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by Abigail Van Buren

Shopping Raises Her Spirits but Drowns Woman in Debt

DEAR ABBY: My husband doesn't support anything I do anymore. He thinks I am always wrong, no matter what the situation is. He never takes my part in any circumstance. He took the neighbors' part after an argument that led to me calling the police. He told the neighbors that I was wrong to do it. He has made me look like a fool to the whole neighborhood.

He is always telling me what to do. I never get my way -- it is always his way or no way. I am thinking about leaving him, but I have nowhere to go. I have no job and no place to stay. We have a child together, so I have to provide for him, too. Do you think I have grounds to leave, or should I try to work things out? -- BEATEN DOWN IN COLUMBUS, OHIO

DEAR BEATEN DOWN: Make a list of your husband's bank account numbers, Social Security number, driver's license number and his assets. Get a job and start banking your wages in your name only. Then offer your husband the option of marriage counseling.

If he refuses, point out that it would be cheaper for him than alimony. If he still refuses, please consider some sessions with a counselor to figure out why you have tolerated living with someone like him for so long.

And by the way, your husband is required by law to support his child. An attorney can advise you about whether you have "grounds" to end the marriage.