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by Abigail Van Buren

Man Teases Wife About Her Poor Eyesight

DEAR ABBY: I am at my wits' end with my husband. I have a vision impairment as a result of ocular cancer, and he refuses to stop making fun of me about it. He teases me constantly about being blind, about not being able to read, and about how bad my eyes are.

My eyes ARE very bad, some days much worse than others, but I'm not totally blind. And, Abby, I can read -- just not the way I used to. When I tell him it hurts my feelings, he either gets angry at me for being "too sensitive" or brushes it off because he's "just being honest."

He is very religious, and I have thought about reaching out to his pastor about this because it bothers me so much, but I'm agnostic and don't have a relationship with him. It hurts me, but it's almost worse because our daughter watches it, and I don't want her to think it's OK for her daddy to bully me like this. -- CHALLENGED IN TENNESSEE

DEAR CHALLENGED: You are not too sensitive, and your husband is not just being honest! He may be punishing you because you had the nerve to get ocular cancer, or he may simply have a sadistic streak. This is not how good Christians behave; it is how hypocrites do.

That you are an agnostic -- many intelligent and pious individuals are, by the way -- should not stop you from having a conversation with your husband's pastor. However, even if the pastor were to craft a sermon on the subject, I doubt it would change your husband's behavior. If you are going to continue in this marriage, you must find a way to change the way you react to the mistreatment you are receiving. Perhaps once he finds he can't get the reaction he's looking for, he will stop.

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