In­no­cent man bears brunt of wife’s anger

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Dear Abby: I’m a 55-year-old guy stranded in a tough mar­riage sit­u­a­tion. My wife has had a se­ri­ous fall­ing-out with her fa­ther. Af­ter his wife of more than 50 years passed away, he im­me­di­ately took up with an old flame and dumped his fam­ily in fa­vor of his new lady’s fam­ily.

My wife now treats me like garbage. Ap­par­ently, “all men are dogs,” and if she passes away, I “ob­vi­ously al­ready have a girl lined up to take her place,” and, oh yeah, I plan to aban­don my chil­dren in fa­vor of the new woman’s fam­ily. I’m be­ing painted with a very broad brush, and it is de­stroy­ing our re­la­tion­ship.

My wife is an­gry and bit­ter all the time, and I feel aban­doned. I love her dearly and don’t know what to do next, although I am think­ing of punch­ing out her fa­ther. Any thoughts are ap­pre­ci­ated.

Stranded In Cal­i­for­nia Dear Stranded: Your wife is now an “or­phan.” She’s hurt, an­gry, and mis­di­rect­ing her anger at her fa­ther onto you. Of course it is un­fair to you. She needs coun­sel­ing NOW, be­fore she com­pounds her pain by de­stroy­ing her mar­riage to you. Be smart and in­sist upon it.

get­ting a boyfriend

Dear Abby: I’m a fifth-grader, and I’d like to know some­thing im­por­tant to girls my age. I want to know how to get a guy to be my boyfriend and the steps to get­ting him. It’s hard for me to get a boyfriend.

I know what you’re go­ing to say — I’m too young for boys. But if I am, I would like this in­for­ma­tion for fu­ture ref­er­ence. I have tried other things. Noth­ing worked, and ba­si­cally, you’re my last hope.

Plan­ning Ahead In Bay City, Texas Dear Plan­ning Ahead: OK, let’s re­view the ba­sics. Are you neat and clean in your ap­pear­ance? Are you fun to be around and liked by your class­mates of both gen­ders? Do you smile and say hello and show an in­ter­est?

Ba­si­cally, the qual­i­ties that at­tract other girls are the same ones that will make boys pay at­ten­tion. But there’s an im­por­tant point to keep in mind, and it’s that while you may be de­vel­op­ing an in­ter­est in boys, many of them may not be ma­ture enough to have de­vel­oped an in­ter­est in girls yet, so be pa­tient. Fo­cus on your stud­ies, be­come in­volved in ac­tiv­i­ties you en­joy, and things will hap­pen nat­u­rally.

shar­ing de­ci­sions

Dear Abby: My wife and I have been mar­ried 13 years and have two young sons. She’s a free spirit. She likes to in­de­pen­dently make a lot of de­ci­sions that af­fect us both. This has led to ar­gu­ments about what should or should not be de­cided on to­gether.

We have had years of coun­sel­ing with mul­ti­ple pro­fes­sion­als. Frankly, I feel she ig­nores my opin­ions and con­cerns if I don’t agree with her po­si­tion on an is­sue. She will com­mit to a com­pro­mise, then turn around and do what she wants any­way.

Re­cently, she brought up hav­ing per­ma­nent eye­brow makeup done on an in­ter­na­tional trip she was tak­ing with­out me. I asked her to wait un­til she re­turned so we could dis­cuss it fur­ther be­fore she jumped into it. De­spite promis­ing not to, she did it any­way, and I think it looks aw­ful.

I’m left feel­ing my trust in her has been fur­ther dam­aged and I have a re­minder of it star­ing me in the face on a daily ba­sis. How can I trust her in the fu­ture? How can I get past look­ing at her ugly choice ev­ery day?

Dis­gusted In Ari­zona Dear Dis­gusted: If “years of coun­sel­ing” haven’t worked for the two of you, I think it’s fair to con­clude that you and your wife have a trou­bled mar­riage. While some might say that it’s your wife’s face and what she puts on it is her busi­ness, if a daily re­minder of her bro­ken prom­ise to you is a deal-breaker, it may be time to con­sider whether you can for­give her or if it would be in ev­ery­one’s best in­ter­ests to go your sep­a­rate ways. In mar­riage there is sup­posed to be com­pro­mise. If you are stay­ing be­cause of your sons, take into con­sid­er­a­tion that be­cause your re­la­tion­ship with your wife is dys­func­tional, the ten­sion your boys are ex­posed to on a daily ba­sis is not healthy.

writ­ing let­ters

To or­der “How to Write Let­ters for All Oc­ca­sions,” send your name and mail­ing ad­dress, plus check or money or­der for $7 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby — Let­ter Book­let, P.O. Box 447, Mount Mor­ris, IL 61054-0447. Ship­ping and han­dling are in­cluded in the price. (Dear Abby is writ­ten

by Jeanne Phillips)

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