DEAR ABBY: In the beginning of our marriage there was physical abuse and marital rape. I stayed anyway. Over the years we had two children. My husband, "Seth," and I don't communicate because he has refused to talk about any issues we have. During the last few years, my youngest son has also become physically abusive to me.
I tried to leave many times but failed until last December when, because I had a heart attack, I moved in with family. I did it for the sake of my health and my sanity.
Seth now wants to talk about our issues. He suggested that I come back home. He has several medical problems, so I was taking care of all the household chores and working two jobs. My children will not help with the chores unless I scream and yell for hours.
I no longer love my husband. He wants to romance me and try to make me love him again. He is also very controlling. He feels I "owe" him a chance to prove that he loves me and can change. Am I wrong for leaving and letting go? I'm very confused.
Letting go in Florida
DEAR LETTING GO: You owe this man absolutely nothing! If you allow Seth the chance to romance you into coming back to take care of him, you'll wind up exactly where you started.
Your son abuses you because that's what he saw his father doing - and you allowed it. If you stand your ground now, it will show your son that abuse is not to be tolerated. I hope you'll teach him that lesson because it is an important one for him to learn.
DEAR ABBY: Do you field more questions from unmarried couples living together than from married couples? I can only judge from what is printed.
Inquisitive in Virginia
DEAR INQUISITIVE: That's an interesting question. Frankly, I have never broken down the letters into categories like "married" or "cohabiting." Many people live together before marriage today, but eventually progress to formalizing their relationship. Others do not. Married or not, their relationship questions interest me, or I wouldn't print them.