Wife must seek support for husband’s silent abuse

Published 8:02 am Wednesday, August 18, 2021

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DEAR ABBY: I have known my husband for eight years. We’ve been married for four. Abby, my husband rapes me while I’m asleep. I have told him how it makes me feel, because I was molested when I was younger. When my second child was conceived, I don’t even remember doing anything. He never did this when we were dating. We do things every now and again, but NOT how we used to. I’m the first in my family to get married and have kids, so I’m afraid if I leave him I’ll be breaking my vows and setting a bad example. What should I do? — SILENT VICTIM IN GEORGIA

DEAR SILENT VICTIM: In case you are unaware of it, Georgia has strict laws that treat marital rape the same as rape between two strangers. This means that when dealing with marital rape charges, claiming that the defendant is married to the victim cannot be used as a defense. If you haven’t already done it, obtain birth control to prevent you from becoming pregnant without your consent again. Contact the Rape, Abuse, Incest National Network (rainn.org; 800-656-4673) and let a counselor there know what has been going on. Then consult a lawyer, get out of there and don’t look back!
DEAR ABBY: We have a family wedding coming later this year that we’re all very happy about. We are, however, concerned about one family member’s drinking. This person already has a “larger than life” personality that is amplified when they drink. The bride’s family has, for several reasons, chosen not to have an open bar. A limited selection of alcohol will be offered.
Our concern is this family member will become loud, disruptive and embarrassing. Should we address this ahead of time with the family member, which will be uncomfortable, but will hopefully head off a disruption at the reception? Or should we cross our fingers and take our chances that they will realize they should be on their best behavior? — BRACING OURSELVES IN TENNESSEE

DEAR BRACING: When in doubt, speak out. Sometimes crossing one’s fingers and hoping for the best is not enough of a precaution. In a case like this, leave nothing to chance.
DEAR ABBY: My husband and I are good friends with another couple. One of them is having an affair, which is destroying their family. The cheater has lied to us repeatedly trying to cover their tracks. We all know the truth. How can we continue being friends when we do not condone these behaviors? It’s difficult because the friendship is long, rooted in community and we care deeply for them all. — AWKWARD IN THE SOUTH

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DEAR AWKWARD: Step back and stay out of the line of fire. Whether the marriage will survive is anybody’s guess. If it fails, be as supportive to the spouse as you can. However, if the cheater continues his/her relationship with the lover, because you don’t condone “those behaviors” you may choose to change your behavior. See the new couple “because of community ties” on a far less frequent or intimate basis.
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 www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
Abby shares more than 100 of her favorite recipes in two booklets: “Abby’s Favorite Recipes” and “More Favorite Recipes by Dear Abby.” Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $16 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Cookbooklet Set, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)