June 18, 2011 in Features

Seek guidance; he’s being abusive

Kathy Mitchell/Marcy Sugar

Dear Annie: I’m so confused. I have been married for 15 years and have five kids. Our married life started out great, but for the past several years, it has been dwindling to the point where I don’t know if I want to stay.

My husband will tell me in the morning that he hates me, and by lunch, he is hugging and groping me and saying he loves me. I used to think he was bipolar, but now I’m not sure. Whatever the discussion, he is always right. He has a list of demands for me, ranging from how polite I must be to the way I sigh. He has threatened suicide, even doing so in front of the kids.

He calls me nasty names and tells me he can’t stand the sight of me and that I smell like a urinal. He will scream that I am stupid. He tells the kids not to listen to me. Last year, he almost convinced me that I was hallucinating and hearing voices. After eye and hearing exams, it turned out he was muttering under his breath.

I am tired of crying myself to sleep. It has started to affect my health. Defending myself only makes the situation escalate. The kids can hear us fighting, and for this, I am sorry.

I have no family, and friends have distanced themselves. I am so alone. I feel like I am not being a good mother. I have suggested counseling, but he doesn’t believe in it. When the anxiety attacks began to affect my everyday functioning, I started therapy, but it hasn’t helped. Unfortunately, my insurance doesn’t allow me to go to another therapist. What can I do? – Going Crazy

Dear Crazy: Regardless of your husband’s mental health issues, he is being abusive, damaging you emotionally and psychologically, and creating an unhealthy environment for your children. Please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline (thehotline.org) at 1 (800) 799-SAFE and ask for guidance.

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