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Off the rails since his Dad died

Beth wrote :

I have been married to the same man for 23 years. Both of his parents have passed on with his father being the most recent one to die. When that happened my husband changed or really seemed to go off the deep end. I suggested that he get help, but he thought that I was the crazy person.

Anyway our lives are falling apart and he got abusive towards me the other day, I have bruises on my arm and one on my back. He has gotten involved with a different type of crowd and he cames before anyone else in this family. He always tells me how much fun he has had with his friends but you know we never go out together and it really hurts me deep inside.

I don't know what to say or do, after a night of sex last night he didn't say anything nice to me at all today and took off to work without saying good-bye! I don't know what to do, I'm just about on the edge of ending my life but I can't because I have two kids. Please help me find my way to where I am suppose to go. Thank you. Please don't e-mail me because my kids get on the internet and read the mail.

Dear Beth ,

I can tell that you're desperate, Beth - but I'm not clear why. Are you frightened of losing him, or frightened that he'll hurt you or the kids? You need to be sure what concerns you most.

You mention that his parents both died; that might be nothing to do with it, or perhaps it made him wake up to a problem marriage. Are the problems really new - or have you been drifting for a while without realising 'till he got shook up? How did you get on with his folks?

These things matter, because you and he are seeing a very different marriage - and you need to understand what he's seeing.

But you also need help. Try and talk face-to-face with him. Not in bed, not when he's been drinking. But you must have this out with him. And stand your ground, for your sake, as well as the kids.

If he won't talk, think the unthinkable. One episode of abuse may be a loss of control that he genuinely regrest and it won't happen again ... But if it ever happens again, you and the kids are in danger.

So, First, be clear in your mind what's happening.

Second, talk. Then you'll see your way clear. If there's someone you can really trust - preferably outside the family - talk it over with them to help you think it through.

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