Dear Annie: My husband doesn't spend time with me anymore. We have been together for eight years and married for three. We were inseparable most of that time, but, all of a sudden, he doesn't want me around. He says most married people hardly ever hang out. He tells me the honeymoon is over.
I have tried everything. At marriage counseling, he puts on a show and tries to make me look bad. He mostly ignores my calls and texts when he leaves, and when he does respond, it's very nasty.
I'm not sure if he is cheating or not. I don't think I want to be married to him anymore. How do I handle this? Is asking for a divorce reasonable? How do you do that? — Still Unsure
Dear Unsure: Are you telling the marriage counselor that you feel he puts on a show and tries to make you look bad? It is important to be completely honest during your counseling sessions or else they won't work. Once you have said all of that during your therapy sessions, and you still want a divorce, then you can most certainly ask for one. Honesty, love and communication are all pillars for a healthy marriage, and you deserve a man who understands that.
Dear Annie: My husband and I have been married for 24 years, and we have two adult kids who no longer live in our household.
My husband has always treated me as if I were his maid. I am told to do all the housework. I don't mind, but sometimes a little help is nice. When he's not upset, he's the sweetest man.
About three years ago, he made me quit my job because I cheated on him. He made me delete all social media, and I was unable to take individual pictures of myself.
We have been having lots of disagreements, and one day in our home, he hit me. That left me with bruises and a bad headache because he hit me on the head. I told him I didn't love him and wanted to divorce him. As soon as I said that, he promised he would never hit me again and that he would be a better person in the future.
He always does this. He slaps me and then promises he will never do it again. And then he does it again, and I fall into his little game — again. After the most recent incident, he bought me a belt and clothing that I have been wanting so that I would forgive him.
What do I do to get away from him? I have no money or job. How do I leave this man? — Trapped By a Monster
Dear Trapped: It might feel like you are trapped because 24 years of living with a man who is abusive is a long time. But you are not trapped. There is help available. There are many local and national hotlines available to help women in your exact situation. I encourage you to contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or chat with someone via their website (https://www.thehotline.org). The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence is another great resource at https://ncadv.org/get-help. If you feel like you are in immediate danger, call 911. Just remember that you have the power to leave the cage that you feel trapped in. There are groups and people out there.
"Ask Me Anything: A Year of Advice From Dear Annie" is out now! Annie Lane's debut book — featuring favorite columns on love, friendship, family and etiquette — is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit http://www.creatorspublishing.com for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to [email protected]