DEAR ABBY: A few weeks ago, my husband and I had what I thought was a minor conflict, from which I walked away to avoid escalation. I could hear him continuing to rant, so I pulled up the security camera on my phone and watched and listened as he continued to say horrible things for an hour or more. He called me a disgusting blob, said there is nothing appealing about me, and I should go out in the yard and kill myself just like my father did.
The words were so painful that I began to sob uncontrollably and screamed in anguish. He never came to console me. In fact, he told me to "shut up." I'm not a crier, typically, so his blatant disregard for the effect his words had on me raises another level of concern.
We have since discussed the event, and his first defense was to say he didn't know I could hear him. Meanwhile, I have to live with the fact that I'm married to a man who has such a low opinion of me that he thinks I should kill myself.
I have no family, and I'm hesitant to upend a life that is finally stable after a chaotic childhood and early adulthood. My husband isn't typically abusive, but this incident has me questioning everything. We have been together for 22 years and married for nearly 16 with no children. What are your thoughts? -- THROWN INTO TURMOIL
DEAR THROWN: My first thought is that you and your husband need to find a healthier way to deal with your "conflicts" than your walking out on him, and him saying nasty things into a camera knowing full well he might be heard. If your definition of stability is tolerating further verbal abuse, then you are -- and will be -- paying a high price for it.
I sincerely hope the two of you will try to iron out your differences with the help of a licensed marriage and family therapist. After all the years you have invested in each other, it's worth a shot.
DEAR ABBY: My husband and I married 20 years ago. He never proposed; he just came home one day from boot camp and said, "We need to get married tomorrow so that I can get paid more," and we did. I regret that day. It wasn't what I wanted, and it meant nothing to me.
Since then, so much has happened. He cheated on me while he was in the service, and had PTSD to the point where he tried to kill himself, among other things.
We are now in a happy place and have two awesome kids. I would like to redo our wedding day and for him to propose to me. The problem is, he isn't ready. He said he hasn't done it because we have had more lows than highs. He said he will eventually, when he feels the time is right.
My feelings are hurt, and now I'm questioning why I am still here. I have stuck by his side for 20 years, through thick and thin. I deserve that and much more. I'm not asking for anything over the top. Do you think I'm overreacting, or should I finally move on? -- TIRED OF WAITING IN TEXAS
DEAR TIRED: I don't think you are overreacting; I think you are over-orchestrating. You say you and your husband are in a happy place now after years of struggle, plus you have two awesome kids. Now is not the time to upset the apple cart. More important than redoing his proposal and your wedding day is devoting some time to working on communicating more effectively with each other.
DEAR ABBY: I've been friends with "Lorraine" for 30 years. Actually, the friendship is kind of one-sided because she bugs the hell out of me.
She's a super-skinny health nut who constantly posts health advice and "uplifting" mantras on social media. Her Instagram feed is filled with pictures of her bland-looking vegan food and her doing yoga poses or running 5Ks in midriff tops so we can all see her six-pack abs. She regularly donates blood plasma and posts pictures of that, too.
Dining with her is embarrassing because she grills the waiters on how the food is prepared, even in vegan restaurants that list all ingredients. She comes off -- to me, anyway -- as thinking she has every facet of life figured out. She has been married twice to two jerks, keeps breaking and making up with "Harry," a seemingly nice guy, because he's fat (he's slightly plump yet attractive) and drinks too much (not sure about that). Her son, whom she treated as an annoyance and inconvenience when he was young, is now a gun-toting drug dealer.
I'm not perfect (I know I'm lazy, impatient and drink too much), but I don't portray myself as otherwise. My husband, a nicer person than I am, doesn't understand my resentment of Lorraine and keeps reminding me how much she loves me. She does. We're both in our 50s, but I feel like I've outgrown our friendship.
By the way, I don't think I'm jealous of her because I'm very happy in my marriage and feel that I am more attractive than she is (despite outweighing her). Must I stay friends with Lorraine? If not, how do I end it? -- CANCELING HER IN KANSAS CITY
DEAR CANCELING: It appears you have a love/hate relationship with Lorraine. Nothing is wrong with you, and no law says you must maintain a friendship with her. When contact becomes more of an annoyance than a pleasure, many people begin editing their circle of acquaintances. The way to end your relationship with her would be to make yourself less available when she calls or wants to get together. If she asks you why, explain that you have fewer of the same interests than you used to, while omitting the part about her six-pack abs.
DEAR ABBY: I am a widow. My husband passed away three years ago after 43 years of marriage. I met a widower who was also married for 43 years. His wife passed five years ago.
My grown children and grandchildren refuse to accept him. My therapist and psychiatrist tell me to stand my ground because I'm in love with him, as he is with me. Even my priest, who officiated at my husband's funeral, said I should consider this relationship as heaven-sent.
We get along beautifully, and it breaks my heart that my family wants me to choose between him or them. I am devastated over this because this is not how my family is. We are in love and although I love my family with all of my heart, I don't think they have the right to gang up against me. May I have your opinion on this? -- DEVASTATED MOTHER
DEAR DEVASTATED: What a painful situation. You say this isn't how your family is. Open your eyes, dear lady, and recognize that this is exactly who they are. Then open up your ears and pay attention to the psychiatrist and the therapist you are paying good money for, as well as your priest. My opinion is you must live your life, and my advice is to get on with it.