So unhappy in my marriage, but divorce seems so unhappy as well... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 23 Old 10-15-2009, 02:20 AM - Thread Starter
 
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DH and I have been together for 7.5 years. We dated for 3.5 years before we were married. Those 3.5 years were wonderful- he was amazing. Kind, thoughtful, funny, laid-back. We had a lot of fun together. We loved being together. We worked to do nice things for each other. We had a really solid relationship and I look back on those days with so much longing and sadness...they were truly wonderful.

After we had DS (about a year after we got married), things got tougher. DS has SPD and was a difficult baby (and is a difficult toddler). We also have a DD who is now 8 months old. We moved far from family when DS was about a year old and have struggled a great deal financially since then (the local economy tanked right when we moved here. We get by, but it's very very stressful. We also live in an incredibly HCOL area and I couldn't even get a job if I wanted to because I couldn't earn enough to offset child care for 2 kids.)

Our main point of contention is DH's laziness. I do all of the cooking and cleaning, I take care of any errands, bill paying, etc. that are needed. I also do most of the child care in the evening. DH goes to work.

We've fallen into a pattern of both being lazy during the evenings- I'm resentful that he won't do anything and I attempt to do the same but then the kids need attention so I grudgingly do it while he sits on the couch. I decided I needed an attitude adjustment and made an effort today to focus on our kids 100%, no matter what DH was doing. I played with both of them in our bedroom while DH sat on the couch. I had a great night and was proud of how I worked on ME doing something rather than HIM NOT doing anything. He wasn't interested in joining us and when DD was crying and needed to be fed and put to bed, DH grumbled about having to get DS something to eat.

He's grouchy. Constantly. He often says things like "Don't you listen???" or "What's your problem?" to DS. DS was running around our ottoman today and it annoyed DH. He put his foot on DS's back and pushed him. Not hard, but it's not the physical part that bothers me. DS cried and I just imagined what a helpless feeling that must be. He looks forward to seeing his dad all day, and this is how he treats him? I was putting DD down and DS was asking for something to eat. I dont know if DS was just being too loud or what, but I saw DH toss a pillow at him to get him to stop whatever he was doing. Again, not hard, but something that obviously upset DS (and me).

I'm embarassed that others have noticed how little he does. A few weeks ago we sat outside with our neighbors and grilled out. DS wanted me to read books to him (and sit on my lap) and DD was crying and wanting to be held. My friend held DD over me so she wouldn't cry while DH just looked on. He barely held DD when she was small because he said "I don't like holding babies." (He snuggled DS a lot when he was tiny. They would take baths together every night to bond.)

I hate this. I want so much more for my kids. I'm not some idiot that married a deadbeat. I didn't marry a grump who wanted to sit on his ass and watch TV. I used to wish he was home more often because he had so many hobbies that he was gone constantly. Now he sits on the couch and watches junk on TV. He's also gained a considerable amount of weight, which I think contributes to his funk.

There are certain habits that are deal breakers for me. He's picked up chewing tobacco. EW. I never, ever would have dated someone who did this. But, suddenly, after 7 years together (and knowing that I hate it) he picked it up. And refuses to stop. I asked him to at least not do it in front of me but he does anyway. He leaves the disgusting spit cups around. Both kids have knocked them over. DS sees him do it and thinks that's what grown ups do. Great, now I get to be married to a grouch who also will lose his teeth and get mouth cancer? Hooray!

He's constantly pessimistic now- I made peanut butter cookies for him today (his favorite!) and he complained that we had no milk. I have dinner ready when he gets home and he complains about what we're eating. His miserable but nothing is going to make him happy.

I demanded counseling a couple of years ago and he refused. I've begged since then but he always says no. I just looked online and there's not anyone in our area that works on a sliding scale (plus, DH makes quite a bit of money, he just supports 4 people in a really expensive area.) They were $150+/session which we can't afford. At all.

But, what am I supposed to do? I love being home with them and I can't be if I leave. I have a degree that will pay peanuts. I'd have to move closer to my family and there are no jobs there (not even part-time waitressing or anything. That area is really REALLY suffering right now.) And then, what? DH would get the kids for the summer? I'd miss every other holiday? They're involved in activities and get to do fun things now. If I leave we'll be on food stamps and they'll be in a crap daycare or something.

I want love, but how the heck am I supposed to find that? I'm 27 years old with 2 kids. I have a degree that I've never used. I dropped out of grad school to stay at home with DS.

I'm so angry at how much he's changed. I'm angry that I pictured so many things for my kids and they don't get those things now. I'm furious that I have no power in this.

What do I do? I'm sleeping on the pull out couch tonight. I'm miserable and sad and angry and just...done. I don't know what to do.
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#2 of 23 Old 10-15-2009, 02:33 AM
 
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That sucks!

I'm sorry.

For one, I think $150/hour is cheaper than a divorce. If your DH tells you it's too expensive, tell him that, and just call and set up an appointment. If he doesn't go, then it can be an appointment for you.
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#3 of 23 Old 10-15-2009, 02:40 AM - Thread Starter
 
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That sucks!

I'm sorry.

For one, I think $150/hour is cheaper than a divorce. If your DH tells you it's too expensive, tell him that, and just call and set up an appointment. If he doesn't go, then it can be an appointment for you.
It's too expensive as in there's literally no money for it for the rest of the year, at least. DH was laid off and we had to move to a ski resort town where our rent is 4 times what our mortgage was when we lived in a rural area when we were first married (and he's making $5/hr less than he was then.) We literally have no extra money after our groceries are bought, rent is paid, utilities are kept on. I would certainly go alone if I could afford it in anyway, but I just don't see how I can. And because it's such a ridiculously expensive area there are no affordable options.
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#4 of 23 Old 10-15-2009, 04:13 AM
 
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I'm sorry to hear you're going through this. (HUG)

Having gone through a pretty terrible, messy and disheartening divorce myself I have some advice - follow your heart (or gut). If you still love him (for reasons other than he's the father of your children) try as hard as you can to work it out. But if seriously, deep down you know with every fiber of your soul that this isn't the man for you than do what you have to do.

Also, it might sound like he's depressed? It's always hard to hold up your part of a relationship when you're depressed so maybe that's something else to consider.
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#5 of 23 Old 10-15-2009, 04:26 AM
 
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It's too expensive as in there's literally no money for it for the rest of the year, at least. DH was laid off and we had to move to a ski resort town where our rent is 4 times what our mortgage was when we lived in a rural area when we were first married (and he's making $5/hr less than he was then.) We literally have no extra money after our groceries are bought, rent is paid, utilities are kept on. I would certainly go alone if I could afford it in anyway, but I just don't see how I can. And because it's such a ridiculously expensive area there are no affordable options.
I don't know if you have any particular faith, but a lot of churches/synagogues/mosques/temples/etc. have cheap or free counseling services available, either through the organization itself, or through another agency they have a relationship with. Even if you aren't a member or active participant in that body, you can often get access to counseling services. Of course, many of the counselors are volunteers and their advice/counseling will likely reflect the faith of the organization they are from, but if there is a faith you can relate to, it might be a good option?

(((HUGS))) I hope things get better!

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#6 of 23 Old 10-15-2009, 07:33 AM
 
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Oh gosh, I'm so sorry you're going through this.

I agree that it sounds like your DH is deperssed. And I think its a good idea to look in to some sort of faith-based counseling, which is often free - even if you are not a member of that particular house of worship.

In the meantime, try taking a step back, and stop trying to make him happy, and focus on making you happy. Do things you enjoy, focus on your kids, keep your spirits up and sort of detach yourself from his "funk" so you don't get sucked in too. Either it will be the catalyst he needs to get off his butt, or it will give you the strength to proceed with a separation/divorce if that's what is right for you.

I also wanted to add that relationships, like life, go through seasons. DH and I have had our share of rough spells - that last a LONG time, but I always had at least a glimmer of faith that "this too shall pass". The trick is knowing how much you can take, and for how long, and not doing irreprable dammage to the marriage in the meantime!
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#7 of 23 Old 10-15-2009, 09:29 AM
 
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I'm so sorry you are going through this *hugs*

From what you describe, it sounds like your husband is perhaps depressed?

It's strange that he's gone from boing one person and becoming someone else.

Follow the advice of the pp's and look inside yourself to see what you truly want. Do you still love him? or just the old him? you need to decide soon because otherwise you'll end up resenting him so much irreparable damage will be done to your marriage.

I'm sorry I don' really ahve any advice, but I wanted to let you know I'm thinking of you. It's hard living far from friends and family.

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#8 of 23 Old 10-16-2009, 04:25 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you all for your kind words.

The kids and I slept on the couch last night and I did not speak to him before he left for work. He called me after he'd been at work for a couple hours and apologized- we talked for about 90 minutes and I think it was a mix of him realizing that he makes an effort in his relationships w/ friends and colleagues and no effort towards his family, as well as that he identified things that eat at him more than he'd admitted before- he's unhappy in his job, he wants to move closer to our family, and he's RIDICULOUSLY stressed about money. He's always made good money and we've been comfortable (not rich, but comfortable). Since our last move we've had weeks where we are eating peanut butter sandwiches on the last couple of days before payday because it's all we have in our house. We have never EVER had to live like this and it's frustrating because we are scrimping and saving as best as we can but the current state of the economy doesn't leave us much choice. We're hopeful that we can move in the spring and get closer to family as well as get to a lower cost of living, because this stress is killing us.

He made a phenomenal effort with DS today- DS was REALLY difficult and DH was patient and kind. He's had a rough week and I know he's tired and stressed but he definitely acted more like his old self, which made me happy.

We'll look into church counseling, but I definitely agree that he sounds depressed. Hopefully soon we'll be in a better financial position so he can be properly diagnosed and get some medication if it would help. I'm definitely feeling more hopeful today. It felt wonderful to be able to vent last night and even better to be able to log in tonight and see support from you mamas. Thank you.
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#9 of 23 Old 10-18-2009, 09:06 AM
 
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In the meantime, try taking a step back, and stop trying to make him happy, and focus on making you happy. Do things you enjoy, focus on your kids, keep your spirits up and sort of detach yourself from his "funk" so you don't get sucked in too. Either it will be the catalyst he needs to get off his butt, or it will give you the strength to proceed with a separation/divorce if that's what is right for you.
This is what i, personally, struggle to do, but it's definitely the right thing to do! Don't take on his emotions, and focus on enriching those kids' lives.

I'm glad to hear things are better and that he opened up. I've often heard that guys retreat into their caves (or heads if there's no physical cave), and that sounds exactly like what yours is doing. He may just need you to help him figure out a solution--even if it's accepting what is rather than changing what is.

Take care.
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#10 of 23 Old 10-20-2009, 04:57 PM
 
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I am curious if you would qualify for any aid based on your current income. Could you get WIC perhaps? It sounds like a little wiggle room in your budget might help cut the stress a lot.

Suzan, mama to DS 9-18-07 and #2 EDD 3/4/10 GIRL!.
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#11 of 23 Old 10-20-2009, 05:35 PM
 
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Oh, it sounds really rough. I have a lot of compassion for you as I would not want to be going through what you are. However, I have gone through rough patches before in our marriages. Everyone who is married for a period of time does. When things get tough- hang in there. Divorce is not usually a good option. One usually just exchanges one set of problems for another. Also the man you fell in love with did not leave, he is still in there, in your husband. Try to notice bits of it shining though his grouchiness. When I mentally calculate my own husband's faults in my head I like him less and less but if I focus on the good, even if there is only a bit, I like him better.
Now I know the following will come across as harsh ect but I do not mean too. You describe your husband as negative, grouchy ect but from your post you also sound this way (not lazy though). I could see how your husband could see you as having grown angry and distant from him. It can be hard to be nice back to someone when they are critical with you. I only say all of this to suggest maybe if you back off a bit and and treat him with respect and kindness and do not comment or stew on his negativity it will probably help. Marriage counseling is also a very good idea.
OK, feel free to ignore or delete me post. I truly wish you the best.
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#12 of 23 Old 10-23-2009, 05:00 PM
 
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I'm sorry you're going through this. Your husband sounds like a great guy who's having a rough time. It does sound like he might be depressed. You said you couldn't afford counseling right now, try checking out the book The Mood Cure. I saw it recommended in another thread here and got it for my husband who was perpetually grouchy and snappy and generally not himself. I read it and purchased the supplements she suggested and it has made a huge difference!! He's much happier now and while not perfect, it's really better- and cheaper than therapy.

Good luck! And I do agree with the pp- try to focus on his positives and reflect that back to him. If he's having a hard time feeling good about himself, he really needs you to feel good about him to help buoy his spirit. Also try encouraging him to get back to some of his own hobbies- that might help him feel better/more relaxed. My husband is much happier when he plays golf, which he loves, and I keep trying to get him to go play because I know it would be good for him. He's yet to do it, but I know it would help clear his mind.

Just my thoughts, again good luck.
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#13 of 23 Old 10-23-2009, 11:13 PM
 
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Oh that sounds so hard, to you.

One thing I read that you seem to have already done is that if you make a change (like sleeping on the couch) you will change the dynamic, both people don't have to change. Good luck I hope you find some relief soon.

Married to the love of my life, mom to DS :
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#14 of 23 Old 07-13-2012, 10:22 PM
 
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HI i so know what your going through, I've been with my husband for more than 8 years and im so confused on what to do. His job requires him to travel alot so he is harly home but when he is he wants to be attended like a king, im so over it. he had a affair in 2010 and that brought the relationship on a down fall. He is so rude, mean, and all about himself now. I resent him so much for cheating on me but thats nothing to him in his head he did no wrong. Im not in love with him anymore but i find my self staying with him bc i believe in making things work. He has changed so much with me that i dont recognize who he is. He takes avantage of me bc i dont work and i stay home and take care of our 4 kids, I hate the person HE HAS BECOME. I legalized him to be here in the U.S. legally and got him the job where hes at now. HE says he dont need me anymore that kills me. I sometimes want to leave and never look back but im still here for finacial reasons. If i would have never done what i did for him he wouldnt have all he has. Sometimes these ass holes dont know what they have untill we leave.

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#15 of 23 Old 07-20-2012, 07:31 AM
 
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Have you considered casually disconnecting the tv? Might not be the most diplomatic solution but I tried it for a couple of weeks to make my point. (I gave the cables back after we agreed on reasonable compromise). 

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#16 of 23 Old 07-22-2012, 12:48 AM
 
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Talk it over. When was the last time you two dated?? When was the last time you gave him a massage? Our husband get tired also, but it doesn't give them the oppurtunity to be lazy even in giving attention to our kids. At the same time, even he is acting like that maybe he is just stressed out, try giving him some comfort, massage and foot spa( soak feet in a warm water) my DH loves this. Then after the comforting, be sweet and talk things out...I think no Husband can refuse to listen to a very comforting and sweet wife, right? And when the kids are sleep, try to watch tv with him with a naughty movie..LOL Goodluck!!


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#17 of 23 Old 07-22-2012, 01:31 PM
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Have you considered casually disconnecting the tv? Might not be the most diplomatic solution but I tried it for a couple of weeks to make my point. (I gave the cables back after we agreed on reasonable compromise). 

 

I think that's really controlling.  


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#18 of 23 Old 07-23-2012, 01:29 PM
 
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I sounds like neither one of you are happy with the way things are right now. Can the two of you come up with a plan to change things. Sit down one night after the kids go to bed and really discuss what you both want for your family and yourself as a couple. Then come up with a plan to make it happen. It sounds like your dh has lost hope, if there is a real action plan that can get you closer to family or living in a better area his mood might improve. And talk about how to improve thing while you're still stuck where you are. Maybe turn off the TV until kids go to bed and take a walk around the block as a family or assign a few chores for dh to do at night like dinner dishes or read bedtime stories. Then once kids are in bed do some of the things you both enjoy doing together. I think the most important thing is for him to be involved in the changes and on board with making things better.
Maybe he needs the wake up call of knowing how unhappy you are with the person he is right now that if it continues you may choice to leave the marriage. I know there was a time in my own marriage that I had to lay it all out for dh to make him understand how unhappy I was.
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#19 of 23 Old 07-28-2012, 02:28 PM
 
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Wow!  That is really great that he was willing to open up to you and talk.  It is really a huge thing for guys to admit those things.  He is probably feeling like a failure, like he is letting his family down.  Stressed out about money.  And you guys have left your friends and family and for what?  Talking is good.  really really good.  You should feel really good about that!  

 

In the mean time Is there maybe one or two things you can ask him to help with in the after work hours?    Being stuck in depression makes it hard to do anything.  And the days run together and you don't even realize how much of life has past your by.  So start by accepting that he is really struggling.  And while he is you will need to just carry on doing the stuff at home.  is there something small he can be successful at? ask him if he could just do that.  Perhaps suggesting he take over bed time with ds so they can reconnect.  Focus on success, not failure.  Once he is being helpful in that one small thing you can suggest something else he could help with.  Or perhaps remembering himself will be enough to spur him on to more action.  Sometimes people who are stuck in a depressed place just need a little help getting unstuck.  but it cannot come through as demands or nagging or anything overwhelming.


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#20 of 23 Old 12-10-2012, 02:34 AM
 
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I know exactly what you are going through, im in this situation right now and have been fo many years. Can I just say depression is something people get due to many problems in there lifes. Not someone who has everything done for them. He's not depressed he is just a ungrateful and don't appreciate anything you try to do. My husband is a nasty nasty piece of work. He puts me down all the time to make him feel better about himself, calls me names you have prob never even heard, calls the kids names and picks on them constantly. Even they cant stand him because of the way he's treated them. He's selfish always going on about money, what he hasn't got what he didnt achieve because of me. He is very lucky to have women like us in his life but material things seem to matter more than his family. We argue almost every day and night, he never smiles or laughs. My kids dont even like staying in the same room as him and spend most of there time in there rooms. That's no way to live! It's not fair they deserve better and so do I. He leans on me for everything, its like having a 4th child. I'm not allowed to go out, see family and friends or do nothing without him. Where I go he goes like a magnetic force. I hate him but guess what he won't leave. After 16 years of this it is only now I have realised that I need to change my life at 38 and I intend to do this no matter how scared I might be. You are still at a good age and I suggest if he don't appreciate you now will he apprcaite you in another 10 yrs. There is a whole new world out there for you and your kids and he don't deserve any one of you just like my husband don't deserve us. I have took my first step and packed his stuff and expect him to be moving our tomorrow. I am determined to see this through and make a better life for my kids, I just hope its not to late to change them as I dont want my boys growing up thinking its ok to treat people the way he's treated me or my daughter to allow men to treat her the way I've been treated. If you think there is something worth saving in your relationship you need to put your foot down and tell him he better change or your going with the kids. you refuse to be a doormat any longer. I hope it works out for you whatever you decide. But let me leave you with one thought.......your stronger than him, we might be the weaker sex in strenght but we are the stronger sex
emotionally thats why we cope with every thing and they don't.
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#21 of 23 Old 06-08-2013, 03:32 PM
 
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Hi there, I read your post and felt like it was my own life except mine is somewhat worse. I feel lonely all the time and it's so hard to talk to my husband, everything I say he seems to understand it in different way and gets mad so often. I am so hopeless and really don't know what to do, without kids, I am sure I would run a long time ago. I am sorry that you are unhappy with your marriage.
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#22 of 23 Old 06-25-2013, 07:31 PM
 
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Read Living with the Passive Aggressive Man. You might find it eye-opening.


7yo: "Mom,I know which man is on a quarter and which on is on a nickel. They both have ponytails, but one man has a collar and the other man is naked. The naked man was our first president."
 
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#23 of 23 Old 09-16-2013, 04:37 PM
 
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Read Living with the Passive Aggressive Man. You might find it eye-opening.

 

I want to thank you for recommending this book. I am already divorced from The Passive Aggressive Man, but I hadn't known that someone wrote a book about him. I immediately Googled the book and read the essays summarizing its content. Even now, though the book hasn't yet come in at the library, I feel the miraculous sense of relief from recognizing his behaviors laid out in a systematic way. It's as though, by existing, this book has validated my experience. 

 
For all these years, I've read women on the Mothering board discussing their relationships, and yearning for an explanation. Is it depression? Addiction? Narcissism? Lack of Vitamin B? Lack of Vitamin D? I could never understand this. It was always obvious what they should do, even without a clear explanation of how this nice person had become so different. Now, finally, I understand why this is important, because I finally see my relationship explained. 
 

I realize that gushing at so much length might sound over the top, but I really do feel a lot better. (If the book isn't really as good as what the essays promise, I promise I'll be fine.) 


Divorced mom of one awesome boy born 2-3-2003.
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