DEAR ABBY: I have been married 21 years. I have a 17-year-old daughter and a 14-year-old son. For the past year, my family life has been a living hell.
My wife and daughter refer to me –- and all men –- as "stupid." At first, I took it as a joke, but it has escalated to the point where I can't open my mouth without hearing, "You men are so stupid!" If I ask what's for dinner, it's, "Don't be so stupid. Look for yourself." If I ask the time, it's, "Men are so stupid. You don't even know how to tell time!"
My wife and daughter enjoy their "jokes" and even do "high-fives" to congratulate themselves on their cleverness. I have asked them to stop, but they say I am "too sensitive." I started keeping a diary of their remarks. I was told I was stupid 35 times in four weeks!
I love my wife, but I can't stay in this marriage if they continue to insult me. It is poisoning my relationship with my children. Before this, my daughter was a good kid. She is now a little monster with my wife's blessing. When I try to discuss this with my son, he shrugs it off. I fear what this is doing to him.
I suggested that we get counseling. My wife said no and told my daughter, who then accused me of being the "oppressor."
Abby, what should I do? –- STUCK, BUT NOT STUPID
DEAR STUCK: Your wife's behavior is angry and hostile. Her treatment of you is disrespectful and not funny. Worse, she's modeling that behavior for her daughter and undermining your relationship with your son.
Since your wife refuses to go with you to counseling, you must go alone. I guarantee that when you do, you'll gain enough insight to possibly face a difficult decision.
Please let me hear from you in six months. I care.