Good father, bad husband

Dear Annie: I have been married for more than 24 years, and we have three wonderful daughters. My husband has always been a wonderful father and an OK husband.

However, he has always treated me with a lot of disrespect, and over the years, I always brushed it off because he was such a great dad to my daughters and because he provided everything for me.

But as we all get older, he is treating our youngest daughter in the same way as he has treated me. This is upsetting her every day, and I have told him numerous times to stop, and he just continues to do this.

I am ready to leave him, which I have told him many times, but he doesn’t believe me.

Honestly, I can’t take it anymore. I have asked him to talk to someone, but he says I have the issue. I just can’t do this life anymore. Please help! — Torn About What To Do

Dear Torn: It is understandable that watching your husband mistreat your youngest daughter is going to be the last straw. Your mother bear instincts are in full force, and you can’t watch your husband hurt your daughter the way he has hurt you for all these years.

I question whether he was a great father, even if he was kind to the girls, because disrespecting their mother in front of them is not modeling good behavior and will lead them to think they deserve to be treated like that in a relationship. If he won’t go to counseling with you, then you should consult a therapist for yourself first.

Best of luck to you and your family. Hoping that your husband will be able to see how his behavior is so toxic and harmful.

Dear Annie: Every year, my husband and I, having no children of our own, travel several states away to spend a few days around Christmas with my sister and her husband and their grown children and grandchildren — a total of 13 to 15 in all.

Not everyone stays at her house, but we all gather there throughout the day and eat our meals there.

Even though the kids are pretty well-behaved and people help out with the cooking and cleaning, the hostess — my sister — gets very stressed out and generally ends up mad and upset.

Every year, I think I won’t go, because of the chaos. But I always end up going because I know the time is coming when this gathering won’t be possible.

How can I adjust my thinking so I can enjoy this event more? Or should I give myself permission to stay home? — Not Really Enjoying Christmas

Dear Not Really Enjoying Christmas: You’re not alone. Many people find the holidays stressful, and family feuds often develop. In your case, the person who is really not enjoying Christmas is the one who is hosting and doing all the work.

Instead of judging your sister’s mood, why not talk to her beforehand and see how you can help? Maybe if she has her sister by her side, her spirits will lift and she won’t end up angry and upset.

“How Can I Forgive My Cheating Partner?” is out now. Annie Lane’s second anthology — featuring favorite columns on marriage, infidelity, communication and reconciliation — is available as a paperback and e-book. Go to http://www.creatorspublishing.com for more information. Send questions for Annie Lane to dearannie@creators.com.


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