Putting an end to domestic abuse
Dear Annie: I have been with my husband for more than 25 years, and I have allowed things to get out of hand. Over the years, he has done a lot for my daughter and her kids, and he has brought me used cars that I did not ask for but appreciate.
When we go on vacation, I pay my share. Whenever we talk, we get into arguments. He throws all of what he has done for me and my daughter and grandkids, and he makes it seem as if everything wrong is my fault.
I cannot do anything right in his eyes. All our problems are my fault, and he never listens to what I have to say and how I feel. This makes me feel like I don’t what to be with him anymore. He has put his hands on me before for saying something that he didn’t like, so now I don’t like to argue with him because I don’t know if he will do it again. I have told him that, and he will not respond to it. I don’t want to go on like this. — Life Is Too Short to Be Unhappy.
Dear Unhappy: I am very sorry that you are going through this. You are undoubtedly in an abusive relationship. Domestic abuse, also called “domestic violence” or “intimate partner violence,” occurs when one person bullies the other to maintain power and control. Abuse can be physical, sexual, emotional, economic or psychological.
Seek help from the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or https://www.thehotline.org, or visit your local YWCA. You are on the right path to a happy and fulfilled life just by the way you signed your letter. The intention is there; now you have to take action to reach to your goal of peace and happiness. Best of luck to you and your family.
Dear Annie: My husband and I have been married for many years. He is now in his 80s and should be chauffeured around rather than driving himself. He is adamant that he is a great driver and will drive till the day he drops dead. But he cannot feel his feet at all because of diabetes, and he has cataracts on both eyes.
He’s been told by one of his doctors that if he is hit from behind, his spine could literally internally decapitate his head due to his extremely advanced degenerative disc disease. He is in extreme pain constantly but refuses to give up his right to drive.
This man is a retired senior military officer and a retired surgeon. He has given orders his whole life and doesn’t know how to take any orders.
Please help me know what to do. I don’t want him to be responsible for someone else getting hurt, but I know he will be beyond angry if I initiate some process that ultimately takes his driving privileges away. I know I’m not the first wife who has had to deal with this. I just don’t know how. — Don’t Want to Hurt Someone Else
Dear Don’t Want to Hurt Someone Else: You are very wise to be concerned, and you are correct that you are certainly not the first person to have dealt with this, nor will you be the last. Here are some steps you can take:
— Have a conversation focusing on both your concerns and the positives.
–Ask a respected authority figure or an attorney to reinforce the message about not driving.
— Have a relative or close friend “borrow” the car.
— Hide or “lose” the car keys.
— Anonymously report your husband to the DMV.
— Disable or sell the car.
— Hide your own car and car keys.
Best of luck to you.
“Ask Me Anything: A Year of Advice From Dear Annie” is out now. Annie Lane’s debut book — featuring favorite columns on love, friendship, family and etiquette — is available as a paperback and e-book. Go to http://www.creatorspublishing.com for more information. Send questions for Annie Lane to email@example.com.