Dear Ann Landers: Our daughter, who is away at college, is suffering from depression. She is on medication and seeing a therapist at school.
“Maya’s” first semester was a nightmare, partly because her father refused to let her come home to visit, even though the college is only three hours away. I finally overruled him and insisted she drive home for the weekend. I could see how debilitating the depression was.
If Maya cannot survive another semester and wants to come home, I don’t know what my husband will do. We have been married for 20 years, and he is getting harder and harder to deal with. I’m tired of arguing with him, but I have to stand up for my daughter. Not every child can be sent away from home at age 18 and cope. If anything should happen to her, I never would forgive myself.
Should I bring Maya home and tell her to go to school in town, or do you think my husband is right in saying she should tough it out? — Virginia Beach Mom
Dear Virginia Beach: If your daughter is on medication, she must have a doctor who prescribed it. Consult with him about whether Maya should tough it out. She sounds emotionally fragile, and this could push her over the edge.
Dear Ann Landers: My husband has been clinically depressed for most of his adult life. A while back, “Herman” began seeing a female therapist who focused on my husband’s early years to see whether something in his childhood might be the cause of his depression. His therapist discovered that during adolescence, Herman had been a cross-dresser.
He apparently had worn women’s clothing in his early teens but repressed it as an adult.
Now Herman wants my permission to express this part of his personality around the house. He says he would not go out in public.
This disgusts me, Ann. The thought of my husband in makeup, wig and high heels makes my skin crawl. His therapist told me I need to be more tolerant. She doesn’t seem to think his behavior is abnormal or sick.
Herman is artistic and sensitive, a gourmet cook and an avid sportsman. More importantly, he is a terrific father to our two sons. I used to think he was the most masculine man alive. Now I don’t see how I ever can look at him the same way or stop wondering whether he is gay. I don’t want to break up our marriage, but if anyone found out about the makeup, wigs and high heels, I would be devastated. I need your advice. — N. Carolina
Dear N. Carolina: You need to have a better understanding of your husband’s cross-dressing. Herman is a transvestite. Some transvestites are gay, but many are not. They get their thrills from dressing up in women’s clothing, but that’s as far as it goes. Please go to the public library and read up on the subject. The more you know the less you will fear it.
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