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GET COUNSELING OR GET OUT

Dear Ann Landers: My husband, "Jim," and I have been married for two years. We dated for almost nine years before we married. Jim has always been moody and suffers from depression. I have suggested counseling and anti-depressant medication, but he refuses to get any help at all.

Last summer, Jim and I got into a typical married-couple argument. It was no big deal, but he completely lost his temper, and threw our coffee table across the room, and punched a hole in the wall over my head. He never apologized, and I let the incident blow over.

Last Sunday, we had another minor disagreement. I left the room, and when I returned, Jim had thrown the Sunday paper in the trash can, even though he knew I hadn't read it. I yelled at him, so he went into the kitchen and dumped the entire can of garbage into the middle of the living room. Later that evening, I told him I was not going to tolerate living in a house where things are thrown. He replied, "There are three doors in this place. Pick any one if you feel like leaving."

I love Jim, but I fear his volatile behavior. What should I do?

-- Trying to Save My Marriage in Chicago
Dear Chicago: Tell Jim, "Either get into counseling for anger management, or get out." That man is making your life a living hell, and you should not have to put up with it. For his good, as well as for those who must be around him, Jim needs to face up to his problem and deal with it. You also need to protect yourself.

Personal questions

Dear Ann Landers: I agree with the letter from "Montana," who said it is not OK for inquisitive children to ask personal questions of strangers with disabilities. This creates a very uncomfortable situation, not only for the person being questioned, but also for the bystanders.

Would you allow a child to ask a stranger why he was 100 pounds overweight? Children's natural curiosity should be indulged at home, where all their questions can be answered. Otherwise, they need to learn the Ann Landers' maxim: MYOB.

-- P.B., Des Moines, Iowa
Dear P.B.: All young children have a natural curiosity. They don't know anything about MYOB. Most people who have come to terms with a visible handicap do not resent questions from young children. What they do resent, and rightfully so, are crude questions from vulgar, insensitive adults.

A new wrinkle

Dear Ann Landers: An article about the marriage of two local people ended with the following: "In lieu of sending personal thank-you notes for wedding gifts, the couple made a donation to the American Cancer Society."

Is this the lazy way out, or what? Aren't people entitled to a written thank-you note, even if it only says, "Thank you for the wedding gift"?

-- An Ohio Grandmother
Dear Ohio Granny: It's not a new trend. It's an attempt to escape the tedious job of writing thank-you notes, and in my book, inexcusable. Anyone who takes the time and spends the money to send a wedding gift is entitled to a written note of appreciation. Anything short of that is a cop-out and totally unacceptable.

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