Dear Amy: I read your column every day and I love your frank and fair advice.
Hope you have some for me.
Last spring, as the pandemic began, my husband got drunk and angry, locked me in a room and pushed me to the ground several times. I escaped and called the police. I was 12 weeks pregnant at the time.
I stayed with my parents for a while, but I came back to reconcile myself with him. He is charged with a felony because I was pregnant, and I paid for his lawyer.
We now have a healthy baby boy and a 4 year old girl. Sometimes I want to forgive him, but sometimes I don’t. He is always rude and often disrespectful. He has a good job but spends his money on toys for himself. I also have a good job and pay for diapers, formula, school fees, etc.
He now has a second job to pay off debts resulting from poor financial choices, which means more household responsibilities for me while he takes on his second job.
I lose patience with his rudeness and dread having sex with him, which he often wants.
I need him to help me with our children, and they love him, but I don’t know how much I have left to give.
My own parents are divorced and I desperately don’t want that for my kids, but I’m sick of being a sex toy and a piggy bank.
There have been no other incidents of assault while intoxicated since last year. We’ve been in consultation, but I feel like his personality is exactly like that, and he’s very unlikely to change.
What should I do?
– troubled wife
Dear Troubled: I hope you find my answer both “frank and fair” and not too harsh.
I think the answer here is that you are looking closely at your children and wondering what future you are preparing them for.
As it is, you and your husband are demonstrating the following “family values” to them:
Your son will learn that men use and belittle wives, that husbands are rude and disrespectful to their wives, and fathers are uninvolved and unhelpful with their children.
Your daughter will learn that women stoically accept any disrespect and abuse someone else wants to inflict, that motherhood is a long chore of suffering and sacrifice, and if a husband is drunk enough when he assaults his wife, then the woman will pay for her lawyer.
Ask yourself: is divorce really worse than this?
Speaking of my personal experience as a child of divorce, when my unstable father left the family, it was emotionally painful, but it also provided much needed stability for my siblings and myself.
For our own hardworking mother, divorce meant outright liberation.
Dear Amy: We belong to a group of 10 friends, some of whom we have known for many years. We’ve created a focus group where we can discuss plans for dinner, travel, and birthday celebrations.
My husband and I are in the minority because we endorse a political party while the rest of our group believes the opposite.
Over the past year, with the change of presidents, it seems like we can’t discuss anything political.
Recently on our discussion group there were some reviews that we don’t agree with but don’t think is the forum for discussion.
How do we ask them not to bring up political criticism in our group discussion setting?
– Friends but not political friends
Dear friends: You could answer, “We hope to save these political discussions until we meet in person. In fact, we hope to avoid them altogether (insert laughing emoji). ”
Dear Amy: Great response to “Survive,” the woman who had a double mastectomy during COVID.
When I had the same thing, plus radiation and chemotherapy, the health workers kept warning me about “cancer PTSD,” a late response after treatment.
I pretty much ignored them.
But then I was hit with it, two months after finishing the treatment.
During treatment, sometimes you don’t have the luxury of feeling your feelings … it’s all about getting out of it and surviving.
It is a special condition that requires special understanding of mood swings, floating anger, and depression.
I’m surprised she wasn’t notified. It’s one thing, that’s for sure.
– Surviving companion
Dear Survivor, I hope “Surviving” finds the same compassion from its own healthcare team and other cancer survivors through a support group.
You can email Amy Dickinson at firstname.lastname@example.org or send a letter to Ask Amy, PO Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068.