Call police at first sign of physical abuse
Dear Annie: I am a teenager, but in a few years, I will be away at college. I am concerned, however, because Mom has a boyfriend with a major anger problem, and he throws tantrums and gets abusive.
Mom has been in this relationship for a few years, and I’m afraid when I leave he will do some serious damage and I won’t be there to protect her. She has been going to therapy, but it doesn’t seem to be helping. I love my mother very much and want the best for her. How can I persuade her to get away from this man? – Concerned Daughter
Dear Concerned: It is very difficult for some women to get out of an abusive relationship, and the longer they are involved, the more they believe they deserve to be treated poorly. It’s good that Mom is getting therapy. She obviously needs it, and we hope it will help her find a way out. We know you are worried about her, but you are not responsible for her choices. If you witness this man being physically abusive to your mother or if he should come after you, call the police immediately. You also can contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline (ndvh.org) at (800) 799-SAFE (800-799-7233) and ask if there is anything more you can do.
Dear Annie: Something unacceptable is happening with two different casual friends. One is a man whose wife is in a nursing home with dementia. The other is a woman whose husband is in a nursing home after a debilitating stroke. The spouses are “dating.”
The man has no children and is fairly low-key with his activities. The woman, however, is like a lovesick puppy. Her children are teenagers, and they seem uncomfortable with the situation. I know she is lonely, and I feel sorry for her, but frankly, I am embarrassed to be her friend. Another friend tried to talk to her about this, but she is too “in love” to listen to reason. I know I should MMOB and I am, but what is your opinion? Maybe I’m just playing by an old-fashioned rule book. – Momma Do-Rite
Dear Momma: As long as the husbands and wives are taking care of their nursing-home spouses and visiting often, we have no objection to their spending an evening out with a friend. We concur, however, that it is inappropriate for this couple to flaunt a love affair, especially since there are children involved. However, you are a “casual friend,” so you need to keep out of it.
Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar are longtime editors of the Ann Landers column; firstname.lastname@example.org.