DEAR ABBY: Would you please print the signs of a mental abuser? My husband is like night and day. There's no in-between. He curses at me, calls me names, tells me I'm stupid and, when he raises his hand palm outward, it's my sign to shut up.
I have to leave notes about where I am, what time I'll be home, and if I'm a minute late, I'm in for it big time. When I try to stand up for myself he tells me I'm a b---- or "too sensitive." He also tells me what to wear.
Why on earth would I still love this guy? Please print the signs because I know a lot of other women in this situation. -- BEATEN DOWN IN FLORIDA
DEAR BEATEN DOWN: By printing your letter I HAVE printed the signs of a mental/emotional abuser. Your husband's behavior is classic, and I don't know why you would still love him. Women stay with men like your husband because they don't think they deserve better, or because they are financially dependent. "Love" has nothing to do with it.
Because verbal and emotional abuse can escalate into physical abuse, I'm printing the toll-free number of the National Domestic Violence Hotline. It's (800) 799-7233.