Dear Annie: I've been married for 29 years. I have three sons who are all grown. I held a job only for a few years of that time. I am not working now. I have custody of one grandson, and babysit him and another grandson.
For the past five years, my husband and I haven't gotten along. He is so controlling. He took the car and bank account card away. Now he won't let me touch any money, and I'm stuck in the house with no way to get anywhere.
I have to cook what he buys, whether I like it or not. I have to beg for a soda. He will only buy water for me. I'm not allowed to have anything. My mom has tried to help with shampoo and stuff. The little money I get from babysitting I use for toothpaste and body wash.
I moved into a spare bedroom a year ago. Now he won't pay for my doctor visits and leaves my medications at the pharmacy for weeks at a time. I have asthma, high blood pressure and a blood disorder. I need those medications. I'm scared he will hurt me if I try to go to the bank for money. Is this abuse? -- Help Me, Please
Dear Help: Yes, this is abuse. Your husband doesn't have to hit you to be an abuser. Controlling all the money, as well as access to your medications and doctors, is also a form of abuse. Please contact the National Domestic Violence hotline (thehotline.org) at 1-800-799-SAFE. Someone there can help you find the safest way to leave this situation. Please don't wait. Call right now.
Dear Annie: My daughter was recently a bridesmaid in a wedding. The bride was one of her closest friends growing up, and I always thought of her as a second daughter.
My husband and I looked at her registry and purchased expensive china for her that cost us hundreds of dollars. We just received her thank-you note in the mail. It was a postcard with a short message thanking us for the "dinnerware."
I am greatly disappointed to have received a postcard instead of an actual, thoughtful, handwritten note. I know it's the thought that counts and we should be grateful to receive an acknowledgement since so many newlyweds don't even bother, but does this generation lack the finer skills of proprietary and manners? I know I taught my daughter better than that and she sent personalized thank-you notes for her wedding gifts. Should I say anything to the bride? -- Concerned Mom
Dear Mom: Please don't say anything to the bride. As close as you may be, you are not her mother. We know you are disappointed in the quality of your thank-you note, and we understand. However, you did receive an acknowledgement of your gift, along with a "thanks" of some kind. That will simply have to do. A proper thank-you note should always say something specific, gracious and appreciative. It's too bad so many brides and grooms don't realize how important that small effort is to the recipient.
Annie's Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please email your questions to anniesmailboxcreators.com or write to Annie's Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 3rd Street, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254. You can also find Annie on Facebook at Facebook.com/AskAnnies.
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