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Dear Abby: Past abuse causes present shame for husband in hiding

Dear Abby: A couple of years ago, I was arrested for domestic violence against my wife. We are still married, but since then, I have become antisocial.

I don’t like to go to public gatherings where I know the friends we used to hang out with will be, and I rarely communicate with them. I am extremely embarrassed and feel they are judging me. What do I do?

– Antisocial in Ohio

Dear Antisocial: Stop hiding. You aren’t “antisocial”; you are ashamed of what you did – and that’s a GOOD thing. Many abusers lack that capacity, and because of it they are unable to change their behavior.

I assume that after your arrest, you received counseling and have been able to find outlets other than violence for your frustrations. If you have, let your friends know about it. True friends won’t judge you – and people who do are not friends.

Tip off about a tippler

Dear Abby: During a conversation with my daughter “Jessica,” who is a graduate student, I mentioned that one of her teenage cousins who attends a nearby university is getting poor grades. Jessica replied that she wasn’t surprised. She said she knows her cousin drinks and parties a lot. Jessica went on to say that “Kristin” asked her to buy liquor for her once, but she refused.

My daughter asked me not to tell my brother and sister-in-law what she said because she felt it would be betraying a confidence. I’m unsure what to do. Should I tip them off or keep my mouth shut?

– Torn in Idaho

Dear Torn: “Kristin” appears to be immature, and her priorities are misplaced. Her grades might improve if she lived with her parents while taking classes until her judgment improves.

Ask yourself this: If the situation were reversed and the girl with the problem were your daughter, wouldn’t you want to be told? If the answer is yes, then notify your brother and sister-in-law.

Keep opinion under your hat

Dear Abby: I met this beautiful woman online. We have been dating for a few months, and I really don’t care for her natural hairstyle and the scarves/headgear she wears when we’re together. I have tiptoed around the issue. What should I do?

– Bachelor in Georgia

Dear Bachelor: Hair can be a sensitive issue with women. A natural hairdo is a lot healthier than coloring, perming or straightening, all of which involve products that can damage hair. Hats and scarves are a quick solution when a woman feels she’s having a bad hair day. My advice to you is to accept her just the way she is – unless you want to risk losing her.