DEAR ABBY: My husband has always had anger issues. Recently, they have progressed from targeting inanimate objects to targeting me.
A few weeks ago, when he got upset, he punched the navigation screen in my car out. Then he proceeded to grab my hair and slammed my head into the car window (it didn't break, but my head hurt for more than a week).
He apologized later, but I can't forgive him. Maybe I never will. What's worse, I haven't been able to bring myself to leave and don't really know how to. Is this behavior a deal breaker? -- STUCK IN MINNESOTA
DEAR STUCK: Yes, this is absolutely a deal breaker. Do not minimize what he did to you. I'm sorry you didn't go to the emergency room after it happened.
Each time your husband attacks will be worse -- increasingly so -- until he maims or kills you. For your safety you must get out of there, and the sooner the better. For directions on how to safely make your exit, contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline. The toll-free phone number to call is 800-799-7233 or visit thehotline.org and a counselor there will direct you.
DEAR ABBY: My 5-year-old daughter, "Maude," is afraid of large dogs. In the past, my husband has publicly scolded her when she cowered away from them.
A friend of our family has a dog that Maude is especially hesitant around, and my daughter recently confided that she no longer wants to go over to this friend's house because of it. She made me promise not to tell her father why. When I told him privately about our conversation, he rolled his eyes and accused our daughter of having a "weak" mentality. Is he being unreasonable or is it just me? -- PHRUSTRATED IN PHILLY
DEAR PHRUSTRATED: Your daughter doesn't have a "weak mentality." She's afraid of dogs, and possibly with good reason. Find an animal rescue organization or shelter that encourages the public to spend time socializing with the dogs and cats. It may help to get her past her aversion. It has helped other children, and it's also good for the animals. Give it a try and let me know what happens.
DEAR ABBY: I am a 49-year-old divorcee. A younger man (31) at work is showing an interest in me. We have talked several times about seeing each other outside of work. Also he is African American. I would like to go out with him, but I'm not sure how my family and friends would react. What do you think? -- BETWIXT AND BETWEEN
DEAR BETWIXT: What are you concerned about? Is it that you would be dating a younger man, one of a different race or that he's a co-worker? If it's the latter, and things don't work out, it could be dicey. However, if at this stage of your life you still need approval from friends and family about dating someone you like, it appears you are not ready for a relationship.
TO MY MUSLIM READERS: A happy Eid-al-Fitr, one and all!
For everything you need to know about wedding planning, order "How to Have a Lovely Wedding." Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Wedding Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)