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She finds husband’s aggressive behavior to be very depressing

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Dear Annie: During the 30 years I have been married to “Wayne,” he has cheated on me several times. He was always remorseful and I tried to forgive him.

He stares at young women to the point where it embarrasses me. He doesn’t feel he should have to tell me where he goes, nor does he call when he’s going to be late. Lately, his verbal aggression has become worse. I gained a lot of weight when I went through menopause, and although I have since lost 50 pounds, Wayne tells me he doesn’t like fat women. He says horrible things to me, and I am now sleeping in the spare bedroom.

I know I should leave him, but I just can’t do it. I am a very spiritual person and have put this in God’s hands. However, I want to explain to my older children why I have been depressed. Wayne says it is none of their business. I want to get past this, but I no longer know how. He will not go for counseling. Should I let my children know what is going on? Lost in California

Dear California: No. Unburden-ing yourself to your children will not be in their best interests. Wayne has not been a good husband to you, nor is he likely to become one. If he won’t get counseling, you can still benefit from discussing your problems with a professional on your own. Talk to your clergyperson, or ask your doctor to refer you to a counselor.

Dear Annie: My 31-year-old daughter, “Claire,” lives in California with my ex-wife. When Claire went through her own divorce, she told my wife and me that we were no longer permitted to talk to her ex or his parents. We took offense at this. We like her ex-husband very much and get along well with his parents. They always send us cards for the holidays and call just to chat.

Our daughter found out that we had spoken to them, and now she will no longer talk to us. She said we were rude not to take her wishes into consideration. We have tried to talk to her about this, but she won’t discuss it. She says she’s too hurt. Yet, she had a new boyfriend as soon as she left her husband and expected us to take a liking to him. We’ve never met him.

We feel Claire is in the wrong. She is acting like a child and should not be telling us what to do. How do we handle this? Hurt and Confused

Dear Hurt: Claire is wrong and should not be dictating whom you can be friends with. But being right isn’t going to help you. You can tell your immature daughter “tough luck” and risk an estrangement, hoping she’ll get over it eventually. Or you can stop speaking to the ex-husband and his parents. The choice is yours.

Dear Annie: “Embarrassed Daughter-in-Law” wrote complaining of her mother-in-law’s grammar. She said her children used to visit their grandmother for extended stays. It sounds as if Grandma really loves these children.

My wonderful mother also misspeaks in front of my kids. This past Easter, I zoomed in too closely when taking photos of the egg hunt because I disapproved of Mom’s clothing. When I looked at the pictures, I saw the leg of this wonderful woman who was helping her youngest grandchild find eggs. I don’t have any photos of the sweet bond between Grandma and grandchild because I was too busy trying to keep her outfit out of the photo. When my daughter is older, she will miss the beautiful sight of her grandma holding her hand. Will those clothes really matter then?

“Embarrassed” should be thankful Grandma has been around all these years giving her children lots of love. Thankful Mom is Still With Us

Dear Thankful: You are so right — and many readers wrote with similar sentiments.

• E-mail your questions to or write to: Annie’s Mailbox‚Ñ¢, P.O. Box 118190, Chicago, IL 60611.

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