DEAR AMY: I am a woman in my mid-30s. I started dating a new man eight months ago; he seemed wonderful. Recently I have realized what a Jekyll and Hyde character he is. When we are out with people he is fine, but behind closed doors he is verbally abusive (and in texts and over the phone). He has also been physically abusive, shoving me. I have since ended the relationship. Going forward, how do I quiet the voices whispering that what he said is true? Also, we share a hobby where we will cross paths a few times a week. How do I ward off the nosy parkers?
EAR DISILLUSIONED: You don't provide details about this guy shoving you, but if you were assaulted you should go to the police.
It won't surprise you that abusers are liars and cowards. You have to realize that the audiotape of put-downs you are replaying in your head is evidence of his insecurity that he has transferred to you.
Please don't let this guy continue to punish you in his absence. If you can't quite recover from this, it would be great for you to see a counselor for a time. It would help a lot.
If you can't (or don't want to) change your activity schedule to avoid him, then don't engage when you see him. Maintain a neutral demeanor. Don't worry about nosy people -- just tell them the relationship didn't work out. If you don't want to provide details, then don't.
DEAR AMY: This is in response to "Not the Perfect Wife," whose husband wouldn't do home repairs and "wouldn't let her call a plumber" to fix the dripping shower. Many years ago, I had a similar situation. My husband asked what I would do if I lived alone. I said I would ask the nice man next door to come help me. I asked my husband if he would like me to go next door. I haven't had a problem since.
DEAR BARBARA: I'm enjoying the huge response to this letter. Your story is good for a smile.