Ask Amy: Estranged Husband Signs Up For Anger Management; Can things still work out?

Dear Amy: I am a 35 year old professional woman, recently separated from my husband of nine years.

Our marriage has been plagued by volatility due to his uncontrollable anger and my tumultuous relationship with alcohol during our relationship.

That being said, we have resolved most of our issues. He is my best friend.

I am in therapy and have a treatment team that has helped me overcome my alcohol abuse disorder, along with years of insecurity, codependency and anxiety.

I am in a good place and I no longer have room in my life for violence, anger and abuse.

My husband and I recently had an argument where he grabbed hold of me to get me out of a room.

I was shocked that he put his hands on me during an argument where we were both sober and working from home.

He has since apologized and signed up for anger management therapy. I’ve wanted him to do this for years, but I’m afraid it’s too late.

I have a graduate degree and am an assertive, independent woman who doesn’t take mischief.

With this situation, however, I feel anything but these things.

Am I completely off my rocker for thinking things could still work out between us? Or should I cut my losses and try to start my life over?

– Lamentable woman

Dear Woeful: You shouldn’t risk your physical or emotional safety — or your sobriety — to live with your husband.

From your account, it seems that the majority of your time together was marked by anger and conflict – on both sides. Can you move forward in a relationship where many triggers might remain, but all of your familiar coping mechanisms have been removed? You will have to see.

If you’ve been working on your sobriety program, I assume you’ve become familiar with the “one day at a time” model.

My point is that thinking about this as all or nothing may not be the wisest course right now.

You and him need to stay apart so you can both experience what life is like when you actually live differently as individuals in recovery.

The answer to your dilemma will likely present itself within the next six months or so.

Even if you decide to separate permanently, you shouldn’t have to give up on your friendship.

Dear Amy: My girlfriend and I have been together for about five years. We are both progressing in our careers and progressing personally, professionally and as a couple.

We are at the point where we are ready to take the next step. My girlfriend wants to move to Florida. She wants me to come too, but she plans to go one way or the other in a year or two.

I love Florida, but all my friends and family are here in New England. My mother is independent and doesn’t necessarily rely on me, but she would be devastated if I left.

After my father passed away (about 10 years ago), my sister and mother relied on me to be there for them. Honestly, I would miss being there for them too.

I know I’ll always be within phone range, but that’s not the same.

I love my girlfriend more than anything and I don’t want to lose her, but I’m not sure I’m ready to walk away from home and everyone I know.

How do I make this decision – one way or the other?

– Uncertain

Dear Uncertain: You should start by very honestly trying to decode your own motivations. Your mother would surely miss you, but would she be devastated? Tell him about it. Are you really needed by your family or are you afraid to move?

Being nervous about leaving home is completely natural. It speaks of your sensitive and compassionate nature.

You don’t need to have a definitive answer just yet. After your girlfriend moves out, you could move into a long-distance relationship, which should help clear up all of your competing priorities.

Dear Amy: Responding to “Bay Area Stepmom Cook,” whose son-in-law hates onions, she should cook the onions first. It takes that bitter taste away. They can be roasted or fried until they are light brown and develop a sweet taste.

– SC

Dear SC: Thanks for the suggestion, but judging from my mail, there are a lot of people who just don’t like onions!

“Stepmom Cook” saw this as a character flaw.

(You can email Amy Dickinson at [email protected] or send a letter to Ask Amy, PO Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or Facebook.)

©2022 Amy Dickinson. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Maria D. Ervin