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by Abigail Van Buren

Past Abuse Causes Present Shame for Husband in Hiding

DEAR ABBY: A couple of years ago, I was arrested for domestic violence against my wife. We are still married, but since then, I have become antisocial.

I don't like to go to public gatherings where I know the friends we used to hang out with will be, and I rarely communicate with them. I am extremely embarrassed and feel they are judging me. What do I do? -- ANTISOCIAL IN OHIO

DEAR ANTISOCIAL: Stop hiding. You aren't "antisocial"; you are ashamed of what you did -- and that's a good thing. Many abusers lack that capacity, and because of it they are unable to change their behavior.

I assume that after your arrest, you received counseling and have been able to find outlets other than violence for your frustrations. If you have, let your friends know about it. True friends won't judge you -- and people who do are not friends.

Read more in: Abuse | Friends & Neighbors