Not all Abuse is Physical

By Marcy Sugar

By Kathy Mitchell

February 27, 2017 4 min read

Dear Annie: In my 22 years, I have had only two serious boyfriends. After both relationships ended in heartbreak, I decided to give myself a breather from men.

Nine months later, I met Chris. We grew close in a short period of time, but the relationship had its flaws. Once, we were arguing, and I said I was leaving. Chris tried to block me from the door and smacked a cup out of my hand. I walked out and didn't answer any of his calls for the rest of the day. He apologized, and we got back together. That was five months ago, and he's not done anything like it since.

However, Chris constantly accuses me of cheating (which I am not), calls me nonstop, texts me all day and repeatedly asks where I am going, why I'm going there and who I'll be with.

I'm scared that he is starting to become overly possessive. I don't think he would ever hurt me, but we're planning to move in together soon, and I fear his possessiveness will not subside and I'll be trapped. I love him and want to be with him, but am I doing the right thing? — Scared and Confused in Omaha

Dear Omaha: Get. Out. Now. Chris shows all the signs of becoming an abuser. He is possessive and controlling, and it wouldn't take much for him to become physically violent. He puts you in the position of constantly feeling you must reassure him of your fidelity. If you move in with him, these things will only get worse. Contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline (thehotline.org) for information and help on safely extricating yourself from this relationship.

Dear Annie: I am 68 and have been dating "Ken," age 71, for three years. We go out to dinner, movies and sporting events regularly. He's very generous and kind. I know he takes a lot of medication, so I've never questioned what appears to be a lack of interest in sex.

Ken's house is always neat. He told me he has a housekeeper who comes twice a month. She never comes when I'm there, and I had not even thought about her. However, his sister recently informed me that the housekeeper is Ken's ex-wife.

I don't want to cause any problems in what appears to be a close-knit family, so how should I handle this unexpected news? — Just Another Senior Moment

Dear Senior: It's possible the ex-wife is only cleaning the bedroom, not using it, but still, it's quite an unusual arrangement, and we think it deserves to be addressed. If you don't want to implicate his sister, ask Ken when the housekeeper is due to come, as you'd like to meet the woman who keeps his home so neat. When he tells you it's his ex-wife, ask him to explain his reasoning.

Dear Annie: We have a number of grandchildren, and we love them all equally. Do we appear to favor some over others? Probably.

If the parents really want to know why, perhaps they should look at their children's behavior. Some grandchildren really enjoy their grandparents, discuss their lives and show concern for them. Other grandchildren grudgingly visit, refuse to interact and often sit and sulk while texting their friends. They never say thank you for anything. All efforts to be more involved in their lives are rejected.

So, before the children's parents complain to the grandparents about favoritism, they should examine how their children are inadvertently damaging the relationship. — Trying To Be Fair

Dear Trying: Of course some grandkids are easier to like than others, but that's why it is so important not to show your favoritism, whether it exists or not, particularly when the children are young. Even unpleasant, remote children need to believe their grandparents love them as much as their siblings and cousins.

This Classic Annie's Mailbox column was originally published in 2012. To find out more about Classic Annie's Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit Creators Syndicate at www.creators.com.

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