DEAR ABBY: I have been married to “Roman” for 13 years. He has always been a man of few words who didn’t initiate much on his own, so I stepped up to bat and did everything. I took over all aspects of our married life — from bill paying to home maintenance to romance. He would tell me how grateful he was to me for doing it.
His adult daughters from a previous marriage have always been cold to me, and I recently found out why. It turns out Roman made up horrible, untrue stories behind my back. He painted himself as the victim of abuse! His daughters staged an “intervention” to save their dad, and Roman went along with them. He cleared out our bank accounts, hid money and assets and filed for divorce. I was stunned.
Abby, he went along with the charade for a week — until his guilt got the better of him, and he admitted he had made it all up. He claims he doesn’t want to divorce me after all. He said he made up the stories to get his daughters’ attention.
Roman and I are now going through counseling, and I am assuming responsibility for my part in this mess. He harbors strong resentment toward me and resorted to passive-aggressive revenge. We’re both doing our best to establish forthright, honest and open lines of communication.
The problem is his daughters still believe the lies. They hate me and won’t speak to their father unless he divorces me. I’m not sure what to do. Roman has lost his family and he may lose me, too. The damage is so widespread I don’t know what can be regained. Have you any advice for me? — OLDER, WISER AND HEARTBROKEN
DEAR OLDER, WISER AND HEARTBROKEN: Your letter made me furious. It proves that with your husband no good deed goes unpunished. Had you not taken on the functions your husband avoided, your credit would be shot, your house would be a wreck and your sex life nonexistent. And for this your husband slandered you?
That he would lie to his daughters about you is disgusting. That he then made a money grab and hid assets is appalling. What have you to gain from continuing this marriage? If I were you, I’d contact a divorce lawyer AND a forensic accountant, divide the assets and let the daughters take care of their ingrate of a father.
DEAR ABBY: My husband and I belong to a supper club comprised of four couples. We have enjoyed our monthly gatherings for years and have developed a strong bond with each couple. As a rule, each one takes turns hosting the event in their home. The recent behavior of one hostess has us baffled.
For starters, “Lynn” sometimes seats herself and her husband at a separate table, even though there’s room at the main table. She also involves herself with activities I consider rude — taking calls on her cell, perusing Facebook, doing paperwork. It’s beginning to feel as though we are an obligation rather than wanted guests.
Members of our group have been hesitant to discuss this with her because we don’t want to create tension in the group we have come to hold dear. Any suggestions? — GETTING SERVED A COLD DISH
DEAR GETTING SERVED: It appears there is already tension in the group you have come to hold dear. For a host to behave the way Lynn has is rude. Whoever in the group is closest to Lynn should have a chat with her about it — preferably face-to-face — and ask her to explain. It’s possible that the responsibility of hosting has become too much for her.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.