Husband’s depression won’t be cured by acting out online
DEAR ABBY: I have been married for seven years and have two children. My husband has what I can only describe as an Internet addiction. He’s literally online from the time I go to bed until I wake up to take our kids to school. I checked and discovered many profiles he has made up on different dating sites.
When I confronted him, he told me he has no interest in having an affair. He said he has been depressed for some time, and it’s his way of escaping reality. I recommended he talk to a therapist, but he keeps trying to justify his behavior by telling me I have no reason to feel hurt because it’s all “make-believe.”
Our relationship has taken a serious dive since I found out. I no longer trust him alone on the computer. I am also no longer attracted to him, and I no longer feel attractive. I don’t know what I can do to be a supportive partner if he won’t admit he has a problem. Please help me. I’m at a total loss. – SECOND TO A SCREEN NAME
DEAR SECOND: May I be frank? First on your agenda should be to take care of yourself and your own emerging depression. If that means talking to a professional, then go for it.
You have every right to be angry about what your husband has been doing. It isn’t harmless, and it isn’t effective therapy for his depression. Much as you might wish to, you can’t fix his problem – which is trying to escape from reality. Only he can do that. Let’s hope he’ll find the courage to face what he’s trying to escape from while your marriage is still salvageable.
DEAR ABBY: I am not suicidal, but I do think about death, in the sense of what happens when one dies. I believe in the heaven-and-hell theory. Although I’m not sure I want to go to heaven, I AM sure I don’t want to go to hell.
My reason for not wanting to go to heaven is because of the relatives who have gone before me. I come from a very abusive family but, like so many, most of them have been able to do what I call the “last-minute redemption.” With that in mind, I do not want to spend all of eternity with the same people I could not wait to have exit this Earth.
I am also not a big believer in this forgiveness thing – forgiving adults who do these things to children and expect them to forget about it. I sure haven’t, and I never will!
Do you, or the clergy, think it’s possible for God to just let some of us sleep through eternity without meeting up with family on “the other side”? – OWENSBORO, KY., READER
DEAR READER: Because I am more involved with what’s going on in this life rather than the next, I took your question to Rev. Canon Mark Stanger of Grace Cathedral in San Francisco. He suggests that you stop thinking about heaven as a “place” or that you need a scorecard to get there. He also said: “A merciful God will make heaven what you need – and in your case, heaven may be liberation from these troubled people.”
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.