Dear Margo: Time To Go

My husband is abusive and my family’s on his side. Margo Howard’s advice

Time To Go

Dear Margo: I’m a 27-year-old woman trapped in a loveless marriage. My husband is younger than I am by a few years, and he’s very co-dependent. Before he started dating me, he had never had a girlfriend or a sexual encounter. I, on the other hand, came to the relationship with a child from a failed relationship and a whole lot of trust and fear issues from an abusive ex. Since we’ve been married, my husband has become verbally, sexually and, to a lesser degree, physically abusive, to the point of laying a hand on my 5-year-old-son. I threw him out for that, but caved to pressure from my family to take him back; they deem him a “stabilizing” force in my life. They think our relationship has caused me to “settle down” and be more responsible. But they do not grasp the abuse I suffered previously, and if I so much as mention that something frightens me, they tell me I’m lying about it for attention.

My husband has left for basic training with the army and will be gone for a few months. Although it’s only been two weeks, I feel freer, lighter and better able to cope with things. But if I leave him while he’s away at training, the social and family repercussions could be devastating, and my son and I may be forced to relocate. I’m so torn and afraid. I only went through with the wedding to please my family, as the abuse started just before the wedding. — A Canadian

Dear A: You are in that group, by no means a small number, who repeat a mistaken choice in partners. No one intends to hook up with two alcoholics or two abusers, but there is some attraction to that personality type. First, ignore your family. They sound not only ignorant on the subject of abuse, but also not terribly friendly in their suggestion that you are making this up for attention. Second, undo the marriage. If it’s problematic to leave him while he’s at basic training, wait until he returns. At least you’re living on your own. You are young, he is maladjusted, and marrying because of family pressure is the kiss of death. These things are better done sooner rather than later. I wish you good luck. — Margo, encouragingly

Strangely, It May Be Your Husband Who Needs Therapy

Dear Margo: My husband and I have been married for two years, together for seven. His daughter is 24. I suspect, given her behavior, that she has some form of bipolar disorder. (I would guess cyclothymia, the mild version). Examples: She changes her mind every eight to 12 weeks about boyfriends, friends, major and where she wants to live. We have moved her five times in the past year, we planned a wedding (and paid for it), and now we are dealing with her divorce less than three months after her marriage.

My husband has always said how good I am for her to talk to, and he thinks I am a great role model for her. The problem is that the drama is starting to stress me out, I can no longer talk to her about her troubles, and this bothers my husband more than her antics. We have always been completely together on things, but I feel I am watching a train wreck while my husband sees nothing wrong. His daughter is the only cause of tension in our marriage. Any suggestions for how to get through this? — Tense All the Time

Dear Tense: I do have a suggestion, actually. Make an appointment with a therapist, perhaps a couples counselor, and go with your husband. Lay out his daughter’s “changes of mind,” and let the therapist tell your husband what’s wrong with this picture. I do not know if her behavior (enabled by her father’s indulgence) is from a mood disorder, immaturity, being a spoiled brat or not being very smart. Your husband needs to understand what is going on, and also that his enabling these spur-of-the-moment changes is doing her no good and in addition could likely wreck his marriage. Over to you. — Margo, rationally

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Dear Margo is written by Margo Howard, Ann Landers’ daughter. All letters must be sent via the online form at Due to a high volume of e-mail, not all letters will be answered.


Every Thursday and Friday, you can find “Dear Margo” and her latest words of wisdom on wowOwow

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38 Responses so far.

  1. avatar blue tooth says:

    To LW1,

    With respect to Margo, Leave your husband while  he’s at basic training, and relocate. Get your son and yourself away from him and away from your family. You will not be able to trust them to keep your information from him, and they will always be pointing him back to you.

    As for your husband, you have no reason to believe it will be any better for you when he comes back from basic training. In fact, he may be even more destabilized when he gets back. And by all means, do not wait for him to go overseas and then return. I can tell you stories about vets coming back from Afghanistan and the flashbacks they have, and what they do to their wives while they’re in the middle of it, that would curl your hair. I know of one case personally where the returning vet pulled a gun on his wife at 2 am and woke her up with a gun to her head, half convinced he was still in Iraq, and her completely convinced he was going to kill her right there.

    Your family also  seems to have some strange dynamic going on, that I’ve seen in households where the kids are subject to abuse from an early age. That attitude of denial, telling the abused person they’re making things up or are exaggerating or that they’re making a mountain out of a mole-hill, that’s all real common where the abuse is in the home. A lot of secrets being kept.

    I say go, run and don’t look back. Get some help from a national abuse hotline, and start building a life for yourself where you and your son don’t have to be afraid, and where your son can grow up healthy and able to form happy relationships. 

    • avatar mmht says:

      Blue Tooth, I completely agree with you!  That Margo told her to stay until he comes back from Basic blows my mind!!!  Get in contact with an agency that helps abused women leave their husbands and take your son and go to a safe place.  DO NOT tell your family where you are going.  In fact, have minimal to no contact with them at all until you feel it is safe.  Like Blue Tooth said, it sounds like there has been abuse in your family for years and they all accept it as normal.  It is NOT normal and do NOT allow your son to be raised by an abuser. You husband will not only abuse him, but most likely your son will become an abuser himself. 

    • avatar Lynde says:

      Excellent advice blue tooth. I would ad she may be able to get some assisitance and support with this plan from a local womans shelter. ( Get that info from hotline #) 

      • avatar Sherry R says:

        I agree.  Leave while he’s in basic training, relocate, and don’t contact or tell your family where you are until you feel safe.  Then have minimal contact with family until you go through counseling and learn how to deal with them in a healthy way.  Figure out what attracts you to abusive mean, figure out how being around abusive people makes you feel, and then train yourself to recognize those feelings and stay away from people who make you feel like that.  My rule is, if you feel pressured by someone to do something, whatever it is and no matter how reasonable or good it sounds, say NO – most likely it will turn out to be something that is not beneficial to you, like marrying this man in the first place.  I’ve never regretted saying NO to someone pressuring me to do something or make a decision about something.

    • avatar bright eyes says:

      The only reason I can think to stay would be – since you know Basic Training is going to be 6 weeks, stay 5 weeks (or 4 weeks) to get your affairs in order. But yes, run away as fast as you can. There is no need to wait until he is back to leave. That would just give him time and opportunity to hurt you should he feel like it. As for the legal ramifications – what difference would it make if you get a divorce or if you just leave him? Down the road when you’re in a more stable place, you can get a divorce through an (out of state from whatever state you are in) lawyer who knows what’s up and will not lead your husband to you.
      As for your family, tell them you are leaving, etc. so they will not be worried about you – but don’t tell them where you are going and just go. 

      • avatar blue tooth says:

        Actually, I would just leave, then tell the family that I left. No point in giving them the chance to try to change my mind, or get in my way while I’m trying to get things done.

  2. avatar olivepoetry says:

    Re: LW2 If the guy is abusive and going to be gone for two months, it might be prudent to prepare a safe place she can go to when he returns. The breakup part is the most dangerous time for an abusive relationship. She needs to protect herself and her son.

  3. avatar ch says:

    LW1, I absolutely agree with Blue Tooth.

    I am 54. Grew up in a military family (father a career officer). He went through 3 wars (including twice in Viet Nam.) He was bipolar, which did not help. I left home at 21 and tried to stay in touch through the years, even though my entire family was abusive. Yes, I have been accused of lying (one of my brothers threathened to kill me several times…both of my brothers molested me.) I gradually cut myself off from my family, got quickly through therapy and was able to understand there was nothing I could do for them and a lot I could do for me by setting a healthy boundary and not associating with them.

    I also could tell you stories about family friends who were also military and the impact the abuse had on their children. It was a common udnerstanding among officer’s kids that “the war” does not end once the warrior returns.

    My first marriage started out ok. Everybody thought my husband was wonderful, charming, delightful, a hard worker, intelligent…the list goes on. Turns out he was also controlling.

    Marriage over and a determination to work through my issues and my lovely second husband (will be 25 years this summer) have helped me gain a healthier, happy life. He and I both know, as do our children, that I will always be a “surviver”. And boy, am I surviving with style! My story has helped my children (now young adults) understand more about the world around them, and hopefully what to avoid. They have all the self-esteem I never had growing up.

    Yes, you CAN break that cycle.

    I have 3 sentences I want to leave you with, wishing good luck to you with all my heart:

    1) Your child:  protect him.

    2) Your marriage: get out.

    3) Do it NOW!

    If you can’t do it for yourself, if the thought of the pressure from your family feels overwhelming, please, DO IT FOR YOUR CHILD!

    Good luck and God Bless.

    • avatar Sherry R says:


    • avatar Mandy says:

      “1) Your child:  protect him.
      2) Your marriage: get out.
      3) Do it NOW!
      If you can’t do it for yourself, if the thought of the pressure from your family feels overwhelming, please, DO IT FOR YOUR CHILD!”

      This needed to be said again.  It’s spot-on and great advice.

    • avatar bright eyes says:

      They need a Like Button on here!

    • avatar blue tooth says:

      To CH,

      Well said, and I am so glad that you made it. 

  4. avatar Nicole Swearengen says:

    LW1- You have a duty as a mother to leave this man. He has abused your son. You no longer get to make this decision based on what your family or anyone else thinks. I understand that you are scared. However, you don’t get the luxury of fear when your child’s life is at stake. Leave while he’s at basic training. Try to find a local support group or organization that helps women in abusive relationships. They can offer you emotional support through this very rough time. Good luck.

  5. avatar JCF4612 says:

    LW1:Stabilizing schmabilizing. Dump this guy pronto. And be sure to get court ordered support from your child’s father. 

    LW2: Distance yourself from this mess. Tell your husband to get professional help for his daughter or you are out of there.    

    • avatar mac13 says:

      I dont want to seem critical of your response to LW2.  However the suggestion to end a marriage over grown step-daughter drama seems extreme.  She just needs to tell her husband she has done all she can do being a role model for this woman. Tell him his daughter just isn’t responding to her like she used to. Then step away. No sense in throwing away a succesful marriage just because of this.  If her husband can’t take her stepping away from the situation, then the ball is in his court as to whether to end the marriage.

      • avatar JCF4612 says:

        MAC, I’m betting the marriage will derail unless the stepmother convinces the father to get professional help for his daughter (and likely himself). Otherwise, this issue will grow like a malignant tumor on their two-year marriage, and the prognosis isn’t promising. (I agree with you, however, that successful marriages generally involve a lot of give and take on less pressing issues.)   

  6. avatar Janice Haines says:

    LW1-Leave now.   Cut yourself off from him and your so-called family.     If you wait until he comes back and tell him you’re leaving you would be endangering your own life and your child’s life.     If you leave and ever contact your family they will tell him where you are, and whatever happens they will support him.    You need to leave while you can get away, and stay away.   What are you waiting for?   Him to seriously hurt you or your defenseless child?   And if he hurts or kills you what happens to your child?      If something happens to you your family will get your child, and then he’ll be defenseless and alone.    Your family is a bunch of idiots, and they will support your husband forever.       

    As others said, contact the local women’s shelter and get help starting over elsewhere.    You have to protect your son from the abuser and your family.       

  7. avatar Katharine Gray says:

    LW#1:  I am with those who say NOW is the time to leave.  Sadly, to get out of this mess you will probably have to relocate.  Only you can know the lengths your husband will go to to keep you in the marriage but if you even suspect that he will go ballistic then run as far away as you can using all the help you can get from resources outside of your family.  As far as child support from your abusive ex…you are entitled to it, your son is entitled to it, but if pursuing it brings this man back in your life when he is well out of it…you may have to forego it.  Nothing about this is going to be easy but as others have said you must do it for your son.  Good luck and god bless.

    LW#2:  Joint counseling sounds like a good idea.  Whatever this girl’s problems are, its not up to you to be her savior and her father (where is her mother in this picture?) is the one who should be dealing with the chaos not you.  A counselor may help him see he is enabling her poor choices and lack of maturity and character or that his daughter needs professional help that you are not equipped to provide (assuming she is suffering from a pyschological disorder and isn’t just a spoiled immature brat).   You know this already.  You are just going to have to woman up and confront your husband with his choices…counseling or irreparable damage to your marriage.


  8. avatar Cindy Marek says:

    L #1: He’s already shown abusiveness to your child. This will no doubt escalate. Your family either doesn’t “get it,” or you’ve not told them he’s laid a hand on your son. But your family isn’t the decider in this, you are. It’s your life AND your son’s wellbeing. Your husband is a very troubled man, and you mention he had no girlfriends prior to you; there was a reason for that. GET OUT NOW, please! For the sake of yourself and your son. Your family’s opinions don’t count. And if they won’t be emotionally (or financially?) supportive after you’re out of this marriage, you can find caring people and friends who will. I’m afraid once/if you go elsewhere with this man, and are further estranged from family and familiar environs, his abusiveness will escalate. GET OUT NOW.

  9. avatar Cindy Marek says:

    L #2: I couldn’t agree more with Margo. I sure hope your husband doesn’t continue turning a blind eye and ultimately blame you. Third-party (not emotionally involved) input is needed; someone to show your husband “the light.”

    • avatar Cindy Marek says:

      p.s.: You might also want to consider telling your husband (after a visit to a counselor and if that fails) that while you care about his daughter it’s not your responsibility to “fix” her — or enable her (which is what he is doing). He needs to be called out on this, but go with counseling first.  

      • avatar Briana Baran says:

        LW2 (Tense) is enabling her step-daughter as much as the young woman’s (not girl) father, and the LW’s husband, is. You noticed the regular use of “we”? We paid for her wedding…we’re coping with her divorce…we’ve moved her five times in one year. Now she’s tired of the seven year status quo (as in gotten to the point at which she chooses not to have a hand in it anymore), and it’s all his fault? 
        The first step is to admit that she had as much a hand in this…even it was by supporting her husband’s enabling of his daughter’s entitled lifestyle,,,thus enabling him…as he did. Simply throwing up her hands and exclaiming “I don’t know why he’s so blind!” when she’s been part of the problem, not the solution, for years is not the way to make him see the light. Who knows why she’s tolerated this for almost a decade…and only now has decided that it’s time to stop. There are a lot of perfectly good reasons to want to cut the daughter loose. But deciding she has a mental illness that dad is blind to, and that he needs to see that light and get her treatment is probably not the best option.

  10. avatar Briana Baran says:

    Re: L#2: So, she’s diagnosed her as “bi-polar”, specifically “cyclothymia”. Cyclothemia is not the same ting as, or a lesser form of bi-polar disease, has only been recently diagnosed, effects and -1% of the population. It is the new “disease du jour” as it is a very difficult diagnosis to make…and is frequently associated with illicit pharmaceutical issues…or makes an excellent excuse for having the latter.
    Every entitled, miserable, I’ll-have-it-my-way child of anxious-to-please, over-indulgent, spineless parents is suddenly bi-polar when one or both parental units decides enough is finally enough. Really? Who moved her five times in one year? Who keeps supporting her whims and dealing with her problems? The same people who are keeping her in the role of spoiled adolescent…daddy and step-mommy…who has been an excellent role model (?).
    Now, instead of admitting that she’s culpable, for whatever reason, in adding to this woman’s Patricia Pan syndrome…the girl must be…gasp!…cyclothemic, and dad had better stop this train-wreck. O, my, really. How about suggesting to dad that they stop bailing her every time she decides to pull a 180 and lay off the wreckage on them? How about questioning just how her husband came to the awkward conclusion that she’s been an excellent role-model for this Piscean and demanding child of his? The child who changes her mind at the drop of a hat, who allows her parents to carry her freight, who won’t show a single sign of maturity, responsibility or accountability? I know that personally, if my husband said I’d been an excellent role-model for his daughter who was a total disaster…my sarcasm radar would be pinging…or I’d be looking for a person serving papers blaming me for all the poor dear’s problems.
    Dear Tense All the Time: I am bi-polar I…amongst other horrible things, including diagnosed schizophrenia and OCD. You would have no idea if you met me. I have had my little issues my entire life. I became self-supporting at 18. I have never lost a job, been married less than a year, attacked a car with an umbrella, got behind on bills or harmed anyone. I am somewhat unique…but that is personality…not my illnesses. I am not the some total of them, and they are not me. Some of the most hideous, vile, perpetrators of atrocities have been judged by psychiatrists clinically and medically without mental illness of any kind.
    I am disgusted with the knee-jerk response that a spoiled, selfish, irresponsible person must be “bi-polar”, or some species thereof. How about this diagnosis? Your step-daughter is spoiled, entitled and flighty, you’ve tried too hard to please her father and it’s pleasant to have him view you as her “mentor”, you and he, each for your own reasons, have bent over backwards to live her life for her and prevent her from engaging her “reck”…and now the shine is off the gilt, you’ve had it, and you don’t want to take any responsibility so, ergo, she must be a nutter, who needs “help”…but let daddy handle that.
    Ugh. Please look in the mirror, then go talk, seriously, to your husband about not being a role-model, but an actual parent, and cutting the purse and apron strings so that she can gain her flight feathers, fall, grow wings and then hopefully achieve flight and then terminal escape velocity.

  11. avatar mabel says:

    As an EMT I was called to a scene a couple of months ago where a woman cut her wrists after her boyfriend beat her bloody and her family told her she deserved it. My partner (a guy) kept asking me “Do you really believe that? Do you think they REALLY said that to her, or do you think she made that up for sympathy?”… he just could not believe that any parent would REALLY tell that to a daughter that had just been beaten up like that. I told him that unfortunately that is a lot more common than anyone would think – I have seen it before with people I’ve known in my personal life. I said “Why do you think a woman would have low enough self-esteem to be with an abusive guy like that to begin with?” Sad, so sad. And people who come from loving families generally do not have a clue what some people have to deal with. 🙁

    • avatar lebucher says:

      Sad but true, I had a college roommate whose (former) abusive husband beat her up, choked her and broke her jaw – and her mother refused to give her shelter, telling her “It’s the woman’s job to make the marriage work”.
      I was appalled that someone’s own mother could be so heartless as to value keeping a marriage intact over her own daughter’s physical safety.  But it explained why my friend ended up with an abuser and stayed with him for 5 years.

  12. avatar amanda_caneel says:

    To Tense All the Time- Please check out  It can give you insight and support from others who are in your situation.

  13. avatar David Bolton says:

    LW1: Let’s call a spade a spade. The problem that is as big or bigger than being in this abusive relationship—or “loveless marriage” as LW1 puts it—is her past and present hesitancy to do anything about it. There are always going to be reasons to stay—but personally, I would only need ONE reason to go.

    My kid. 

    LW2: I agree with Margo, but be prepared for a whole lot of denial and/or foot-dragging. There’s few things worse than dealing with a deaf and blind parent and His Special Precious Little Princess. 


  14. avatar mayma says:

    I was really surprised by Margo’s answer to LW1.  As most have already said, it’s so clear that the LW needs get (out) while the gettin’ is good AND sign up for counseling ASAP.  She has a ton of issues to work through — ending the marriage, detaching from the family, building some sense of self so that this same thing doesn’t happen a third or fourth time.  

    Seems like Margo’s answer was, “Leave when he gets back, and rotsa ruck!” 

  15. avatar Debbie Ciaravino says:

    LW #1-  I agree with everyone else that you need to leave NOW! You have 2 months to find a place to live and a job to support you and your son. If there is a child support order in place, just be careful how far you go from the biological father. I wasn’t allowed to move more than 25 miles from where we lived when we divorced without approval from Friend of the Court and my ex-husband.

    Speaking from experience, it sounds like you grew up in an abusive family where that is the NORM. In case no one has said it to you before, IT IS NOT NORMAL, IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT, and YOU DESERVE BETTER. I know when your self esteem is low and all you attract is the same kind of loser, you feel like that must be all you deserve to have.

    If you’re still not convinced to leave yet, think of this. Do you want your son to grow up and treat women the way you’ve been treated? Right now, he is learning by example. Unless you put a stop to it IMMEDIATELY, and show him it is wrong by being brave and doing the right thing and leaving, you may find yourself being abused by your own son in his teenage/adult years when he is bigger than you. Because, by staying, you are teaching him that it is acceptable to treat you and other women this way. You are stronger than you think. Please be brave and take the necessary first steps. One day, when a hospital and/or a school sees signs of abuse and step in (as they are legally required to do), do you really want your son taken away from you by Child Protective Services because you stayed?

    • avatar boisguilbert says:

      Debbie C:  I agree with you.  One of my women friends [with a PhD, no less] remained in an extremely violent marriage in order to stand between her 2 children and their father.  The result?  The woman’s son began hitting and kicking her as he grew older.  Finally, after the husband/father picked the wife/mother up and threw her across the room, she left him.  The situation was appalling.  The abused wife in this case should leave now, IMMEDIATELY.

  16. avatar Debbie Ciaravino says:

    LW #2 – Tell your husband that his daughters problems are causing physical medical issues for you and you don’t think you are the right person to try to help her anymore. What you have been doing up until now isn’t helping her and it is making you ill.

    Then offer to continue to be a support system in her life by recommending all 3 of you go to family counseling sessions. Your step daughter clearly could use some professional help and/or medication. You and your husband could still be supportive, but maybe a professional therapist can help him to understand what actions are helpful vs. the hurtful ones that enable the eratic behavior. Good luck!

  17. avatar Diane Shaw says:

    Ltr. #1 – Take your child and RUN!  Run while you can. And, while you’re at it, get out from under your family too. They sound nutty. Their attitude is NOT ok.  

    Ltr. #2 – Of course it doesn’t make your husband happy that you can’t talk to his daughter anymore about her problems.  It puts the onus back on him.  Stick to your guns, lady.  He needs to get her some help and/or stop enabling her.

  18. avatar A R says:

    LW1: Why would you not leave while he’s gone? You say that it might force you to relocate….well….isn’t that the point of leaving? Relocating? Starting over? You know what to do, now do it and to hell with anyone who thinks they know better than you. One caveat: try to stay single for a few years to find yourself. You talk like one who has trouble being alone.
    LW2: If you want the marriage to work, you better get to a counselor quick. He’s likely blinded by loyalty to her, but you are not her mom, and you are not responsible for footing her apartment changes and marriage/divorces.

  19. avatar boisguilbert says:

    I was in a verbally and physically abusive marriage for many years.  I remained in it for the standard reason, “because of the children.”  On the day I realized it was I instead of they who were being harmed, I left.  Leaving wasn’t easy, but it was the right thing to do.  I wish you luck.

  20. avatar Daniele says:

    I’ve thought about this for a bit. I was in the military, and before that, my spouse was in the military. There is a thing about wives (and it seems to be only wives) leaving the marriage while their spouses are away for training and/or deployment. To put it simply, the woman who leaves is instantly considered scum of the earth, no matter what the circumstances. Though basic training hardly counts the way deployment does, there is such negative social pressure, that leaving while he is away can actually be detrimental. Communities judge harshley and they do not forget. We tend to martyr our military members these days, crown them heroes and forget they are human like the rest of us and prone to screwing up.
    Leaving him while he’s gone may not be an option for her, no matter how abusive, because it will completely remove any support system she has in place. Like a job. Since she’s decided she cannot actually leave him while he’s gone, she should separate herself from him as much as possible. Have a new place ready for her to move into. Have their things separated. Contact a lawyer and have the legal side of the separation ready for him when he returns. Contact battered women’s programs for an escape plan. Most importantly, for her own reputation, make sure that the stereotypes don’t get confused. Don’t keep his paychecks. Don’t keep herself on his life insurance. Don’t try to keep any of his military benefits.
    He will come back from basic training more violent than when he left. That’s pretty much a given. It’s not therapy, it’s training to be a soldier.
    It’s a bad situation, but the more of the “leaving” she can accomplish before his return, the better off both of them are.

  21. avatar Lym BO says:

    LW1: I think there is more to this story. She states he laid a hand on her child. Was it a simple spanking? Or a swat to the behind?  Did she not discuss his parenting plans/style prior to the marriage?  
    Is she truly a drama queen or is her family really at fault here for not believing her fears? This could go either way.  IS his verbal abuse & sexual abuse real that? Has she confronted him about it. FOr a guy who has never been sexually active perhaps he needs some guidance. Co-dependant or just crazy in love & needs a bit a tips to handle himself correctly. I’m not so sure some the the posters on here advising her to bail while he is away can really know the situation well enough to advise.  I’m not attempting to diminish the LW abuse, but I have also known a lot of women who exaggerated &were known exaggerators that would match this & not lead to a need for a plan to escape.  I’ve also known women who married quickly to benefit themselves & their child then realized it was a mistake & came up with some cry of abuse to get out without appearing it was their own stupidity & short-sightedness that got them in the situation. “I never loved him. I only married him because of x.” HEard it thrice this year already. It seems it is never the fault of the person with whom one is conversing. 
    There’s is just not enough info in this letter to advise much and that may be why Margo has suggested she wait until he gets back.  

  22. avatar HelliePie says:

    “He will come back from basic training more violent than when he left. That’s pretty much a given. It’s not therapy, it’s training to be a soldier.”

    Ding, ding, ding. Give that girl a kewpie doll.

    Run away, quite fast. As those in the know say, “You can’t save your ass AND your face.” Save your ass.

  23. avatar Francisco Valls says:

    LW1- Leave, the sooner the better. Also, if you’re family is pressuring you to be with the abuser, leave your family too.Get some help soon. You are a co-dependent and you will need professional help for many years to come. If you can’t afford help, at least begin by joining a free Co-Dependent Anonymous support in your area. You can do this. It will be a step by step process, but if you stick to it, you will be a champion.