DEAR ABBY: You had a letter in your column concerning a husband who didn't speak to his wife for three months because she told him that she felt he was being too harsh with their son. He also was punishing her by refusing to have sex with her.
I hope you told his wife to deal with this behavior immediately, because it will not get better by itself. It will only get worse. If it isn't stopped now, 25 or more years down the road she will still be a victim of this childishness -- and it also will have an effect on the children.
They should get counseling. If she ignores this behavior, she'll become more of a doormat and look back at 40 years of misery. She'll have no self-confidence left and will be emotionally damaged forever. I know. -- BEEN THERE FOR 47 YEARS IN PITTSBURGH
DEAR BEEN THERE: I advised the woman, who signed herself "Confused in Pennsylvania," that she should first try to discuss the cause of their "misunderstanding" with her husband, and if necessary, seek joint marriage counseling to resolve their problem. I also told her that if her husband refused to go, she should go without him in order to repair her self-esteem.
Another reader offered some insight into the husband's punitive and selfish behavior. This reader said she would not be at all surprised if the husband was involved with another woman, and was using his wife's criticism as an excuse to feign anger and avoid having sexual relations with her, while enjoying her cooking services, laundry services and frantic efforts at reconciliation. Now, isn't that food for thought?