Dear Readers: I am printing these two letters together to remind anyone who is in an abusive relationship to leave as soon as possible.
Take yourself, your children and pets with you.There are many resources available for you.
Dear Annie: Thank you for telling Depressed and Confused to walk out the door with her pets. My sister didn't, and she lost her life. I so admire women who leave bad men. -- Sister
Dear Sister: I am so very sorry for your loss. Thank you for writing in and reminding all of our readers to leave abusive people as fast as they can. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.
Dear Annie: I have to suggest that "Depressed and Confused" immediately find her cat a new home, to spare the cat the physical abuse it is likely enduring. Animal abuse is a sign of a serious mental impairment and can often lead to abuse of a spouse or other people in the home.
I don't need to go into the statistics, as most people are aware that if you are willing to abuse an animal, you are probably well on your way to other psychotic behaviors.
This woman's spouse needs immediate psychological help, and she needs to be very careful.
However, above all else, she needs to get that cat out of this situation, immediately. -- Escape Fast
Dear Escape Fast:
While you are correct that she needs to get the cat out of the house, she also needs to get herself out of the house.
Dear Annie: My husband spends whatever time he wants during the evenings and weekends playing on his phone, watching football, sleeping or just lying on the couch relaxing.
I never say a word. But the moment I sit down and start reading a book or texting back a friend, he can sense it, and he'll quickly get up from wherever he is and sit by me and say, "What's going on?"
If I say "nothing" and keep reading, he'll say, "Oh, I just thought you'd want to talk to me," and he expects me to immediately put down whatever I'm doing.
He sulks and pouts all night if I don't.
It's just a ridiculous, controlling power play.
If I sit down in the same room as him and wait for him to stop texting or watching his show, it takes him forever to even acknowledge me.
Every time I've called him out on this, it's caused a fight. Even if I just ignore him and continue reading, it really upsets me.
What can I do? -- Not Allowed to Relax in Peace
Dear Relax in Peace: You deserve to relax in peace.
Maybe the way to find that peace is to say something to him -- and in a new way that won't spark the same old fight.
Tell him that, just like he needs time to relax and unwind on the couch, you also need time to relax and unwind. Couples should spend time together, uninterrupted, so they can grow closer. But they also need time apart to do things they enjoy individually.
"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 firstname.lastname@example.org.