Posted: Tuesday, September 13, 2011 8:02 pm
Dear Annie: My son has been married to “Josie” for 11 years. I admit I never cared for her. She has a volatile temper and creates destructive scenes. Once they married, I did my best to be friendly, hoping she would mellow with time. She has not.
In the past three years, Josie’s violent behavior has escalated. She used to put holes in the walls and destroy dishes and furniture. Now she hits my son. If he defends himself, she calls the police and has him arrested. This has become a regular routine.
She recently held a loaded gun in his face. I’m scared to death that she is going to kill him. On top of that, their children are frequent witnesses to this madness. They have seen their father hauled off to jail numerous times, even though he is never the aggressor. Josie has actually hit herself in the face to create the impression that she’d been beaten. She once admitted to me that she smashed a bottle on her head so there would be blood.
I’ve pleaded with my son to get her help because she is mentally ill. Josie says she doesn’t need counseling or medication, and my son cannot get her to go. Quite honestly, I don’t think he’s tried very hard.
Josie’s family wants little to do with her, and her own mother warned my son not to marry her. He inherited money from his grandparents, and she has spent the majority of it on illegal drugs, yet he always goes back to her. I know I can’t force him to do anything, but I want to protect my grandchildren. They always rally to their mother’s defense despite her putting them in harm’s way. What can I do? — A Concerned Grandmother
Dear Grandmother: This sounds like a nightmare. Abused men often are reluctant to get help. Please urge your son to contact the Domestic Abuse Helpline for Men and Women (dahmw.org) at 1-888-7HELPLINE (1-888-743-5754). You also can call the Department of Children and Family Services, explain what is going on and ask them to investigate. And if you ever witness Josie hitting your son, call the police and file a report.
Dear Annie: I am writing about “Suffering Soon-to-Be Ex,” who joked that he would have snatched up his wife’s sister, “Zoe,” if her husband hadn’t gotten to her first. He claims he didn’t mean it, but his wife was so hurt that she left him. I find it hard to believe she could walk away so easily if their marriage was as wonderful as he claims. I think “Suffering” should seek counseling. His “flippant comment” probably does hold a hidden truth. — Elmira, N.Y.
Dear Elmira: It was interesting how the responses to this letter broke down along gender lines. See if you can figure out who wrote what:
From Tarentum, Pa.: Since he embarrassed his wife in front of so many people, he needs to apologize in front of many more. I believe he needs something really big such as a billboard apology.
Nampa, Idaho: This guy made a major error in judgment, but the degree of overreaction by his new wife and her family should send him running for his freedom. I see only oppression and sorrow in his life if he continues with this oversensitive, controlling family.
Florida: This guy’s disbelief at the enormity of his hurtful comment, underscored by the statement that he would “give her time to calm down,” is yet another example of male disregard for female sensitivity and innermost feelings. I think she is justified believing she can never trust him again.
N.Y.: Are you kidding me? A flippant comment turns into divorce papers? He apologized and admitted he had no attraction to the sister, but you tell him to beg for forgiveness? This is demeaning. He’s been saved from a life of misery living with an emotional whack-job with some serious jealousy issues.
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please email your questions to email@example.com, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 5777 W. Century Blvd., Ste. 700, Los Angeles, CA 90045. To find out more about Annie’s Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
Published in The Messenger 9.13.11