Q: I have been married to my third husband for 16 years. You have gone from a heavy drinker to an alcoholic (20-25 beers / day). He has alienated most of our friends and family with his despotication.
He recently sold his business and property so that we can move closer to my son and his family. He has been critical of my two children and grandchildren (in their 20s), but now he is a bigger problem.
When my youngest son was working nearby for a week, I invited my whole family to dinner, because we haven’t all been together for several years. I was nervous about my husband’s behavior, but he offered to help. I cooked and baked all day.
He started drinking more than four hours before dinner time. Everyone was catching up, but my husband started talking about how stupid tattoos are.
Everyone but my husband and I have tattoos, so I was offending them. I asked him to shut up but he wouldn’t stop ranting. My oldest son suggested they leave. So, no one had dinner. I was furious and realized that my husband could not accept my family.
Since then, he has not had a drink and believes that he is cured. I don’t think so. My family has not visited me yet.
Now I take them to dinner at a restaurant or see them at my son and daughter-in-law’s house. I am heartbroken by this situation.
Also, my husband was charged with DUI and has not been allowed to drive for six months. It was up to me to carry it.
He thinks that the whole “thing” will end and that we can go back to “normal”. But he has disrespected my family and me so much that I no longer even like him.
Regarding “For better or for worse”, what happens when there is nothing “better” on the horizon?
TO: The “horizon” for the two of you depends on your husband’s alcoholism. If you can really finish it, he owes you and your family a huge apology. And you may be willing to give it another try if you stay sober.
But if alcohol was always your excuse for your unpleasant behavior, including insulting your loved ones, it is unlikely that you will ever trust it around your family again.
However, 16 years together can be worth an effort to find out if you have an “alcohol use disorder” or if your alcoholism is a choice that allows you to say / do whatever you want.
Offer him a chance at rehab, whether it’s through a 12-step program, the help of an addiction counselor, or sheer will.
If nothing changes enough for you to stick with him, go ahead with your own plans to enjoy your family, renew old friendships, and hopefully enjoy new ones.
Q: I have been dating a lady for four months, both in our 60s. I usually have sex or share some intimacy after three or four weeks with a partner I enjoy being with.
But she walks away from my kissing attempts saying, “It’s just me …” She tells me to “keep (my) pants on.” I think there must have been a very bad marriage, but she is not willing to argue.
You keep your dog on your lap and pet him. I asked her to put him in a room after dinner so we can talk … she refuses.
I had a solid and very long experience with my wife who sadly died several years ago.
TO: This lady hides behind her dog and her fears. Something hurt her a lot. She may become a friend in time. Respect their privacy.
Ellie’s Tip of the Day
A partner’s alcoholism can become unbearable when used to alienate friends and family.