Wonderful advice, RedHendoo!
My mother soon learned after marrying my father that he could be abusive at times. She never knew who would come home from work, Dr. Jeckyl or Mr Hyde.
As she puts it, we all learned to walk on eggshells so as not to arouse the terrible temper.
She began confiding in me when I was very young, and probably told me a lot of things she shouldn't have shared with a child.
One of the biggest things I remember is that she told me her mother told her to take us kids and walk away from the marriage; but she waited so long to take that advice that my sister and I were married and my brother in college before she took action.
She said she didn't do this earlier, as she didn't know how she would have supported us or where she could have turned.
I don't know what options were actually available to her back in the 60s, but I have come to understand that MANY MANY of the kids I grew up with -- in an affluent community, by the way -- were all secretly living with horrible situations at home. Drink, drugs, sex and infidelity -- all were lurking just below the well-varnished surface.