Annie’s Mailbox for June 18, 2011: Husband’s abuse affect health, relationships
June 18, 2011
Dear Annie: I’m so confused. I have been married for 15 years and have five kids. Our married life started out great, but for the past several years, it has been dwindling to the point where I don’t know if I want to stay.
My husband will tell me in the morning that he hates me, and by lunch, he is hugging and groping me and saying he loves me. I used to think he was bipolar, but now I’m not sure. Whatever the discussion, he is always right. He has a list of demands for me, ranging from how polite I must be to the way I sigh. He has threatened suicide, even doing so in front of the kids.
He calls me nasty names and tells me he can’t stand the sight of me and that I smell like a urinal. He will scream that I am stupid. He tells the kids not to listen to me. Last year, he almost convinced me that I was hallucinating and hearing voices. After eye and hearing exams, it turned out he was muttering under his breath.
I am tired of crying myself to sleep. It has started to affect my health. Defending myself only makes the situation escalate. The kids can hear us fighting, and for this, I am sorry.
I have no family, and friends have distanced themselves. I am so alone. I feel like I am not being a good mother. I have suggested counseling, but he doesn’t believe in it. When the anxiety attacks began to affect my everyday functioning, I started therapy, but it hasn’t helped. Unfortunately, my insurance doesn’t allow me to go to another therapist. What can I do?
— Going Crazy
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Dear Crazy: Regardless of your husband’s mental health issues, he is being abusive, damaging you emotionally and psychologically, and creating an unhealthy environment for your children. Please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline (thehotline.org) at 1-800-799-SAFE (1-800-799-7233) and ask for guidance.
Dear Annie: I’ve seen a lot of comments about how annoying it is to be in a public place when someone next to you starts up a conversation on their cellphone. I would like to comment on how annoying it is to be the recipient of that phone call.
This morning, a friend called while she was grocery shopping. As we talked, she greeted other shoppers, commented on the price of items and then chatted with the cashier at the checkout. A couple of times, I tried to end the call, and each time, she exclaimed that we had not talked in ages and she valued our friendship, etc. I suggested we meet for lunch, and she promised to check her calendar. Meanwhile, she had to keep asking me to repeat my last sentence because she didn’t catch it, and several times I neglected to respond because I assumed she was still talking to the checkout clerk.
We did not really engage in a true conversation between friends. I felt my name was on a to-do list to be checked off.
— A Real Person on the Other End
Dear Real Person: Cellphones have created all kinds of rudenesses and embarrassments. If you have text messaging capabilities, we recommend using that in noisy places. And recipients of such phone calls should have no qualms about saying, “I’ll talk to you when you’re less busy,” and then disconnect immediately.
Dear Annie: This is in response to “Michigan,” a mom of boys who was told that only daughters stay close after leaving the nest. She should not be discouraged.
I am blessed with a continuing close bond with both of my grown sons. It does not happen without some effort. She should initiate some get-together time, even if only for short visits. Find some mutual interests to share so you remain part of their lives. And I am also blessed with a lovely daughter-in-law, which helps a great deal.
— Another Michigan Mom