DEAR ABBY: How do I forgive myself for staying with my husband "for the sake of the kids" and because I was afraid of him? Our children are teenagers now and both suffer from low self-esteem and depression. We lived far away from any family while they were growing up, and I was financially dependent and scared. I realize now that it wasn't the right thing to do.
My husband is trying to do better, but the damage is done. The relationship between our children and their dad is very strained. I don't know how to move forward. Any advice? -- IN PAIN IN WISCONSIN
DEAR IN PAIN: A way for your children to heal some of the damage your husband has caused would be for you to arrange for them to talk with a licensed family counselor.
A way for you to move forward would be to find a job, take your kids and live apart from your abuser. If you haven't already done that, and you are still afraid he might be violent, then you should contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline (thehotline.org, 800-799-7233) and ask for help in formulating an escape plan.