Living and Loving with Mono

Marlene Parker* of Clearwater, Florida, has had a very rough time of it. Marlene, a teacher in a local elementary school became sick with mono just as summer vacation was ending.

"I felt so crappy there was no way I could drag myself out of bed, let alone make it to the school to teach."

Because she'd been teaching for more than ten years, had an outstanding record at the school, and a shining reputation among the parents in this community, the school somehow creaked along without her.

While Marlene worried about her classroom, she knew her real problem was closer to home. Her marriage was in trouble.

"Bob* was a saint at first, bringing me hot drinks to soothe my throat, changing the bed linens to make me comfortable, and coaxing me to eat my favorite take-out foods since he can't cook worth a damn."

Low Spirits

"But all I wanted to do was sleep. I think that Bob is like a lot of men. Kind of like a puppy. He withers away from lack of affection and attention.

I just couldn't summon the energy to maintain his spirits, especially since my own spirits were so low."

Marlene and Bob managed to hang in for the duration. "It isn't nice, but a woman can be a willing partner in bed without actually bringing much to the table, so to speak. These passive so-called love-making sessions probably saved our marriage. Bob just needed the friendship and contact and it was the best I could do at the time," laments Marlene.

Jim Fisher* of Albuquerque, New Mexico, wasn't so lucky. Shari*, like Bob, was patient at first, administering to Jim's needs and keeping the household running during his convalescence, but Jim saw that as his illness went on his wife became moody and unpredictable.

"The fact is that even after I was no longer in the active stage of the illness, I was depressed; something my doctor says can happen after a bout with a major virus.

So, I was in bed for months, and then I was still not much of a husband to Shari. I knew she needed me but I was kind of like an empty sack or a busted balloon at that point. I felt so empty and drained.

Sometimes I'd get up in the middle of the night for a glass of water and see Shari sitting in the dark, crying. During the day, things were tense. Shari finally asked me for a divorce and I was too into my depression to argue."

Commenting on this sad state of affairs, Jim says, "In retrospect, my doctor, or maybe Shari, should have worked to get me on antidepressants, but there's no use crying over spilled milk."

Marital Problems?

If you've got mono and you're having problems with your marriage or long-term relationship, see your doctor. He just may be able to help your relationship get back on its feet with a short course of antidepressant medication.

*Names have been changed

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