Dear Abby: I’ve been with my husband for eight years, married for one. Before our marriage, it was just the two of us doing everything together. He has a strong distrust of people, and doesn’t have any friends. We moved to a bigger city where I found a better job and made new friends. I go out with them occasionally, but when I do, he is very rude and snide to me. When I ask him why he’s mad if I go out with my friends, he says, “It’s always been me and you, no one else.” We fight every time I go out. I’m tired of all of it. Do you have advice for me? — Sick of Explaining
Dear Sick: Yes. Recognize that you married an antisocial, deeply insecure and verbally abusive man. He views any relationship you have with someone other than him as a threat, so he is punishing you for it. Also, recognize that his anger and his need to control you will only escalate. You may be “sick of explaining,” but your husband is sick, period. I’m advising you to make a discreet call to the National Domestic Violence Hotline (800-799-7233) because, at some point, you may need a safe escape plan.
Dear Abby: I have been living with my boyfriend, a stalwart and loving partner, for seven years. He proposed recently and, of course, I said yes! My brother lives in a large city, and because I had attended their church, I asked him if we could be married there. Now he and his wife need to talk to us in person to assure the ministers that my fiance and I are “evenly yoked” and willing to make a public proclamation of our faith.
My fiance is not religious. He is willing to do whatever it takes to make me happy and says he’s willing to “take the hit” for me, but I can’t stand the idea of seeing him uncomfortable on a day that should be a happy one. How can I back out of this situation without alienating my brother, who is the only immediate family I have left? — Cringing in Colorado
Dear Cringing: Thank your brother and his wife WARMLY for their willingness to help you and your fiance, but explain that the two of you feel a smaller wedding would be more appropriate, so you have decided to elope. Many couples do this, and it shouldn’t result in a family feud.
Dear Abby: This is the time of year when the leaves begin to change into their fall colors. It is also when the media refers to the people who come to look at those colorful leaves as “leaf peepers.”
I don’t know how the term came about, but trust me, no one is walking around peeping like baby chicks. The correct term is “leaf PEEKERS.” A teacher I once had explained it to our class this way: “This is the time of year when the tourists arrive to take a peek at our leaves when the colors are at their peak.” Just wanted to share, Abby. — Jay in Bennington, Vt
Dear Jay: Live and learn. Thank you for explaining it to this dumb cluck.