"His Business Crashed -- And So Did Our Marriage"

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Her Turn, continued

"We're fortunate to have a church-sponsored day-care center that charges us next to nothing, so the twins stay there a few hours a day to give Ryan more time for calls and interviews. But that's our only luxury. We scrounge every month to make the rent on our house, and we live on generic foods.

"Between my job, the bookkeeping and the kids, I am so stressed I can't think straight. And I'm resentful of Ryan for putting us in this mess. Why didn't he listen to me? We've incurred thousands of dollars in legal fees trying to sue his ex-partner and get back our money and clients. It's a nightmare. I think Ryan owes it to me to keep fighting this crook -- it's not like he helps me with much else -- but he wants to drop the suit. We've been arguing over this for months. Our home has become a carbon copy of the one I grew up in.

Their Background

"My childhood was not happy. My parents ended their miserable marriage when I was five, and I never saw my father after that. Mom remarried a man who barely tolerated my three older brothers, but who saved all his anger for me -- and he took it out with his fists. When I was 9, my mother sent me to live with my aunt a few blocks away. She might have been trying to protect me, but it felt more like I was being kicked out.

"I had a few very close friends, but I've never been good in social situations. I wasn't much of a student, either. I started working for the bed-and-bath store after high school and worked my way up to manager.

"In my mid-20s, I dated Ryan's best friend Jeremy for a while. The two of them couldn't be more different; Jeremy is totally unreliable and often inconsiderate. He'd stand me up at the last minute, leaving me waiting by the phone. I'd call Ryan's house to find out where he was, and Ryan would sympathize and talk with me for hours. He and I really bonded one day at Jeremy's family's barbecue, and we've been together ever since. 

"We knew we wanted a big family, but we didn't start trying until five years ago. That's when we discovered that we both had fertility problems. It was so hard to watch family and friends become parents many times over when we couldn't. Finally, after three miscarriages and two failed in-vitro fertilization attempts, I became pregnant with the twins.

"But as much as I love my kids, I don't know if I want to stay married. I'm not even sure I love Ryan anymore. I can't tell you the last time he held me or did something nice for me. Our relationship has become as empty as our bank account."

Continued on page 3:  His Turn


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