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ANNIE’S MAILBOX: Back from war, ‘Bill’ has problems

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar

Dear Annie: My husband, “Bill,” and I have been married for almost two years. Bill was in the U.S. Army and served in Iraq. When he got back, we were married, but he has totally changed.

This past year, all we seem to do is fight. Bill gets upset about everything I do and say. I can’t even mention any of his behavior without it leading to a fight. A year ago, he got drunk and accused me of sleeping with one of his friends. He yelled at me so loudly that the neighbors called the police.

I have tried suggesting we talk to a counselor, because nothing is helping us get along better, but he refuses. If he drinks, he treats me like dirt. When we are at a party, he’ll totally ignore me and spend all his time flirting with other women. I am tired of being treated this way, and I know the drinking is a huge part of it.

I am eight months pregnant and an emotional mess. I’ve told him that fighting is not healthy for the baby. I believe he has Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, but he says he doesn’t need any help. I don’t know how much longer I can last in this marriage. I feel like I’ve lost the man I fell in love with. Please tell me what to do.

Don’t Know Where To Get Help

Dear Don’t Know: It’s a shame Bill is unwilling to get help when he clearly needs it. He may be suffering from PTSD, or he may have developed an alcohol problem, or both. Whether or not he is willing to get help, however, you absolutely must. You can get information on PTSD through the Veterans Administration at We also recommend you contact Military OneSource ( at 800-342-9647. It is an excellent resource for service members, veterans and their families.

Dear Annie: Why do intelligent, educated people fail to practice the most basic rules of e-mail etiquette? Do they not realize how intrusive many practices have become?

One of the most flagrant abuses is to forward a message without removing the names and e-mail addresses of others. Another travesty is the chain e-mail that promises good luck if you forward it or, worse, predicts bad luck if you don’t. Does anyone actually believe them? And what about those that insist you demonstrate your affection for the sender by returning the message?

Please provide your readers with a refresher course in courtesy when sending personal e-mails. Thank you.

Shreveport, La.

Dear Shreveport: Whether dealing with e-mail, phone calls or visits, it is common courtesy not to be overly intrusive. That means asking whether someone wants to be on your mailing list for jokes, political rants, religious editorials and chain letters, and respecting the answer. It means deleting the e-mail addresses of others, along with any extraneous material, when forwarding something. When sending a personal e-mail, be friendly. Don’t type in all caps unless you are furious. And please do not send pornography.

E-mail your questions to, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 5777 W. Century Blvd., Ste. 700, Los Angeles, CA 90045.

Creators Syndicate