DEAR ABBY: Over the past several years I have fallen out of love with my wife. We're now at a point where all we do is cohabitate for the sake of the children. She often says she wants nothing to do with the kids and treats me as below human. She calls me at work repeatedly, then hangs up on me if I don't agree or give her the answer she wants. I finally had enough and told her I can no longer live like this.
She's now saying she has "seen the error of her ways" and wants to change. I don't know if I believe her or even care at this point. I have been so beaten down I just go through the motions. Part of me would like to see who else is out there for me, but then my wife cries and says she has "nowhere to go" and that I'd be putting the mother of my children "out on the street." She doesn't work because she can't keep a job. (Something always comes up that forces her to walk out.) Please help me. I am beside myself and don't know what to do. -- AT A CROSSROADS IN COLORADO
DEAR AT A CROSSROADS: Try marital counseling for your children's sake, to determine whether your wife is capable of changing and whether your marriage can be salvaged.
If the answer is no, consult an attorney who specializes in family law, and when you do, seek custody of your children. If your wife says she wants nothing to do with them now, after a divorce her attitude isn't likely to improve. They will need a caring, supportive parent close to them. If your wife is as you have described, she appears to be more interested in a meal ticket than a partner, and you deserve better.