DEAR ABBY: I have been happily married to my darling husband for 20 years. The problem is his sister.
When we first met, she asked my husband if I was "for real" because I'm very outgoing and affectionate. In the early years, and until about six years ago, she would berate me with abusive criticism. In most instances, her comments were inaccurate. If I tried to overlook her actions and have a good relationship, she would soon find something else to criticize.
I am normally an "it's history" kind of person when it comes to confrontations and forget them quickly. Thankfully her abuse has finally stopped. But I'm now having trust issues because every time in the past when I let my guard down to mend the relationship, she'd lash out and put me down again. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. -- WARY IN TEXAS
DEAR WARY: One would think that during the time your sister-in-law was sniping at you, your "darling" husband would have stepped in and told his sister to put her knives away. After suffering through 14 years of her emotional battery, it's no wonder you have trust issues where she's concerned.
Intelligent person that you are, it's likely you always will have them, so stop blaming yourself for it. Continue being the outgoing and affectionate person you always have been, and keep your guard up because that's what healthy people have to do when dealing with someone like her.