bunk beds together and rearranging the furniture after she didn't like what I did. If I don't do something exactly when she wants, she gets angry and punishes me by withholding sex. I swear it's been months.

"I will always love Gillian but I can't live this way. We always used to talk about growing old together. Now I'm not sure I want that to happen."

Continued on page 5:  The Counselor's Turn


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