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UFO update - marriages troubled by alien abductions

"Can This Marriage Be Saved?" is a popular advice column from the editors of the Ladies Home Journal. Typical topics: drug addiction, alcoholism, and money squabbles. But the editors shouldn't be surprised if they start receiving mail from the spouses of UFO abductees, because alien abductions are testing the ties that bind.

"A husband whose wife has been abducted may feel angry," says Budd Hopkins, the author of two books on UFOs. "He may think, I can't protect wife." Adds Hopkins, "Wives also feel angry and unloved."

Take Deb Hill, who works with her husband in their product-testing laboratory. Deb's angst stems from her inability to help her husband during abduction which, in his case, can occur as often as three times a month. "I'm especially upset by the sexual activity, resulting in hybrid offspring," she says. "What the aliens do to John is tantamount to rape."

To deal with such feelings, Deb recently attended an abductee support group run by Temple University historian and UFO author David Jacobs. "I needed to hear from other abductees that sex with aliens is very mechanical," she explains.


Animosity, even jealousy, are in fact common responses to a spouse's abduction, according to Dr. Bill Cone, a California psychologist who has treated numerous abductees. "Some people get very hostile, and I've seen several abductee couples divorce."

As a result of all this marital tension, UFO researchers find themselves playing marriage counselor to abductees. "I advise people to be very careful with whom they speak about their abductions," says Budd Hopkins, "because going public can exacerbate an already bad situation. Often, a spouse will be tolerated if this doesn't get out to the neighbors."

But even those couldn't care less what the neighbors think find that problems abound. Steve and Linda don't care what the neighbors think, but their still having problems. "My marriage is not on the rocks, but it's not what it used to be," says Linda, who has received extensive national publicity about her alleged ET encounters. "Steve was more affectionate before the abductions started."

"She doesn't pay as much attention to me as she used to," counters husband Steve. "I feel that all the media attention has taken my wife away from me."

Often, when a marriage has been teetering under the weight of other problems, abduction does it in. "Our marriage was in trouble to begin with," admits 42-year-old Jeff. "But my wife used my abductions as one excuse to leave me." Jeff's ex-wife is also using his abductions against him in the pending custody case for their five-year-old son. "We had to take psychological evaluations," says Jeff. "My tests showed me to be normal, so my abductions were the only things her lawyer could find to put me in a bad light. She almost didn't have a child with me in the first place," he adds, "because she was afraid the child might be abducted."

Some marriages have actually been strengthened by abduction. Deb Hill says she now "feels good that my husband trust me enough to share these experiences with me. That helps us turn this into something positive."

Still, Dr. Cone believes that while many abductees are psychologically well-adjusted, "some of these people are actually suffering from identity disorders and have difficulty telling reality from fantasy and dream. Even if they hadn't gone through the abduction experience, it is possible that they would be having trouble in their marriages today."

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