Dear Annie: I love my husband, but I don’t like him anymore. He is disrespectful to me because I am overweight, and he has been after me for years to lose the extra pounds. He uses filthy language when he speaks to me and says it’s OK because I am disrespecting him by not losing weight.
I’m 58 years old, have back problems, wear a size 8 and could stand to lose a good 15 pounds. I am an emotional eater. I lose the weight and then gain it back. But he acts as if I am 50 pounds overweight. Meanwhile, he is tall, thin, has a small beer belly and takes medication for his high cholesterol. My cholesterol is fine.
I’ve asked him to go with me for counseling, but he won’t. I went alone years ago, but don’t see anything changing if he won’t go. This is so childish. He is so hateful of anyone who is overweight. I can’t take it anymore. I’m getting more depressed and have been seriously thinking of divorce. I want to leave and never come back. Any suggestions?
— Any Name in Any City
Dear Any Name: Your husband has become a bully and a verbal abuser. If he has an ounce of sense, he would know that this is not an effective way to get you (or anyone) to change your behavior. It’s simply a way for him to vent, and you are the target of his frustrations. Tell your husband you are ready to walk and that counseling may be the last chance the two of you have to work things out. If he still refuses, talk to a counselor on your own and figure out what you want from your marriage and whether it’s too late to save it.
Dear Annie: I have been dear friends with “Nancy” for 10 years. I am worried about her mental health.
Nancy has had many issues with depression. But in the past three months, her mother died unexpectedly, and then her mother’s house burned down. Her brother and stepfather were still living there. They are now living in Nancy’s tiny apartment. Her brother is a drug addict with a history of violent behavior.
All of this is taking a toll on her, and I can easily see her slipping back into depression. Can you tell me of any free or low-cost places where she can go? She has no insurance and barely makes ends meet.
— Concerned Friend in Kentucky
Dear Friend: We’ve printed this list before, but it bears repeating: Free and low-cost help is available through local churches, graduate school counseling departments, medical school psychology departments, United Way, the YMCA, YWCA, the Samaritan Institute (samaritaninstitute.org), NAMI (nami.org), and through support groups such as the Depression and Bipolar Alliance (dbsalliance.org) and the Abraham Low Self-Help Systems (lowselfhelpsystems.org).
Dear Annie: As a breast cancer advocate, as well as being a stage IV breast cancer patient, I am concerned about the letter from “Torn Sister,” who says her older sister, “Johanna,” is using a breast cancer diagnosis to manipulate her family into buying her things.
Receiving a diagnosis of a serious breast cancer, such as inflammatory breast cancer, is quite naturally upsetting. But expecting large sums of money from family members is unreasonable and something I’ve never heard of a cancer patient doing. Frankly, I wonder whether “Johanna” actually has cancer. I would not take her word for it. “Torn” could offer to go with her to an appointment with her oncologist or to a chemotherapy treatment.
Most of us with a serious cancer diagnosis hope for love from our families, but not money.
Dear Florida: Thank you for writing and for giving us the opportunity to mention that October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Readers, to find a screening site near you, go to nbcam.org.
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 3rd Street, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254. To find out more about Annie’s Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
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