Dear Abby:

My husband and I have been together for eight years, married for seven. During the last five years, he has picked fights with me. He tells me I'm worthless, that he doesn't care if we have sex or not because he can get it someplace else, and that I'm stupid.

I have been depressed for nearly six years. I want to get on antidepressants, but my husband doesn't believe in them and doesn't want me on them. I cry myself to sleep at night and have even started having nightmares. I went through this when I was young, after my mom moved out. I know what depression is, but I can't convince my husband that I need the medicine.

During our last fight, he told me the only reason he ever said he was sorry and I'm still around is because he wants me here so he can have the kids around all the time, and because it's convenient. He apologized later, but I'm left wondering if he said it only to keep me around waiting on him hand and foot.

Please help me. My husband doesn't believe in counseling.

Beaten Down in Oklahoma

Since when do you need anyone's permission to talk to a doctor? Please do so right away to discuss your long history of depression. While you are there, mention the fact that your husband is verbally abusive and ask for a referral to a licensed marriage counselor. Should your verbally abusive spouse refuse to go with you, go without him. Your mental health must come first. Once you start feeling better about yourself, you'll be better able to deal with your husband.

P.S. If your physician feels you should be on medication, then what your husband thinks or says about it should be of no consequence. Take your cues from your doctor.

Dear Abby:

My daughter, "Danni," is 36. She was heterosexual until she spent five years in prison. Ever since her release, she has been living in a lesbian relationship with a woman named "Marty." But sometimes she comes to my house and uses my computer to visit lesbian sites, trying to find another lover.

I hate the woman Danni is with now. I try to treat Marty with respect because I love my daughter. But I am considering trying to find a spell book and casting a spell to make Danni break up with Marty.

Do you know where I could find a book with spells in it? Marty is bigger than Danni. They got into a fist fight recently, and Danni came to me covered with bruises. Please tell me what to do. I don't know . . .

Witch Way to Turn

Let me "spell" a few things out to you. Your daughter should not be looking for another romance until after she has ended and healed from this one. Since her current relationship has turned violent, the book you should both be reaching for isn't a spell book -- it's your local phone book. If she is injured again, the police should be called and she should be taken to a hospital and her injuries photographed. Your daughter may need to obtain a restraining order to keep her girlfriend away.

The Domestic Violence Hotline (800-799-7233) should also be contacted. It won't be the first time it has gotten a call from a gay person. The experts there can help your daughter formulate an escape plan.

Also, please urge your daughter to contact the nearest gay and lesbian center and inquire about counseling services. Counseling will prevent her from jumping out of "the pen" and into another violent relationship.

A Note to Parents of Young Children: If your little ones will be trick-or-treating this weekend, please be sure they are supervised to ensure their safety.

Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, Calif. 90069.

(c)2004, Universal Press Syndicate