Now that my husband is dead, should I tell the truth?

DEAR MISS MANNERS: My husband of 58 years died last year. He was highly respected and loved by many people who had experienced his comfort and prayers in times of need. In fact, I received 150 sympathy cards. He truly was a good man to all who were in need.

What no one knows is that, from the beginning of our life together, he never put me first. He seldom, if ever, encouraged me or complimented me. His abusiveness came through in the tone of his voice, not his actual words. I sought counseling after 30 years because I no longer knew who I was or what I wanted.

I cannot explain the relief I felt when I no longer came home to his car in the garage. How do I respond to the constant sympathy I continue to receive from those who miss him more than I do? I don’t want to denigrate his memory for those who experienced his love and concern.

GENTLE READER: “Thank you. He will be missed.” That it will not be by you, Miss Manners assures you, need not be specified.

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I am an 11-year-old male. I’ve recently come across a dilemma when I try to read the writing on a girl’s or woman’s shirt.

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