DEAR ABBY: My husband and I have been together for eight years, married for seven. During the last five years, he has picked fights with me. He tells me I'm worthless, that he doesn't care if we have sex or not because he can get it someplace else, and that I'm stupid.
I have been depressed for nearly six years. I want to get on anti-depressants, but my husband doesn't believe in them and doesn't want me on them. I cry myself to sleep at night and have even started having nightmares. I went through this when I was young, after my mom moved out. I know what depression is, but I can't convince my husband that I need the medicine.
During our last fight, he told me the only reason he ever said he was sorry and I'm still around is because he wants me here so he can have the kids around all the time, and because it's convenient. He apologized later, but I'm left wondering if he said it only to keep me around waiting on him hand and foot.
Please help me. My husband doesn't believe in counseling. –- BEATEN DOWN IN OKLAHOMA
DEAR BEATEN DOWN: Since when do you need anyone's permission to talk to a doctor? Please do so right away to discuss your long history of depression. While you are there, mention the fact that your husband is verbally abusive and ask for a referral to a licensed marriage counselor. Should your verbally abusive spouse refuse to go with you, go without him. Your mental heath must come first. Once you start feeling better about yourself, you'll be better able to deal with your husband.
P.S. If your physician feels you should be on medication, then what your husband thinks or says about it should be of no consequence. Take your cues from your doctor.