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Published December 22, 2010, 12:00 AM

Annie's Mailbox: If veteran won’t seek counseling, his wife should

Dear Annie: My husband, “Bill,” and I have been married for almost two years. Bill was in the U.S. Army and served in Iraq. When he got back, we were married, but, Annie, he has totally changed.

By: Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, INFORUM

Dear Annie: My husband, “Bill,” and I have been married for almost two years. Bill was in the U.S. Army and served in Iraq. When he got back, we were married, but, Annie, he has totally changed.

This past year, all we seem to do is fight. Bill gets upset about everything I do and say. I can’t even mention any of his behavior without it leading to a fight. A year ago, he got drunk and accused me of sleeping with one of his friends. He yelled at me so loudly that the neighbors called the police.

I have tried suggesting we talk to a counselor because nothing is helping us get along better, but he refuses. If he drinks, he treats me like dirt. When we are at a party, he’ll totally ignore me and spend all his time flirting with other women. I am tired of being treated this way, and I know the drinking is a huge part of it.

I am eight months pregnant and an emotional mess. I’ve told him that fighting is not healthy for the baby. I believe he has post-traumatic stress disorder, but he says he doesn’t need any help.

I don’t know how much longer I can last in this marriage. I feel like I’ve lost the man I fell in love with. Please tell me what to do. – Don’t Know Where To Get Help

Dear Don’t Know: It’s a shame Bill is unwilling to get help when he clearly needs it. He may be suffering from PTSD, or he may have developed an alcohol problem, or both. Whether or not he is willing to get help, however, you absolutely must.

You can get information on PTSD through the Veterans Administration at ptsd.va.gov. We also recommend you contact Military OneSource (militaryonesource.com) at (800) 342-9647. It is an excellent resource for service members, veterans and their families.


Dear Annie: Why do intelligent, educated people fail to practice the most basic rules of e-mail etiquette? Do they not realize how intrusive many practices have become?

One of the most flagrant abuses is to forward a message without removing the names and e-mail addresses of others. Another travesty is the chain e-mail that promises good luck if you forward it or, worse, predicts bad luck if you don’t. Does anyone actually believe them? And what about those that insist you demonstrate your affection for the sender by returning the message?

Please provide your readers with a refresher course in courtesy when sending personal e-mails. Thank you. – Shreveport, La.

Dear Shreveport: Whether dealing with e-mails, phone calls or visits, it is common courtesy not to be overly intrusive. That means asking whether someone wants to be on your mailing list for jokes, political rants, religious editorials and chain letters and respecting the answer. It means deleting the e-mail addresses of others, along with any extraneous material, when forwarding something. When sending a personal e-mail, be friendly. Don’t type in all caps unless you are furious. And please do not send pornography.


Dear Annie: I beg you to reconsider your answer to “Smokeless in Seattle,” who didn’t want to spend Christmas Eve with Grandma because she smokes.

Please educate your readers about the dangers of third-hand smoke. This refers to contamination that settles into the environment and remains on clothing, upholstery, pets, etc. long after the smoke has cleared. Infants and children are thought to be in the most danger since they touch surfaces and then put their fingers in their mouths. I doubt you would advise exposing an infant to 250 chemicals just to keep Grandma happy. – Oncology Certified Registered Nurse

Dear Nurse: We cannot live in sterilized bubbles. Parents are capable of watching their children carefully for an evening at Grandma’s once a year, although we concur that other family gatherings should be held elsewhere.


Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please e-mail your questions to anniesmailbox@comcast.net or write to Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 5777 W. Century Blvd., Suite 700, Los Angeles, CA 90045.

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