Dear Annie: I have been married for 32 years to a horrible man. He is self-centered, controlling, a liar and a cheat. He manipulated me into buying a house I did not want, and when my mother died in this house, he kicked me out of the room we shared and made me move into the same room she died in. He lied to me about not getting paid for a year, while pocketing $40,000 and spending it on an affair with our best friend's daughter. He then closed our checking account.
Two years later, he bullied me into buying a business, where I worked for four years without pay. He occasionally paid me a little, but then kicked me out of the business and told me to get a "real job."
Annie, he tore my car apart so I couldn't drive it, and he keeps me broke all of the time. He went behind my back and put the business and home accounts in his name only. I have walked everywhere within three miles of our house looking for work, with no luck.
I have no friends because he can't keep his hands off of them, and I'm tired of making excuses for him. If I bring it up, he calls me a liar. When I finally told him I wanted a divorce, he said he'll keep the house and the business and there is no money to give me a share. For the past year, I've been trying to find a lawyer who will take my case for very little money and haven't found one.
I'm stuck here and losing all hope of ever getting out. His lies and false accusations have made our kids mistrust me. I am emotionally, mentally and spiritually exhausted. I cry daily and wish it could all be over. Don't suggest counseling, because I have no money for that and can't get there unless it's close enough to walk. — Miserable Forever
Dear Miserable: This is an abusive marriage — emotionally and financially. You don't need to find a counselor within walking distance. Pick up the phone, or go online and contact the Domestic Violence Abuse Hotline at 1-800-787-3224 (thehotline.org). They will help you get out of this mess of a marriage and find a fresh start. Please don't wait.
Dear Annie: I work at a library in my hometown. An 80-year-old woman who uses the computer is always messing it up. She's there 10 hours a week and does a lot of damage, but no one wants to hurt her feelings by telling her she's screwing up.
This woman is also forgetful and sometimes rude. When someone offers help, she claims she doesn't need it. When she asks for assistance, she gets irritated and says, "That's what I was doing!" She's making things hard for everybody, but my boss is a pushover and won't get involved. Can we do anything? — Frustrated in Indiana
Dear Indiana: We're not sure how she's "messing up" the computer in such a way that it's a major effort to put things right. Can you post a sign next to the computer with simple instructions for operation? Would the boss be willing to require a "training course" for all computer users so that she isn't singled out? Does no one have the patience to work with her in spite of her snappish attitude? The computer confuses her, and she doesn't want to admit her weaknesses. Be kind.
Dear Annie: Tell "Champ's Mom" that many states have passed legislation to teach cursive writing in school. Students who have not been taught cursive can neither read it nor write it. Parents are just beginning to realize that their children don't have the skills to read their grandparents' notes. Children want to learn cursive. Please give them the opportunity. — Long Live Cursive
This Classic Annie's Mailbox column was originally published in 2013. 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.