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OPINION | DEAR ABBY: Husband reveals a frighteningly short fuse

by Abigail Van Buren | June 3, 2021 at 1:00 a.m.

DEAR ABBY: My husband and I have been together 23 years. A few years ago, he told a friend of his he wasn't in love with or attracted to me. I'm the same 5-foot-6-inch, 135-pound woman he married. Recently, he has become increasingly short-tempered.

He gets angry at every driver on the road, he destroyed the vacuum when it stopped working and recently went after our 10-pound rescue dog for peeing when he yelled at him. I intervened when he started screaming that he would kill the dog. He then turned on me, yelling and breaking things.

I've never seen him this angry, and I am afraid it's escalating and he will physically harm the dog or me. Is it time to leave? He's no longer the man I married. -- FEARFUL IN TEXAS

DEAR FEARFUL: What you are describing is not normal behavior. Contact your doctor about the drastic change in your husband's personality because it could be symptomatic of a serious illness. After that, the next time he presents a physical danger, call the police and ensure your safety by leaving. And if you do, take your rescue dog with you.


DEAR ABBY: I am about to start my new college experience, but I have a few concerns. I'm very picky, and I enjoy my alone time. I like to keep my space clean and tidy, and I'm afraid my roommate(s) will be slobs and I'll end up cleaning up after them. I also need alone time so I can focus on myself to recoup after a long day. When I'm here at home I will usually do that in my bedroom. But if I have roommates, that will be difficult to do. I guess I'm asking how to find a happy medium so my roommates and I can be at peace at all times. -- WANTS TO PREPARE

DEAR WANTS: Because you didn't specify how many roommates you will be sharing your space with, I will assume there are more than one -- which may place you in the minority. Be open and honest with them about your desire for neatness and tidiness. They may not be as particular as you are, but it will provide you the opportunity to live with different kinds of people. As to the peace and quiet you crave, if adapting to each other's schedules isn't possible, consider heading to the library to find the peace and quiet you need. I wish you luck.


DEAR ABBY: I am retired, so I have free time on my hands. Recently, while doing a favor for a neighbor couple, I was standing on their porch when a board broke and one of my legs went through up to my thigh. They expressed concern at the time, and I told them I thought I was OK.

The next day, my knee and upper thigh were swollen and bruised. My leg is improving each day, and for that I'm thankful. This happened more than two weeks ago, and I have not gotten a phone call or anything else from these neighbors. Have people really gotten that insensitive, or am I making a big deal out of nothing? -- OLD SCHOOL IN GEORGIA

DEAR OLD SCHOOL: No, you are not making a big deal out of nothing. And yes, some people have become that insensitive. The reason for your neighbors' silence may be lack of empathy, or it could be fear of a lawsuit. Or they may have thought it was unnecessary to check further because you said you were OK.

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