My Daughter Always Came Back from School Sad

When Dani realizes that her marriage with Nathan is on the rocks, she accepts that his new job opportunity may be the fresh start they need. But when they move, Dani learns the truth about Nathan. For the past nine years, I’ve been in what I thought was a loving marriage. Nathan and I had married young, straight out of high school. All we knew was each other. “We’ll grow together, Dani,” he said. “We’ll study and build up careers together.” I believed him. And for the longest time, it seemed that Nathan stuck to his promises,

Two years into our marriage, we had Ellie, our daughter. Now, 7 and feisty, she’s the light of our lives. But for the past few years, I’ve begun to watch my marriage fall apart in front of my eyes. Nathan criticized my appearance. “You’ve just let yourself go, Dani,” he said. “Always in those frumpy clothes. Do you think that you’ll keep the spark alive like that?”

He accused me of not being a good enough mother because I worked too much — although I worked from home. Ellie was always around me, except she when was at school. “You’re always behind that computer screen. Do you even give Ellie enough attention? It doesn’t seem like it. She’s always alone when I come home from work.” At first, I used to retaliate. I would speak my feelings to Nathan. But eventually, I just tired of fighting with him. “Do what you want,”

I said one evening as I went to put Ellie to bed. Things took a turn when Nathan suddenly became more tolerable. He was nice. At first I attributed it to him getting a new job offer in another city. I didn’t mind the move. I could work from anywhere, and Ellie was only in the first grade. “It’s a new start,” Nathan said, helping me box up our lives. We moved, hoping for that fresh start — and for things to get better between us.

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