Los Angeles Times

It’s time to leave marriage

- Email questions to Amy Dickinson at askamy@amydickins­on.com.

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. I stumbled on his “rating” spreadshee­t after we were living together.

He recently made arrangemen­ts to meet up with his former spouse while I was safely 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.

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 about that. 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:

Your marriage 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.

To research ways to stay safe as you leave your relationsh­ip, the National Domestic Violence Hotline has helpful informatio­n and tips on its website: thehotline .org. You can also 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 gets very handsy with me, Tracy or any other woman in the area.

He kisses us on the lips, hugs us, etc., 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 clueless.

Tracy and I are worried that if we strongly say “stop” to him, or if we sit down with Mary and tell her how uncomforta­ble he makes us, then our friendship will be wounded, if not destroyed.

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 our friendship?

Hands Off

Dear Hands Off: Mary is not causing or creating this problem. Steve is the problem, so you should deal directly with him.

Tell him, “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 will call you out.”

Mary may feel trapped in a situation quite out of her depth. Urge her toward Alanon (al-anon.org) and keep your distance from Steve but not from her.

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