Alcohol ruins marriages and destroys ...

Alcohol ruins marriages and destroys families

There are 76 comments on the Chicago Tribune story from Jan 9, 2008, titled Alcohol ruins marriages and destroys families. In it, Chicago Tribune reports that:

Dear Amy: With regard to "Frustrated In-Laws," whose son-in-law was drunk and rude during Thanksgiving, I can tell you where this might be headed.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Chicago Tribune.

Lori

Newington, CT

#24 Jan 9, 2008
Lloyd Hansen wrote:
Alcohol is a psychoactive drug. The difference between it and other psychoactive drugs is that it has been around for thousands of years, is socially acceptable to use in many settings and is lightly regulated. Like illegal or heavily regulated psychoactive drugs it is addictive, impairing and destructive to those who abuse it.
Banning alcohol is nearly impossible but in theory I think it should be done. Wouldn't you want to ban a substance that is:
1. Responsible for thousands of auto accident accidents and fatalities every year.
2. Found to be a factor in every type of criminal activity.
3. Can cause poisoning if over-used.
4. Would not pass the FDA's standards for safety if it were introduced anew.
5. Proven to ruin marriages, families and careers.
How about a prescription?
Maria

Oswego, IL

#25 Jan 9, 2008
jane wrote:
Thank you notes for Christmas cards? NOT
I think the thank you notes she's referring to may be in response to the gift cards received from the group as birthday gifts.
steph

United States

#27 Jan 9, 2008
someone wrote:
<quoted text>
I will send you one as a gift but I expect a thank you note that is prompt, handwritten, on stationary, personalized and signed by the person who benefits. If this is to benefit the whole family I expect a thank you card from each member who uses it.
LOL!!!
Alcohol leads

Manchester, CT

#28 Jan 9, 2008
I don't care what is being said here about the pros and cons of alcohol, but all I know, all I have seen and all I have read about alcohol, it n-e-v-e-r leads to a good place. Alcohol is n-o-t an essential to life. I love all these posts that "justify" their use of alcohol. Face it, alcohol is a vice, just like cigarettes and gambling, and nothing good ever comes out of those either.
french fry

Eden Prairie, MN

#29 Jan 9, 2008
if they made pot legal, less people might be alcoholics. they'd be too stoned to fight, drive or be violent. they'd be bakin' on the couch, dude.
Dienne

Chicago, IL

#30 Jan 9, 2008
Ah, finally found it. The original letter from "Frustrated In-Laws":

Dear Amy: On Thanksgiving Day we had eight family members over to our home. Our table setting was formal with tablecloth and cloth napkins, flowers, china, crystal and silver.

We prepared a turkey, and our son-in-law brought a turkey as well. When it was time to carve, we carved our turkey, but he carved only the breast meat.

About that time we noticed, as usual, that he already had had way too much to drink. He put the entire turkey leg (drumstick with thigh attached) on his plate before dinner and then during the meal picked it up with his hands and ripped the meat off with his teeth.

We were very uncomfortable watching this, so a few days later, in a non-threatening way, we approached him about his drunken behavior and the poor table manners. We were very careful because he is sensitive.

This past Thanksgiving was the third time he acted in the same bad way, but we never said anything before. We said that it's not good for his almost-3-year-old daughter to see him like that. He replied that he thought we were way too fussy and critical. He also told us that he will not come to our home again.

How can we get him to understand that his table manners were not proper behavior, and how else shall we handle future formal gatherings in case he decides to attend.

-- Frustrated In-Laws

We have only the LW's word that the son-in-law had had "way too much to drink". The example cited (the turkey leg incident) doesn't really convince me that he was really that over the top.
steph

United States

#31 Jan 9, 2008
Dienne, I agree. I remembered the letter and I thought her description of the horror was a bit...um...lacking in the horror department.
Lynn

United States

#32 Jan 9, 2008
ANON wrote:
To LW1,
I would love to hear his side of the story. I have a dear friend
who was drinking too much, but only at home.
His wife kicked him out and wow what a change. There maybe the occasional beer in the evening, but no more aclcohol binges.
His side: it was the only way he knew to deal with her constant barragemant of do this, do that, make more money, you can't have a nap in the middle fo the day,
He actually asked me if when he went to heaven was he going to have a nagging wife following him around.
And yea, he made up stories about why he was drinking ...anything to get her to shut up.
So, there are two sides to each story.
I agree, so when are you going to talk to your friend's wife to get her side?
Sean

Kansas City, MO

#33 Jan 9, 2008
Alcohol leads wrote:
I don't care what is being said here about the pros and cons of alcohol, but all I know, all I have seen and all I have read about alcohol, it n-e-v-e-r leads to a good place. Alcohol is n-o-t an essential to life. I love all these posts that "justify" their use of alcohol. Face it, alcohol is a vice, just like cigarettes and gambling, and nothing good ever comes out of those either.
Wow, what a sad, boring life you must have had. Nothing good ever comes of vices? Thats why everyone HATES Las Vegas, right? Of course vices are immoral, but to say that NOTHING good EVER comes of them is pretty obsurd, unless you don't consider things like fun and enjoyment of one's life to be good.

By the way, its difficult to have any sort of meaningful dialogue when one person starts things with any kind of variation of "I don't care what you say ..."
steph

United States

#34 Jan 9, 2008
I actually take issue with "vices are immoral," in the context of saying these things are vices, vices are immoral, therefore, these things are immoral. It's immoral to smoke a cigarette? To buy a powerball ticket or play the slots?

Anything done to excess can become a problem; sex and shopping are two fantastic examples of great things that, done to excess, lead to dark places. There's a reason that "everything in moderation" is a saying by which people should live.
Gotta Love It

Pittsburgh, PA

#35 Jan 9, 2008
ANON wrote:
To LW1,
I would love to hear his side of the story. I have a dear friend
who was drinking too much, but only at home.
His wife kicked him out and wow what a change. There maybe the occasional beer in the evening, but no more aclcohol binges.
His side: it was the only way he knew to deal with her constant barragemant of do this, do that, make more money, you can't have a nap in the middle fo the day,
He actually asked me if when he went to heaven was he going to have a nagging wife following him around.
And yea, he made up stories about why he was drinking ...anything to get her to shut up.
So, there are two sides to each story.
This really sounds lke my wife as well... she explodes if I have more then 3 beers ina weeks time and is constantly nagging about crap. UGH
someone

United States

#36 Jan 9, 2008
without a few drinks (not a binge or any other sort of problem drinking) I wouldnt have kissed several cute, shy, geeky boys who never would have made the first move
Another Amy

Concordville, PA

#37 Jan 9, 2008
Some people are okay with a drink or two here & there. Some people think one a month is too much. Neither side is right. Neither side is wrong.
It's probably not a good idea (physically, emotionally, socially, whatever) to drink for the sole purpose of getting obliterated - no matter how many times a week/month. It impairs judgment to the point of being unsafe.
I honestly do not believe anyone m-a-k-e-s another person drink (or get angry enough to become violent, etc). The choice is entirely that of the drinker. They choose HOW to cope with a situation. Many people, due to upbringing, simply lack the ability to cope with every day situations. It sucks, but it's not anyone else's fault but the drinker. Resources are available to learn how to live a happy life. Just as the drinker chooses to take the drink, they choose to ignore the resources available to them. For every poor alcoholic/addict"...grew up the abused/molested child of addicts/alcoholics..." story, there is a corresponding tale of another who overcame such terrible beginnings.
We all make choices, good and bad.
EEE

Tinley Park, IL

#39 Jan 9, 2008
Alcohol leads wrote:
I don't care what is being said here about the pros and cons of alcohol, but all I know, all I have seen and all I have read about alcohol, it n-e-v-e-r leads to a good place. Alcohol is n-o-t an essential to life. I love all these posts that "justify" their use of alcohol. Face it, alcohol is a vice, just like cigarettes and gambling, and nothing good ever comes out of those either.
Very few things *are* essential to life. It's a short list: Food, Water, Air, and Shelter.

That doesn't mean that everything else should be banned.

Yes, people should be responsible in their actions, but I personally get a good deal of pleasure from sharing a bottle of pinot noir with my girlfriends or even (horrors!) getting roaring drunk occasionally.
Anon

Brooklyn, NY

#40 Jan 9, 2008
RE: LW1, I agree, alcohol can be devasting to families. I have a number of alcoholics in my family. That said, I don't think banning it is an answer. Personally, I like a couple of glasses of wine with dinner from time to time. I think the key is to remove the stigma and be straightforward with kids from an early age. This way, those who have a problem will be more likely to go for help early on.

As to the personal responsibility of the alcoholic, I would say it's the same as any other disease. It's not anyone's fault you have it, but you do have an obligation to yourself & loved ones to manage your disease the best you can. I'm an asthmatic who's allergic to cats. I'd love to have a couple of cats around, but I wheeze & need an inhaler when I'm around them, so I don't. Diabetics have to manage their blood sugar. Alcoholics need to manage their alcoholism.

LW2: Throwing plates at someone is abusive. Not coincidentally, there's a lot of overlap between alcoholics & plate throwers in my family!:) Seriously, I would suggest the LW visit to support her brother, but either stay in a hotel or have hotel accomodations at the ready. This way they can support her brother, but have a safe haven for themselves & him. If she gets physical, call 911 on her.

LW3:
Jen wrote:
The card thing again. Does everyone carry a check list around so they can keep track of their card grievances? Must get me one. Do they sell them at Target? ;)-
Jen, this cracks me up. A couple of my relatives are obssessed with cards. They note who sends them (I'm in the doghouse for not sending them) and the quality of the design and whether it's a generic card or a relative specific card (aunt, niece, etc.) Pre e-mail, I used to send them out, because it was a good way to keep in touch with people. Now, that e-mail allows me to keep in touch with far flung friends & family, I don't send cards out. And at the risk of sounding like Ebeneezer, I think they clutter up the place. Though I do like the ones with kid/pet photos as it's nice to see how the kids are growing, the new puppy, kitten, etc.

To me, this is where the holidays start getting stressful, everyone tries to impose their meaning on everyone else instead of just respecting the way people choose to celebrate. I like lights, I don't insist everyone else put up a lot of lights.
EEE

Tinley Park, IL

#42 Jan 9, 2008
Jen wrote:
The card thing again. Does everyone carry a check list around so they can keep track of their card grievances? Must get me one. Do they sell them at Target? ;)-
Hee hee!

My mother, who is lovely in every other way, keeps a tally of people who send her holiday cards. I think she puts a little red X in her address book or something. If someone doesn't send her a card for two years in a row - THAT'S IT!- no more cards for them!

I find this endlessly amusing.(Though, despite my own "no card" rule, she does continue to send holiday cards to me)
Natalie

Phoenix, AZ

#43 Jan 9, 2008
Maybe Concerned Older Sister ought to ask her brother why his wife is so mad. She's getting half the story. After she finds out what her brother did, she may do some yelling herself.
Suze

Salisbury, MD

#44 Jan 9, 2008
I don't care what he did--screaming and throwing dishes is never acceptable behavior. And to do it in front of people is just poor manners as well as inherently wrong.

What I don't understand is why the brother accepts it. At some point, he needs to walk out the door and not come back for a while.
rkeo

Vernon Hills, IL

#45 Jan 9, 2008
Gotta Love It wrote:
BAN BOOZE! come on jump on the anti-booze bandwagon! It MAY ruin your marrage
Ban Smoking!! come on jump on the anti-smoking bandwagon! It May cause you health problems, it is not for you to decide how to run a business it in the majorities!
Ban Cussing!!! come on jump on the anti-swearing bandwagon! Gotta keep the language clean, it might hurt someones feelings
Ban Sugar!!!! come on jump on the anti-sugar bandwagon! I have had enough fo the twikie defense, plus it could cause ou health problems
Ban Speach!!!!!come on jump on the anti-speach bandwagon! YOu can't say waht tyou want on what the majority wants to hear
Ban SEX! come on jump on the anti-sex bandwagon!
Sex is bad period.
Ban non-marrage relationships!come on jump on the anti-immoral bandwagon! IMORALLITY enough said
Ban Cars!! come on jump on the anti-car bandwagon! YOu might get run over someday... plus all the crap they put out hurts the environment
Ban it all NOW!!!!
great point...lets ban the banners.
Mellers

Saint Paul, MN

#46 Jan 9, 2008
While I don't know what went on, I'm surprised that LW1 didn't demand her husband get help (she alone could go to AA). My parents are alcoholics but 17 years ago made a concious effort to reduce their consumption. They worked together, for better or worse, and have done well over the years. They've set an example for me that if you have a problem, you ask for help.

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