Dear Abby: I can’t get over my husband’s past with a prostitute

Wife questions the character of man who once solicited a sex worker before they met.

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DEAR ABBY: Two years before he met me, my husband of four years did something I feel was morally repugnant: He solicited a prostitute. When he committed this act, he was going through a dark period in his life. He was divorcing a woman who had cheated and left him for another man, raising his young son and dealing with immense feelings of insecurity.

He told me all of this while we were dating, and I thought I would eventually get over it. However, almost five years into our relationship, it still haunts me and makes me question his character. I hate that he was capable of doing something like this, regardless of what he was going through.

I have tried therapy, and we’ve tried couples therapy — nothing has helped me to move on. He says this is not the type of person he is now, but I just can’t seem to separate the man who did that awful thing and the man I fell in love with. Are some actions so awful that they stain a person for the rest of their lives? Are we doomed? — WRESTLING WITH IT IN CALIFORNIA

DEAR WRESTLING: Your husband was honest with you from the beginning of your relationship and has been, I presume, a faithful partner. As you stated, he was under a lot of pressure when that happened. I can’t name one person who hasn’t made a mistake sometime in the past, including me. Use some common sense and quit judging your poor husband for his one “slip,” or PLEASE free him to find a woman who will appreciate him for who he is.

DEAR ABBY: My spouse and I are retired. I thought we would spend our retirement doing things together, but all she wants to do is sleep. It is not unusual for her to stay in bed for two days straight, getting up only to use the bathroom and get a drink. She does not help with the housekeeping or other household chores.

I’ve asked her why she sleeps so much. She tells me she doesn’t know why. I have gone with her to her doctors, and they have run tests. Physically there’s nothing wrong to account for all her sleeping. This leads me to believe she’s taking prescription medication to be able to sleep as long as she does. When I asked her if this was the case, she denied it.

My wife was sexually abused as a child and is currently being treated for depression. Her doctor and I have wanted her to see a psychiatrist, but she absolutely refuses. I’ve talked to her on several occasions and let her know I’m unhappy with how this is affecting our marriage. She seems not to care.

I’m thinking of getting a separation. Do you think this is advisable? Or do you have any other ideas? I love her dearly and being apart is not what I desire. She deserves all my efforts to help her before I just no longer care and give up. — FRUSTRATED IN INDIANA

DEAR FRUSTRATED: Losing interest in things someone used to enjoy and sleeping for “two days straight” are classic symptoms of SEVERE, CHRONIC depression. It may have been triggered by her retirement.

Your wife definitely should be talking to someone. If it’s not a psychiatrist, then certainly a psychologist who works with a psychiatrist who will prescribe medications if they are needed. You and her doctor should insist upon it, because your wife appears to be very ill.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

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