The Punxsutawney Spirit

Husband is cruel behind closed doors


DEAR HARRIETTE: My husband is a Gemini, and boy does he act like one. He treats me so nicely when we are in public. But the moment we get home or out of earshot of other people, he is mean and nasty. It's kind of shocking how he behaves.

We just went to an event, and he was so sweet and kind to me and everyone else. I thought to myself how lovely our evening was. Then, when we were at home, he was watching TV, and he mentioned something to me about what he was watching. When I asked him to clarify what he meant, he yelled at me that he had already answered in the most venomous tone ever. At first I was taken aback. Then I realized there was no audience. He could go back to being his secretly mean self. I can't stand it. Whenever I point it out, he dismisses it, saying I am too sensitive. I don't want to live like this. — Two-Faced DEAR TWO-FACED: Do you call your husband out on his behavior when he treats you meanly? Do you stand up for yourself? Even though that may be hard to do, if you do not challenge him, he may not even realize that he is doing it. So speak up and ask him why he is talking to you in that tone. Tell him that it hurts your feelings when he is mean to you. Point out how he acts in public versus in private. Tell him how you want to be treated. Ask him if he is willing to attempt to be more thoughtful and kind to you.

If the answer is yes, help him to notice the times that he is harsh and disrespect­ful so he can learn to mend his ways. If he is unwilling to consider altering the ways that he interacts with youm you will have to make a tough decision. Is it worth it for you to stay in an emotionall­y abusive relationsh­ip? lists these as some signs of an abusive relationsh­ip to look out for: name-calling and derogatory nicknames, character assassinat­ion, yelling, patronizin­g, public embarrassm­ent, dismissive­ness, joking, belittling your personal appearance, putting down your interests and pushing your buttons. If your husband is doing any of these, what's your next step?

DEAR HARRIETTE: I'm passionate about the company that I work for. Unfortunat­ely, since 2020, I cannot deny the fact that the company has been struggling. I was offered a promotion recently. Before accepting the promotion, a friend of mine schooled me about the term "glass cliff" (a situation in which women are

promoted to higher positions during times of crisis or duress, or during a recession when the chance of failure is more likely). It dawned on me that I was offered a promotion at my company's lowest point. Should I take the promotion, or would it be safe to decline and not fall victim to another glass cliff situation? — Promoted During Crisis DEAR PROMOTED DURING

CRISIS: Not accepting the promotion does not put you in a position of greater job security. It may, instead, tell your team that you are unwilling to do all that you can to help save the company.

You are in an awkward situation. To make the best of it, be as communicat­ive as possible with your team leader. Get clarity on the objectives of the new position. What will be expected of you? How will success be measured? Map out a plan with your boss for how you and your team can win with you stepping into this role. Point out the volatility in the market and the precarious state of the company. Find out who will share responsibi­lity with you for success.

Harriette Cole is a lifestylis­t and founder of DREAMLEAPE­RS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to askharriet­te@harriettec­ or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndicatio­n, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.

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