DEAR ABBY: I have been married to "Roman" for 13 years. He has always been a man of few words who didn't initiate much on his own, so I stepped up to bat and did everything. I took over all aspects of our married life -- from bill paying to home maintenance to romance. He would tell me how grateful he was to me for doing it.
His adult daughters from a previous marriage have always been cold to me, and I recently found out why. It turns out Roman made up horrible, untrue stories behind my back. He painted himself as the victim of abuse! His daughters staged an "intervention" to save their dad, and Roman went along with them. He cleared out our bank accounts, hid money and assets and filed for divorce. I was stunned.
Abby, he went along with the charade for a week -- until his guilt got the better of him, and he admitted he had made it all up. He claims he doesn't want to divorce me after all. He said he made up the stories to get his daughters' attention.
Roman and I are now going through counseling, and I am assuming responsibility for my part in this mess. He harbors strong resentment toward me and resorted to passive-aggressive revenge. We're both doing our best to establish forthright, honest and open lines of communication.
The problem is his daughters still believe the lies. They hate me and won't speak to their father unless he divorces me. I'm not sure what to do. Roman has lost his family and he may lose me, too. The damage is so widespread I don't know what can be regained. Have you any advice for me? -- OLDER, WISER AND HEARTBROKEN
DEAR OLDER, WISER AND HEARTBROKEN: Your letter made me furious. It proves that with your husband no good deed goes unpunished. Had you not taken on the functions your husband avoided, your credit would be shot, your house would be a wreck and your sex life nonexistent. And for this your husband slandered you?
That he would lie to his daughters about you is disgusting. That he then made a money grab and hid assets is appalling. What have you to gain from continuing this marriage? If I were you, I'd contact a divorce lawyer and a forensic accountant, divide the assets and let the daughters take care of their ingrate of a father.