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by Abigail Van Buren

Wife's Antidepressants Cause Opposites to Lose Attraction

DEAR ABBY: My wife and I have been married for 40 years. We were opposites who were attracted to each other and enjoyed a lot of the same things.

For the last 20 years, my wife has been taking an antidepressant (prescribed by her primary care physician, not a psychiatrist), and she has every side effect of the drug. For years I have tried without success to get her to seek help.

Although we still live in the same house, we have been going our own ways for the last year and a half. Even though my wife is a good person, I do not want to spend the rest of my life living with someone who is incapable of having a decent conversation, let alone being able to or having a need to be intimate.

I am going to move out. My question is, do I tell our children we are separating because their mom is addicted to a drug, or should I just be the bad guy and take the blame? -- ENTANGLED IN NEW JERSEY

DEAR ENTANGLED: Your wife is not addicted to her antidepressant, and you shouldn't say that to your children. The medication was prescribed for her by a well-meaning physician who obviously didn't explain that there are alternative drugs with fewer side effects.

Your wife needs to consult a psychopharmacologist, a doctor with expertise in brain chemistry. Before moving out, please offer her the option of talking to one. Her doctor or insurance company should be able to give a referral. Or, your wife may be able to find someone who can guide her by contacting a university with a medical school. I am hoping she will, because it could change both of your lives for the better.

Read more in: Marriage & Divorce | Mental Health