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by Abigail Van Buren

Churchgoers in Casual Attire Get Reader's Dressing Down

DEAR ABBY: My 50th wedding anniversary is coming up in August and my children want to give us a grand party, but there is a problem: After 50 years of verbal, physical and mental abuse from my husband, I refuse to be a party to this hypocrisy. My husband, who is a retired professional man, is highly respected. However, we have not lived as man and wife for many years. He is an alcoholic, an adulterer, a wife-beater and a churchgoing hypocrite. He has ruined my life, and as a result, I have no use for him. I stayed with him over the years for the sake of the children when they were young, my religion (Catholic), and because of his threats.

We are both in our 70s now and we just tolerate each other. Never once has he shown any regret for his treatment of me and the children, who love us both but have no respect for their father. My children are not aware, as far as I know, of his adulterous womanizing over the years. Celebrating a life of hell is just more than I can take. What now? -- NO NAME, NO CITY

DEAR NO NAME: If your children are not aware of your husband's adulterous behavior, I see no reason to bring it up now. However, it would be impossible for them to have been unaware of the physical, verbal and emotional abuse you have suffered. Just tell them that under the circumstances, 50 years of the kind of marriage you have endured is nothing to celebrate, and ask them to please abide by your wishes.