DEAR ABBY: I am a 48-year-old woman married almost 28 years. The last 12 have not been good. In 1984, my husband was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, and a drug was prescribed to control his blood sugar. His doctor urged him to maintain a healthy diet and to exercise. He has not done well with his disease -- and continues to smoke.
Three months ago, I found out that he stopped taking his medication. This has led him to be a more volatile person than he already was. He's smashed furniture and broken things. My husband has never hit me or our two daughters, but he has thrown things in my direction. When he flies into a rage, he is terrifying.
Our girls are now 21 and 18. The older one is being married this summer, and we are busy planning the wedding. Because of our current financial situation, I don't think we can give her the wedding of her dreams, but my husband promised her $10,000. Abby, I honestly don't know where it's going to come from because I recently discovered he has accrued credit card debt to the tune of $75,000. I cannot begin to tell you how stressed I am over all this.
My spouse does not seem to be worried about any of it, and I am at a loss. I'm not working right now, but intend to find a job to help us get out of debt. I know wedding vows say "in sickness and in health," but what if one partner is not taking care of himself?
I am trying to decide whether it would be wise for me to move out of state and live with my mother, and let my husband try to straighten out his life.
I'll be honest. It's been a long time since I've been touched by a man. My husband is impotent and won't seek help for this, either. I have repeatedly begged him to attend a men's diabetic support group, but he refuses.
I'd like a nice companion with whom to walk through life, but the mere thought makes me feel guilty. Thanks for letting me unburden myself. These secrets have been with me for too long. -- WANTS A LIFE IN VIRGINIA
DEAR WANTS A LIFE: As sad as it is, your husband appears to have decided not to get the help he so desperately needs. You should tell his doctor about his temper and that he has stopped taking his medication. His life could depend on it.
Next, tell your daughter the financial facts of life about her wedding plans. She needs to know the truth now so she can realistically plan her budget.
Then talk to a lawyer about protecting yourself from the consequences of your husband's financial irresponsibility.
I see nothing wrong with going to your mother's to regroup and to get some T.L.C. while you plan how you're going to spend the rest of your life. Counseling will help. You are overdue.