DEAR ABBY: My husband, "Rick," sometimes hits me and calls me names. It hurts me because he's my life, and I love him to death. When I try to tell friends about it, they don't believe me because Rick is a firefighter. They all say, "I don't think he's like that," and when I tell them he IS like that, they get mad at me.
Rick and I haven't been married long. I love him with all my heart and don't want to leave him, but I just don't know what I should do. Please help me. I am all alone in this, and I need some help. -- WOUNDED IN WEST VIRGINIA
DEAR WOUNDED: There is a name for people -- male and female -- who hit their spouses and call them names. It's ABUSER.
I don't know whether Rick has no conscience or no control. But what you must do, for your own safety, is pick up the phone and call the National Domestic Violence Hotline. The toll-free number is: (800) 799-7233.
I promise you that once you begin talking, the person on the other end of the line will believe you and will give you a referral to the help you so desperately need. Please do it now, before Rick really injures you, because it's only a matter of time until he does.