DEAR ABBY: Two different professional counselors have told me my husband is emotionally abusive. I just don't see it.
In 25 years of marriage, we've hardly ever fought. The reason? I always let him have his way to avoid conflict. He makes everything out to be "my fault," and I've always assumed that he's right.
Sometimes I'm afraid to have a confrontation with him, but it's not because he has ever hit me. He says he loves me and I believe him. Does this sound like emotional abuse to you, Abby? I would be grateful for your opinion. -- SAD AND CONFUSED IN SAN PEDRO, CALIF.
DEAR SAD AND CONFUSED: What you describe is emotional abuse on your husband's part and lack of self-esteem on yours. Your coping method has been refusal to defend yourself -- or accepting undeserved blame.
I hate to put you on the spot, but I'm willing to bet you have done many things RIGHT during the marriage, for which you deserved to be praised. Ask yourself, "Why did my husband keep silent?"
DEAR ABBY: My purse was stolen yesterday. I lost my money, three credit cards and my checkbook. I immediately called the bank and credit card companies to report what happened. However, at 2 o'clock this morning, I woke up in a panic. I realized that whoever has my checkbook now knows my driver's license and Social Security numbers! My bank had recommended I use two-part checks because they no longer return canceled checks.
Abby, please warn your readers that after they have written their two-part check, to remove the top one from the checkbook before adding their driver's license and Social Security numbers. I now feel I am a target for identity fraud. -- FEELING VULNERABLE IN KNOXVILLE
DEAR FEELING VULNERABLE: I'm pleased to pass along your important warning. You're right; you are at risk. Hold a good thought, but in addition to notifying your bank and credit card companies, inform the credit bureaus about your loss -- and keep a close check on your monthly bank and credit card statements in case you are also a victim of identity theft. You have my sympathy.
DEAR ABBY: This is in response to "Ready to Go It Alone in Mississippi," from the bride-to-be who had no brothers or male family members to walk her down the aisle.
When my wife and I were married, we had a situation in which her father would be present at our wedding, but we didn't want him to give her away.
Understanding that together we were stepping into our new married life, we decided that we would escort each other down the aisle.
Waiting for my bride to emerge near the back of the church, and seeing her more beautiful than any woman I had ever dreamed of, took my breath away. We enjoyed a few quiet moments together as I caught my breath, wiped away my tears, and told my precious love how beautiful she was. Then we walked arm in arm down the aisle, and we haven't looked back since! -- STILL ARM IN ARM IN MISSOURI
DEAR ARM IN ARM: May you always be as happy as you were that memorable day.
Good advice for everyone -- teens to seniors -- is in "The Anger in All of Us and How to Deal With It." To order, send a business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $5 (U.S. funds only) to: Dear Abby, Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)
4520 Main St., Kansas City, Mo. 64111; (816) 932-6600