DEAR ABBY: I have been married to my husband, "Henry," for 25 years, and he refuses to call me by name. He doesn't call me anything -- certainly no terms of endearment. He just calls out or starts talking. He addresses our daughter's relatives, our neighbors and even our dog by name -- but refuses to say mine.
I have mentioned to Henry many times how deeply hurt and resentful it makes me feel. He admits it's a problem, but refuses to get help because "he doesn't believe in counseling."
I know things could be worse. I'm not abused physically, but I feel mentally abused. I find it hard living as a nobody. Can you give me an insight on how to cope with this? -- NAMELESS IN SOUTH NEW JERSEY
DEAR NAMELESS: What Henry has been doing is called "passive aggression." It's a pattern of behavior that can occur in a variety of contexts. In your case, it's consistently failing to do something he knows would please you, the absence of which he is fully aware is hurtful. He refuses counseling because he knows a counselor will call him on it.
This does not, however, mean that YOU shouldn't have some counseling. Once you have recognized Henry's behavior for exactly what it is, you must then ask yourself why you have tolerated it for a quarter of a century, whether there are other things wrong in your marriage and if this is the way you want to live the next 25 years of your life.