DEAR ABBY: Two years ago, I divorced my abusive husband of 23 years. However, when he remarried I fell apart. Friends we have in common tell me they are happy, and his new wife is "good for him."
Thoughts of why he could change for someone else, but not for his own family (we had two sons) eat me up. It has been a year since his wedding, and I am still hurting as if I want him back. Please help me. -- CRYING IN CALIFORNIA
DEAR CRYING: Dry your tears and straighten up. Your husband and his new wife are still newlyweds. Leopards don't change their spots. His abuse of her may not have begun yet, because most abusers take some time to chisel away at their victim's self-esteem before the actual abuse starts happening. Also, these "common friends" may not be privy to what goes on behind closed doors. Most abused women blame themselves for it, and are so ashamed they keep it a secret.
Because you are still hurting and comparing yourself unfavorably to the "new" missus, it's time to talk to your doctor about a referral to a licensed psychotherapist who can talk this out with you. It will be money well spent. Consider it a shortcut to feeling better about yourself and the wise decision you made to get away from your abuser.