Wife Whose Husband Fights Dirty May Need a Clean BreakDEAR ABBY: Because I had a promiscuous past prior to getting married, it was understandable that my husband and I have gone through some rough patches. It's been three years since our wedding, and he still can't let it go sometimes. A recent argument just escalated into his calling me a whore and stupid. We have a beautiful little girl together, so it's not like I can just up and go whenever I want.
When is enough, enough? Where is the point that I can give in to the thought that I can't do it anymore? Or is this just what marriage is? We have already done counseling, and it just made it worse. I feel really alone, so can you please give me some feedback? -- ROUGH PATCH
DEAR ROUGH PATCH: If your husband knew about your promiscuous past when he married you, he has no right to throw it at you when he's angry. That's fighting dirty, and it never resolves the issue at hand. You are neither a whore nor stupid, and this is NOT what marriage is supposed to be. Good husbands build their partner's self-esteem; they don't undercut it the way yours is doing, because it is abusive.
Since the counseling you had didn't work, you must now decide whether you need to try again with a different therapist or talk to a lawyer. If I were living like this, I know what I would do, but the only person who can decide what's best for you and your daughter is you.
In addition, it's obvious he doesn't wash his hands, as the sink and soap are bone-dry. I don't want him to come over anymore. My husband wants me to be more forgiving. We're both too embarrassed to say anything to him. Should we stop being his friend, or have a frank talk? He is oblivious and continues to contact us and wants to visit. We either put him off or try to arrange to meet him elsewhere. It is becoming unbearable. -- DISGUSTED IN LOUISIANA
DEAR DISGUSTED: It would be a shame to throw away a 30-year friendship without trying to save it. Could there be a physical problem that has caused this change in your longtime friend -- a bladder problem, or one with his eyesight?
You are all adults, and longtime friends should be able to speak frankly with each other. Because your husband is closer to him than you are, he's the one who needs to talk to him "man to man" and point out the fact that there is a problem and then ask what might be wrong.
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