I want to divorce my husband but he has cancer

DEAR ABBY: My husband and I have been married for nine years. While we were dating, he was kind, childish and loving. After we got married, he turned into a chronic complainer, which he later admitted he hid while we were dating.

He talks to me like I’m trash and then gets nice when he wants something. He complains about my grown children, my best friend and even if I leave for work a few minutes early. He is a miserable man. I can’t do anything to make him happy. I can’t take it anymore.

It took away the things I love – flowers, gardening, pets, books, friends, etc. I’m ready to leave, but she has cancer and I’d feel guilty. He’s in the clear right now, but he’ll be back.

I don’t want to stay. Life is too short to live this way. He has a great support system with his family. They would take care of him. My health has been affected by him and his terrible attitude. What to do? — Worn out WIFE

DEAR WIFE: What you do now is consult a lawyer, pack your bags and leave before it gets worse. Don’t expect your husband to be grateful for it Any of the efforts you made on his behalf during your marriage. While you were dating, he hid from you the fact that he was a verbal abuser. Now you know he was a fraud. Don’t feel guilty for protecting yourself and getting your life back.

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DEAR ABBY: My brother died. He and my sister-in-law had a good marriage. A month after his funeral, my sister-in-law gave her children their father’s clothes, instructing them to go through them, keep what they wanted or sell or donate the rest. It’s only been a year. Now she’s redecorating their house — painting, taking pictures and buying new furniture.

This bothers me a lot. I’m so hurt that everything changes. It’s like she’s trying to erase him — all within a year! Should I ask her why everything changes and is rejected so soon? And should I feel so hurt about it? — WE ARE SURE HOW WE WILL FEEL

OUR BELOVED: Your ex-sister-in-law seems to be more realistic than emotional, and there’s nothing wrong with that. She knew her late husband could no longer use his wardrobe and saw no reason to keep the items hanging in the closet. That he offered his clothes to her children was fitting. That he is now making changes at home is not unusual. People are warned not to make “major decisions” for about a year after the death of a spouse, and your ex-SIL wisely avoided it.

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If you want to ask her why she’s changing things, do it in a non-accusatory way that won’t offend her. I suspect you feel hurt because you are still not ready to accept that your brother is gone forever. You may find it helpful to talk about this with someone experienced in the grieving process.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, aka Jeanne Phillips, and founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at or PO Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.