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Dear Abby: My husband is 99 percent bed-bound with primary progressive MS. My oldest son is bipolar (he’s off his meds and doing great), and my youngest son has Asperger’s.

My husband refuses to even try to understand the boys. When they have behavior problems, he tells them if he could, he would backhand them. At the same time, the boys and I are expected to have our lives revolve around his disability. His MS is always top priority. I hate watching him go through his disease, but does that give him a free pass to bully our boys? I realize the boys have issues that are difficult to deal with, but I feel like I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place.

If I support my sons, I’m a bad wife. If I support my husband, I’m a bad mom. I’m not really expecting any answers, but needed to vent. I do have a support system of extended family and friends, but sometimes the lack of support inside the house makes me crazy. Any words of wisdom, Abby?

– Stretched Thin In Colorado

Dear Stretched Thin: You’re carrying an enormous load on your shoulders right now. I wish you wouldn’t label yourself as a “bad” ANYTHING because you are just a mortal woman who is trying to cope.

Your husband is understandably bitter and sometimes takes it out on those closest to him. His MS IS top priority because he’s incapacitated. Your boys need to understand the importance of not stressing their father. I’m glad your older son is doing well off medication, IF that’s OK with his doctor. But it’s my understanding that people with a chemical imbalance need to stay on their meds. As to your younger son, people with Asperger’s may have problems with their social interactions, but they can be taught rules of acceptable behavior.

If you need to vent, it’s important for your sanity that you be able to do so. It’s wonderful that you have extended family and friends to support you, but if at all possible, find someone who can offer a respite from your caregiving.