DEAR ABBY: This is in response to your column, "Abused Wife Learns What Love Isn't." Similarly, after 15 years with an abusive woman, I told her I had to leave. She left me emotionally overwrought and filled with undirected anger. With the help of counseling, I also figured out what love isn't. Ladies: If you see yourself in this -- take warning:
LOVE ISN'T ...
-- Saying, "You don't know what you're talking about" when your husband says that he doesn't feel loved.
-- Constantly badgering your husband to get a better paying job, when he makes an ample salary ($90,000 a year) and enjoys his work.
-- Continuously referring to your husband as "old man," knowing he resents it, especially when he's athletic and youthful looking for his age (48).
-- Grabbing and throwing your husband's hand down when he reaches out to touch or hold you.
-- Belittling your husband before others, even in his presence.
-- Telling your husband that no other woman would want him.
-- Blatantly seeking expensive, tangible "trappings of influence" for status' sake, to the detriment of living within means.
-- Not knowing or taking interest in what your husband does at work, realizing his work means a lot to him.
-- Consciously not being home or at the airport to welcome your husband after a long trip.
-- Reading and annoyingly chewing ice in bed until husband falls asleep, and feigning sleep until after husband leaves for work.
-- Refusing to visit husband's relatives, while demanding frequent visits to your relatives. -- THE GOODBYE HUSBAND WHO FINALLY FOUND TRUE LOVE AND CONTENTMENT IN RESTON, VA.
DEAR GOODBYE HUSBAND: What a sad description of lonely coexistence -- I hesitate to call it a marriage. Fortunately, not all women are like the first one you married. Congratulations on having found true love and contentment the second time around.
DEAR ABBY: In response to the father who wrote regarding leaving his 4- and 2-year-olds home from the family cruise: I was that 4-year-old, 24 years ago. My patents took my brother and sister to Disneyland, and I stayed behind with both sets of grandparents.
I would like to tell that father to do as you suggested: Plan special times for the kids at home -- ice cream excursions, nature walks, kids' museums, children's theaters, craft hour or going out for dinner. Make it extra-special for them, so they can tell the older ones when they return.
Being the younger child has its advantages later on in life. I was lucky to have my mom and dad to myself once the other kids left for college. I became an "only child" for a few years, and I would not have traded that quality time for anything in the world.
I hope the parents do some creative planning and go on their trip and enjoy. -- ADJUSTED IN PORTLAND, ORE.
DEAR ADJUSTED: I'm printing your supportive letter for that father to see. There is nothing as reassuring as the voice of experience.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JEANNE, my beautiful, talented firstborn. You are loved.
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