Dear Ann:

Are you losing your ability to read between the lines? Your advice to "Empire State" was a recipe for divorce. "Empire" said her husband, Darryl, had inherited a lot of money a few years back. Instead of spending it on the house, he put the money in a separate account, and started buying himself cameras, computers and a boat. You told her she needed the courage to assert herself and demand that Darryl treat her more fairly.

I am a divorce attorney and have seen a great many marriages that have gone bad. There is usually enough blame to go around on both sides. It is obvious that the spark has gone out of that marriage. Darryl is spending all his inheritance on toys for himself while his wife stews in her drab and dismal home. Your advice that she keep nagging him until he agrees to accommodate her was unrealistic. Chances are, that strategy will push Darryl over the edge, and he will simply take a hike.

Most men put their money where their heart is. "Empire" needs to find a way to put love back into that relationship. She must figure out why things went sour, and work with her husband to rebuild their marriage. When she is number one in his life, you can be sure the draperies and couch will follow. Darryl wants to enjoy his life with his new money. She needs to be the center of that joy and the love of his life, not the Nag of the Year.

Bob in California

Thank you for "reading between the lines" when you felt I had failed to do so. You could be right -- witness your astute assessment and the excellent advice that followed. I appreciate your writing, and invite you to do so whenever you feel inclined.

Dear Ann:

You asked your readers to tell you how they stopped a drunk from driving. Here is my story:

I knew a man who drank for more than 30 years. He was a police officer. One day, after being on duty from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and having had several drinks instead of lunch, he went out partying. Later, he got in his car to drive home. He stopped at a traffic light, looked around, and realized that he was completely lost. He got out of his car and checked the street signs, but he had no idea where he was. He tried to remember where he had been and who he had been with. When he couldn't recall, he began to cry. He walked around the car to see if he had struck another car or, worse yet, a person. He was relieved to see there was no evidence of either.

When the man finally figured out his location, he drove home, crying all the way. He had no recollection of the previous 12 hours. That night, he knew fear for the first time. He thought his fellow officers would arrest him for DUI or for leaving the scene of an accident, but neither happened.

You would think that after all that man went through, he would stop drinking, but he didn't. It took a suicide attempt before he made the final step. I know this story well, because I am that man. I recently passed my 17th year of sobriety, thanks to the counseling unit of the New York City Police Department and Alcoholics Anonymous. I could not have done it without them.

R.R., Sarasota, Fla.

Your story is a moving one. Thank you for sharing it with my readers. I can promise you that because you wrote, others will be motivated to follow your footsteps.

Gem of the Day (Credit Beryl Pfizer): I write down everything I want to remember. That way, instead of spending a lot of time trying to remember what it was I wrote down, I spend the time looking for the paper I wrote it down on.