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by Abigail Van Buren

Freedom From Controlling Wife Is Worth the Price of Divorce

DEAR ABBY: Over the years you have published letters about the hard work done by wives who stayed at home and advised that husbands should share some of the load.

I am a male. When I was married I got up with the kids, made breakfast, packed their lunches, cleaned the kitchen and left for work. I did 90 percent of the grocery shopping and prepared dinner four or five nights a week. On weekends, I cut the grass, trimmed shrubs and repaired whatever needed fixing. I took care of the cars and found time to have fun with the kids.

My wife liked late-night TV and was too tired to get up in the morning. She also loved the morning talk shows and shopping. She did laundry, but I paid for a cleaning lady because vacuuming hurt her back.

When I resisted her controlling ways, she would become violent. She was jealous, dependent, possessive and angry. After 29 years, I finally decided to get a life. She got the house, the money, the anger and the dog. And me? I got the happiness! -- FREE MAN IN FLORIDA

DEAR FREE MAN: It is no longer shocking to hear about long marriages being dissolved. In your case, while the financial penalty may be sizable, it appears to have been worth it. When a relationship becomes one-sided and counseling can't resolve the conflicts, divorce is the answer.

Because of the years of domestic abuse you endured, I hope you will consider counseling so your future relationships will not be adversely affected by your long, unhappy marriage.