DEAR AMY I am 75 years old and very sad. I have been married for 39 years. It has been very rocky. My wife is likely bipolar and has serious anxiety and anger issues. She refuses to get medical help. I have had to call the police twice. She has been verbally abusive and has hit me. I have tried to love her, but she is just impossible. We have a 1-year-old grandson, and during his visit with us she screamed at me, totally out of control. She flies off the handle if I do anything without her permission. We are each very comfortable financially, but in 39 years I have borne all household expenses, and she has saved every penny of her substantial income. She tracks my money. I often tell myself that I am the biggest fool. Some of my closest friends have told me to get out. I suppose you will tell me the same, but I find it very difficult after 39 years. How should I proceed? Every time I seriously show her I am about to leave, she starts telling me she loves me and cannot do without me. My daughters have given up on me and do not want to hear my problems anymore. They say I should just leave.
DEAR DISHEARTENED You are being verbally and physically abused. Your wife is controlling your movements and policing your money. Every time you seem ready to leave, she manipulates you into staying.
Please seek professional help immediately. Your marriage already has stolen your sense of well-being; this relationship is bad for your mental, emotional and physical health. It also is bad for your grandson. Imagine the impact of witnessing his grandmother screaming at you. Protect him from this by separating.
Please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline (thehotline.org) at 800-799- 7233. A counselor can help guide you through the process of safely leaving this relationship. A concerned friend and/ or your daughters also can help. The way to get help is to ask for it: "I want to leave. Please help me do this."