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by Abigail Van Buren

Man Is Threatened by Wife's Conversations With Her Ex

DEAR ABBY: My husband, "Daryl," gets furious every time I talk to my ex, my two oldest kids' father. The only thing we discuss is my kids' issues, but Daryl loses it completely. He starts calling me names and says I don't respect him even though I do. I keep assuring him that there's nothing inappropriate being talked about (he is present during all the conversations since we talk over the phone and live in different states).

I don't know what to do anymore. My kids are 14- and 13-year-old girls, who are going through all these crazy teenage issues, which obviously, as their parents, my ex and I have to sometimes talk about, and it's not even that many calls. I'm wondering if this is normal because I've only been in two relationships in my life. I'm 33, and I feel like a goofball for not knowing what to do. -- TOUGH SITUATION IN TEXAS

DEAR TOUGH SITUATION: No, it is not normal. Your husband's jealousy and insecurity are over the top. You have a responsibility as the mother of two teenage daughters to see them through this time of great transition, and if you feel their father is in a better position to provide input than your husband, you have a right to seek it.

It's time to talk about this with a licensed marriage and family therapist because Daryl's behavior is abusive. If it isn't stopped, it may escalate. Do it now because if the verbal abuse continues and your daughters witness it, they will grow up thinking it's normal behavior, and it will negatively affect their relationships with men later in life.

Read more in: Family & Parenting | Marriage & Divorce | Teens | Abuse