“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#1 Aug 3, 2014
Dear Amy: My friend of over 50 years was always a heavy drinker. Recently his drinking has become a problem. He becomes very loud and opinionated. He has ruined the last four or five times we have been out with our wives, once even getting in a fight. We are both in our 70s.

Another longtime friend and I ran an intervention in which we told him of our concerns. His wife is co-dependent and fears she will have to change, too. Partly because of her, the intervention went nowhere.

Now my friend has turned on me. He has sent many ranting e-mails, and "blame the messenger" is the theme.

We have told him and his wife that we will no longer see them after his cocktail hour starts (5 p.m.). According to his wife, other friends are doing the same thing, but you would think it is the biggest betrayal in human history.

We still value this friend but are stymied.

Any hope?— Sad

Dear Sad: First, a word about interventions. Friends and family use interventions as a last-ditch effort to confront an addict, but these confrontations only work when there is unanimity among the group about the non-negotiable consequences if an addict refuses to seek help. In this case, your friend's wife is the key player, and as long as she continues to deny and enable her husband's drinking, an intervention will not work.

Now that you have told your friend the truth, there is some hope that he will finally seek help, but unfortunately alcoholism is an insidious disease. Your friend is acting out in rage and frustration, and you can see this as an effort to make you responsible for his problems. You are not.

Your response to him should be respectful and encouraging: "Please get help for your drinking. We miss your friendship. Let me know if you want to get together for breakfast; I'd like to talk." Fifty years of friendship gives you currency, and I applaud your efforts.

He would benefit from Alcoholics Anonymous ( aa.org ) and she from Al-anon ( al-anon.alateen.org ). Both organizations host local meetings and have helped countless people battling addiction.

Dear Amy: I live with my husband and nephew who both do not work because they can't find work in their respective fields. I couldn't find work in my field, either, but decided to take a menial job because we had to survive.

I have footed the bills for six years now, and both men do not seem to feel the pinch because they live comfortably. I am considering getting a divorce and kicking out my nephew. Have I waited too long?— Conflicted

Dear Conflicted: I don't know if you've waited too long to take action, but there is no time like the present to take steps to re-balance your marriage.

Kicking out your nephew might be a good first step. Without a male playmate at home, your husband might feel the urge to step up and rededicate himself to being a productive member of the family.

I don't know if there are other issues preventing you and your husband from salvaging your relationship, but I hope you will consider inviting him into counseling before calling a lawyer.

Dear Amy: "Unsure" presented you with a tough dilemma; she was rethinking her relationship with her longtime boyfriend and also wondering about her sexual orientation.

I was 34 when I finally came out as a lesbian. I had been with my ex-boyfriend for 13 years, living together for 11, and it still took me that long.

Now, 10 years later (I'll be 44 next month), I can see the signs that I have always been gay. But when I was younger, I really couldn't see the forest through the trees.

So, no, Unsure. You wouldn't necessarily know by now if you were gay. There are people who go their whole lives without such self-awareness. Be grateful you're figuring it out now.— Deb in Orlando

Dear Deb: It can take a lot of hard work and soul searching to arrive at the truth about one's sexual orientation, and it doesn't happen on a specific timetable.

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#2 Aug 3, 2014
1.Mean drunks are hard to deal with.

Nice and sleepy drunks are harder because you feel more frustration and less rage at them. Enabling spouses are to be pitied. The whole situation sucks.

You could take him visiting in a hospital to see what people in liver failure look like when their belly swells like a 9 month pregnant woman and has to be drained into a bucket with a 1/4" diameter metal tube. Or get them to watch someone with the DT's.

AlAnon is not all that it is cracked up to be

2. Six years, you are the only one working a and it is a menial job?

You need to meet the wife in Ltr 1.
Pippa

Hancock, NY

#3 Aug 3, 2014
PEllen wrote:
1.Mean drunks are hard to deal with.
Nice and sleepy drunks are harder because you feel more frustration and less rage at them. Enabling spouses are to be pitied. The whole situation sucks.
You could take him visiting in a hospital to see what people in liver failure look like when their belly swells like a 9 month pregnant woman and has to be drained into a bucket with a 1/4" diameter metal tube. Or get them to watch someone with the DT's.
AlAnon is not all that it is cracked up to be
2. Six years, you are the only one working a and it is a menial job?
You need to meet the wife in Ltr 1.
1: I used to think teenagers who experimented with or were already addicted to tobacco should do something similar - go to a hospital and see folks with end stage lung cancer or emphysema. But alas, the problem has to do with HIPPA laws which protect the medical privacy of patients. I have been happy to see that some people who have serious health problems from smoking have spoken about and shown their problems on anti-smoking ads. To me, those folks are heroes for allowing their health problems resulting from their smoking to be shown to help prevent others from smoking. I think the same should be done by people who've had health and other problems from their alcoholism. It takes a brave and selfless person to expose him/herself in this manner.
I do think the lw and some of the other friends are doing all they can for the alcoholic guy. At least they know they are not part of his problem. It sounds as though the wife is an enabler and part of the problem. I get the impression that she too likes to drink and that she doesn't want to stop in order to help hubby.
2: Yes, kick out the nephew although at this point, you would likely have to go through a legal eviction process. Find out what the law says in your state. Then tell hubby he has to get off his duff and do something to help bring in money. If you have only a menial job yet the 3 of you have been able to get by, does that mean you've also had public assistance? I'd think they'd want hubby and nephew to have jobs in order to qualify though since you haven't mentioned any health issues preventing them. I'd say that if hubby doesn't get a job or even put in a decent effort, you should kick him out too and perhaps file for a legal separation. But even here, you'd have a problem because you might be required by law to pay him support since you've been the one supporting him for the last 6 years. I hope he at least keeps the house clean and does the laundry and cooking.
Pippa

Hancock, NY

#4 Aug 3, 2014
3: I am no expert on this kind of thing but the letter does actually tell me something. I had a relative, my mom's cousin whom she never met and we never met until after her death. He was gay and in a 20 year relationship with his partner when we met him at a family reunion. Cousin told us he'd been married and fathered a daughter many years ago but had gotten divorced. Someone in the family said, not to this man's face, that he was a terrible person first because he was gay, second because he had "used" his wife to hide his homosexuality, third because he had divorced his wife. We have no information about who divorced whom and whether the wife even knew he was gay at the time of the divorce; so this is all an assumption on this person's part. I always thought that back in those days many gay people married and had kids because it "was expected" not necessarily because they were using marriage to hide their homosexuality. This lw has brought out a new concept for me to ponder. I can't ask Cousin because he died a few years ago. However, there is now the possibility that he married because he genuinely liked and perhaps even loved his wife and hadn't even fully realized he was gay at the time. Based on this lw's comments, I think perhaps that was the case for a number of gay people marrying people of the opposite sex and not necessarily because they felt they had to hide their sexual preferences.
Kuuipo

Salinas, CA

#5 Aug 3, 2014
LW1: You tried your best, but 50-year old habits are hard to beat and the truth hurts. You might try filming him when he gets belligerent and then playing the recording in front of him when he's sober.

LW2: Six years? Finding a job after being out of the workforce for that long will be very challenging, but not impossible. Your husband will have to explain his long absence from the workforce to any prospective employer. Employers want people with fresh skills. How is your husband keeping current with advances in his field? Are there any temp agencies in your area? You should insist that your husband sign up with them. You can also help both your husband and nephew by submitting their resumes online and writing cover letters for them. Personally, I would have lost patience with this situation 5 1/2 years ago.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Braidwood, IL

#6 Aug 3, 2014
1- Let the dude drink

2- Tell them to find a job or you're gone

3- Tough break that your ex ruined you for all other men

“On Deck”

Since: Aug 08

French Polynesia

#7 Aug 3, 2014
Gee Pellen, that is a rather graphic description of the end-stages of corrhosis of the liver.

But yeah, generally speaking those drunks are very difficult people to deal with.
I would rather deal with anyone on any substance other than alcohol.
They can be the worst of the worst sometimes.

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#8 Aug 3, 2014
loose cannon wrote:
Gee Pellen, that is a rather graphic description of the end-stages of corrhosis of the liver.
But yeah, generally speaking those drunks are very difficult people to deal with.
I would rather deal with anyone on any substance other than alcohol.
They can be the worst of the worst sometimes.
Even PCP or Meth?

Since: Feb 08

Location hidden

#9 Aug 3, 2014
PEllen wrote:
<quoted text>
Even PCP or Meth?
Yeah, he can shoot them and the cops would give him pass.

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