DEAR ABBY: I have known "Dean" for 10 years. We have been living together for two. Since the beginning, he has struggled with depression, anxiety and anger issues. Occasionally he has explosive episodes where he'll throw things and punch or kick inanimate objects.
Recently things escalated. He was angry with himself after getting angry with me for disturbing his "process" while making dinner, and he threw a potted plant across the room.
I'm not an idiot. I know these are serious issues. Every friend or family member of mine who knows him believes he's a good guy deep down. But they all tell me to leave him. I talked with him after the incident. He called a therapist, set up an appointment and has promised he won't drink anymore.
I'm struggling with the judgment I'm feeling from my friends and family. Dean is a man I see a future with, and I don't want to give him up when he's finally seeking treatment. My friends are concerned about me getting hurt, either in the crossfire or when I try to stop him from hurting himself. Am I an idiot for not walking away? -- NOT READY TO WALK
DEAR NOT READY: If all your family and friends are worried about your physical safety, for your own sake, you may have to stop trying to save Dean and concentrate on yourself for a while.
He may have many fine qualities, and the fact that he is willing to seek help for his explosive temper says a lot for him. That's why I'm suggesting you and Dean pay a visit to his therapist together and ask whether it would be better if you live apart until he learns to recognize and manage his "triggers." It may give him the incentive to work harder on his problems -- because it appears he has more than a few to deal with.Read more in: Health & Safety | Mental Health | Love & Dating