Dear Abby

Dear Abby


Dear Abby: My husband is creating a hostile home for me and my children, what do I do?

DEAR ABBY: When my husband, “Wayne,” and I were dating 15 years ago, he would occasionally get angry and stalk off or bust a bag of chips, but after I gave him time alone, he’d be back like nothing happened. He always said that episodes such as this were something he was “working on.” 

After we had children, the incidents continued occasionally. I thought it was because he worked hard, so as a stay-at-home-mom, I just gulped, gave him his space, and he would eventually get back to normal. 

I continued walking on eggshells and tried diligently to not make him angry again. Embarrassingly, my son’s preschool teacher asked one time if everything was OK because my son mentioned that his daddy yelled at his mommy a lot. 

Wayne lost his job six months ago and has chosen not to work since then. He doesn’t want to work for “the man” anymore, and his angry outbursts have increased. He has destroyed multiple items in our home (the trash can, our cooktop and a colander) in his anger. 

Our kids are older now and witness these events, and I can no longer continue to live in this environment. He’s setting a terrible example and I hate hiding out in the bedroom. I recently got a job to help with family finances, but I’m not sure I can focus with all this going on at home. I’ve suggested marriage counseling multiple times, but he ignores me. What do you suggest I do? — CAN’T TAKE IT IN CALIFORNIA

DEAR CAN’T TAKE IT: I am so glad you have a job. Now it’s time to start saving as much money from your wages as you can so you and your children can escape. (Keep it in a safe place.) Normally, I might chalk up your husband’s inability to control his outbursts to job stress. However, your husband’s behavior seems to be escalating. 

The toll-free phone number for the National Domestic Violence Hotline is 800-799-7233. It is available 24/7. I urge you to call and let someone there help you form a safe escape plan because you may need one. 

DEAR ABBY: I have been close to my sister for most of my adult life. When my daughter Patricia was born, my sister created the nickname “Patzilla” — a combination of Patricia and Godzilla. I told her I didn’t like the name, and she stopped saying it — for a while. Now she’s using it again, and I’m deeply hurt by this. It’s not an association I want my child to have for herself, and it comes across as mean. Since my first expression of not liking this is being ignored, I’m not sure how to proceed. — HATES NAME-CALLING

DEAR HATES: Your sister has a peculiar sense of humor. There are sweet nicknames, and “Patzilla” isn’t one of them. In fact, it’s rather mean and sinister. How to proceed would be to not expose your child to anyone who ridicules her or calls her a name you don’t want her to have. 

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.