An abused wife seeks to avoid divorce

Dear Amy:

Last spring as the pandemic began my husband got drunk and angry, and locked me in a room and shoved me to the ground several times. I escaped and called the police. I was 12 weeks pregnant at the time.

I stayed with my parents for a while but moved back in to reconcile with him.

He’s being charged with a felony because I was pregnant, and I paid for his lawyer.

We now have a healthy baby boy, and also a 4-year-old daughter.

Sometimes I want to forgive him, but sometimes I don’t.

He is still rude and often disrespectful. He has a good job but spends his money on toys for himself.

I have a good job too, and pay for diapers, formula, tuition, etc., on my own.

I need him to help with our kids, and they love him, but I’m not sure how much I have left to give.

What should I do?

— Troubled Wife

Dear Troubled:

As things currently are, you and your husband are demonstrating the following “family values” to them:

Your son will learn that men use and demean women, that husbands are rude and disrespectful toward their wives, and that fathers are uninvolved and unhelpful with their children.

Your daughter will learn that women stoically accept whatever disrespect and abuse someone else wants to dole out, that motherhood is a long slog of suffering and sacrifice, and if a husband is drunk enough when he assaults his wife, then the wife will pay for his lawyer.

Ask yourself: Is divorce really worse than that?

Speaking from personal experience as a child of divorce, when my volatile father left the family, it was emotionally painful, but it also provided much-needed stability for my siblings and me.

For our own hard-working mother, divorce meant outright liberation.

Dear Amy: We belong to a group of 10 friends, some of whom we have known for many years. We created a group-chat where we can discuss plans for dinner, trips and birthday celebrations.

My husband and I are in the minority, as we subscribe to one political party while the remainder of our group believes in the opposite.

In the last year with the change in presidents, it seems we cannot discuss anything political.

Recently, on our group-chat, criticisms are being made that we do not agree with but do not believe this is the platform for the discussion.

How do we ask them not to bring up political criticisms in our group-chat setting?

– Friends but not Political Friends

Dear Friends: You could respond: “We’re hoping to save these political discussions until we are getting together in-person. Actually, we’re hoping to avoid them altogether (insert laughing emoji).”

Dear Amy: Great answer to “Surviving,” the woman who had a double mastectomy during COVID.

When I had the same, plus radiation and chemo, the healthcare staff kept warning me about “cancer PTSD,” a delayed response after treatment.

I pretty much ignored them.

But then I got whacked with it, two months after treatment ended.

During treatment you sometimes do not have the luxury of feeling your feelings … it’s about getting by and surviving.

It’s a peculiar condition, and requires a special understanding of mood swings, free-floating anger, and depression.

I’m surprised she was not warned about it. It’s a thing, for sure.

– Fellow Survivor

Dear Survivor: I hope that “Surviving” finds similar compassion from her own healthcare team and fellow cancer survivors through a support group.