Mrs. Linklater hasn't visited the advice columnists for awhile -- at the request of local law enforcement, but now that she's out on parole, what's the harm in sticking her nose where it ain't wanted while she's waiting for sentencing.
ASK AMY -- The Chicago Tribune
She's staying, but wistfully, with a sad man
Published May 30, 2005
Dear Amy: I am married to a good,
kind man who loves me very much. Our children are married, so it is
just the two of us. We are in our 50s and in good health, so these
could be good years. He suffers from chronic depression and has been
taking antidepressants, which have helped him. He goes to therapy and
has done all he can to fight it, but it is something he will always
My husband was abused by clergy
when he was a child, and severe depression also runs in his family.
Remarkably, he is a kind and thoughtful father and husband, and a
successful businessman. He is often sad; life doesn't put a sparkle in
I love and respect my husband and
will never leave him or stray from our marriage. We are no longer
intimate because of the side effects of his medications, but we are
still best friends. I'm thankful that he is in my life. I struggle with
the fact he can never be happy.
Do you have any words of
encouragement for those of us who know we have chosen the right path
and will stay on it, but still have a persistent wistfulness that
things could be different?
Dear Wishing: For all of the people
who contact me saying they want to leave their marriages because they
aren't quite the trip to the moon on gossamer wings they'd expected, I
offer up your story, which is one of love and devotion through sickness
I appreciate it that you are
seeking words of encouragement from me, but the true reward for you is
in leading your life well and being a blessing and an example to your
children and friends.
I hope that your family values you
as much as you deserve to be valued, and that your husband and children
adore you, as you deserve to be adored.
I will tell you this. Even those of
us without the burdens you face feel a persistent wistfulness that
things could be different. Persistent wistfulness goes along with late
middle age, and I don't know a person in that stage of life who doesn't
The Survivors Network of those
Abused by Priests (SNAP) is a national organization offering regular
support meetings for victims of abuse and for loved ones. I read your
letter to Barbara Blaine, an abuse survivor and now president of SNAP.
She wants you to know that you and your husband are not alone, and that
you could both benefit from meeting with other survivors and spouses.
"We teacheach other coping skills. A lot of us have found hope and
improvement in our lives through sharing with each other," she says.
To locate a local meeting, check the SNAP. Web site at www.snapnetwork.org, or call 877-762-7432.
Mrs. Linklater BUTTS IN, shouting
and screaming like a woman over fifty who owns cats. [As a reminder,
Mrs. L is over sixty and has no pets]
YO AMY, YOU SOUND LIKE A BIG BAG OF WIND.
Stop with the platitudinous drivel. If the poor man is on medication
AND in therapy, BUT he has no interest in sex [the medication is an
excuse, trust me] and he's ALWAYS sad, he's still EXTREMELY
Here's a clue to his problem -- the medication and therapy ARE NOT
WORKING. And while we're at it, persistent wistfulness does not go
along with middle age.
Dating younger men or sporting a combover is a sign of middle age.
Wistfulness on the other hand is NOT. Taking a deep breath and
sighing all the time is a symptom of DEPRESSION, not middle age. So his
wife is suffering too.
It's time to sound the alarm.
With all due respect for SNAP and
the services they provide, this kind and gentle man is at risk for
suicide. He needs to be completely re-evaluated. He should be put on
different and perhaps more powerful medication to start.
But even more importantly, what kind of therapy is he getting? Is he
doing weekly reports on self help books? Or having one on one sessions
with an expert in PTSD?
Let's hope he's not wasting away in some kind of once a week group
therapy with the "worried well" led by an emphathetic, but undertrained
social worker, where he can hide his pain behind his kind and gentle
wife needs a spousal support group for sure, but if something isn't
done soon, she'll be in a survivors of suicide group instead.
Sorry, Mrs. Linklater gets all wound up sometimes. This time she'll probably get slapped with a REAL restraining order.