Did She Ever Love Him?

Q: After 40 years of marriage, my wife had a heart attack. Now she says she doesn't love me and never has. She says she wishes she had never married me. What should a guy do? — Ed, 71

Dr. Susan: Medical catastrophes can do funny things to a person's mind. Many people are depressed after a heart attack, and it's possible that if your wife were treated for depression, she would find her way back to you. However, if she's been unhappy for a long time, this illness could be making her see her life in a new way. If she realizes now that her time is limited, maybe she no longer wants to spend it with someone who hasn't helped her be happy.

Is this the first inkling she's ever given you that she isn't happily married? If so, perhaps she'd agree to some counseling to determine if the marriage is really at an end. On the other hand, if she's simply being more direct about her feelings, feelings you may have suspected but ignored, then it's time to take her — and her anger -- seriously. If there's anything she says you can do to help her, give it a genuine try. Clearly, business as usual is not going to cut it anymore.

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