Baltimore Sun

Aggressive traits mean wife should end union

- By Amy Dickinson askamy@amydickins­on.com Twitter@askingamy

Dear Amy: My husband of just under two years does things behind my back that he knows would hurt me.

While we were dating, we promised exclusivit­y to each other.

I was true to him, and he continued to date approximat­ely 30 women for a year and a half.

He recently made arrangemen­ts to meet up with his former spouse while I was away at work.

I feed birds, squirrels and chipmunks in our backyard and love watching them. While I was not home, he took an air rifle and over the course of a few months’ time, killed every chipmunk.

One day last week, I was returning home from work and saw him running in the front yard with the air rifle, firing at a small rabbit. I admonished him because he could hit a child riding by on his bike, or a mom strolling with her baby.

We have done counseling before. He participat­es only until he is bored.

He told me that he is going to do what he wants to do, and he does not care how I feel. Please help.

— At My Wits End Wife

Dear End: My intention is not to alarm you, but you’ve asked for help, and I want to make sure that you have clarity about my opinion concerning the future of your marriage.

It needs to end.

Regular readers know how seldom I say this to married people: Get out.

Do not enter counseling with your husband. Don’t bargain, set limits or agree to attempts at reconcilia­tion.

Leave this relationsh­ip.

Please be careful while you do so. The way you present things, in addition to never being honest with you, this man seems quite dangerous. Furthermor­e, his aggression seems to be escalating.

People who kill small and defenseles­s animals (not for food) sometimes accelerate their violence.

To research ways to stay safe as you leave your relationsh­ip, the National Domestic Violence Hotline has lots of helpful and important informatio­n and tips on its website: thehotline.org. You can also call its helpline to speak with a counselor: 800-799-7233.

Dear Amy: “Mary,” “Tracy” and I have been dear friends for 15 years.

About three years ago, Mary married “Steve.” Steve is a lovely, generous man — when he is not drinking. When he drinks, he becomes very handsy with me, Tracy and any other woman in the area.

He kisses us on the lips, grabs us, hugs us, etc., all in front of Mary and our own partners.

We gently try to divert him or squirm away, but have never forcefully said, “That’s not appropriat­e.”

Recently we all spent a weekend away together, and he was terrible! Mary either chooses not to see what is happening or is truly clueless.

Tracy and I are worried that if we strongly say “stop” to him, or if we tell Mary how uncomforta­ble he makes us, then our friendship will be wounded. We imagine that she would support her husband and tell us that we are overreacti­ng.

At this point, we don’t want to spend any future weekends with them.

Do you have any suggestion­s of ways we could broach this topic without destroying a 15-year friendship?

— Hands Off

Dear Hands Off: It’s vital that you remember that “Mary” is not causing or creating this problem. “Steve” is the problem, and so you should deal directly with him.

Tell this lovely, generous man (when he is sober), “The last time we saw you, you kissed me. You behave this way whenever you’re drunk. I’m letting you know that if you ever touch me inappropri­ately again, I’m going to call you out.”

If this breaks wide open into an incident, and Mary witnesses this assault and then denies or defends him, understand that she may feel trapped in a situation quite out of her depth.

Urge her toward

Al-anon (Al-anon.org), and keep your distance from Steve, but not from her.

Dear Amy: “Casual?” wrote to you about her current relationsh­ip, and the fact that she is looking for “her person.” You encouraged her, telling her that “he’s out there.”

What about telling her that she already has “her person,” and that is: herself?!

— Disappoint­ed

Dear Disappoint­ed: A wonderful answer and absolutely true. Thank you.

Copyright 2022 by Amy Dickinson

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