I have a 9-month-old son and am expecting another child in three months. My husband, "Matt," works nights, so when I get home exhausted at the end of my workday, I care for our baby by myself.
Matt used to drink a lot, but he slowed down quite a bit when we got married. I still feel that alcohol rules his life because his idea of an evening out is getting drunk. If he has a day off, he spends it drinking, too.
On Matt's birthday, I took the baby and slept at my parents' house so he could have a party with the guys and get drunk. Because of my pregnancy I can't drink -- nor do I want to -- but I didn't want the baby there with a bunch of drunks, either.
Matt and I went to a sporting event together not too long ago. I was embarrassed because he left me sitting alone while he kept going off to buy more beer. Seven beers into the event he was stumbling over the other spectators in our row.
I hate living like this. He says I'm overreacting. Am I? Is this normal for a 26-year-old man? If it is, our marriage is doomed.
Fed Up in Richmond, Tex.
No, it's not normal for the average 26-year- old man. But it is typical of an alcoholic of any age.
It's important that you contact Al-Anon, a 12-step fellowship of people whose lives have been affected by the compulsive drinking of a family member or friend. To locate a chapter in your area, call 1-888-4ALANON (888-425-2666), or go to the Web site, which is www.al-anon.alateen.org.
Your husband's behavior won't change until he realizes he has a problem and wants to do something about it. Whether you want to spend the rest of your life this way is a question only you can answer. But please realize that a tendency toward alcoholism can be inherited, and be sure your children understand that fact as they grow older.
My boyfriend and I have been dating for almost two years, long-distance. We visit whenever possible and plan to live together soon. My problem is, he doesn't trust me. Although I have assured him that I am devoted to him and always have been, he continues to accuse me of seeing other guys. He says he has a "gut feeling" about it. He says I treat my friends, and even strangers, better than I do him. I don't feel that way.
I'm afraid to answer the phone or have contact with people for fear that he will get jealous because he's not the center of attention. He has read my e-mails more than once, checking for evidence. I suspect he may have hacked into my computer. Is there any hope?
Innocent and Faithful in L.A.
No. If you are smart, you will KEEP your relationship with this young man long-distance. You have described a person who is potentially an abuser. His actions are obsessive and controlling. Even if you live together, you will never be able to fill the bottomless pit of his neediness and insecurity. My advice to you is to end the relationship.
I am 51 and still single. Recently I learned that I have a heart condition, and the doctors predict I have only five to 10 more years to live. I am in a turmoil trying to decide if it's fair to continue dating. My friends give me conflicting advice. What do you think is fair?
To Date or Not to Date in Oregon
If you haven't already done so, get a second medical opinion about the prognosis. If it is valid, then I think you should live to the fullest the time the good Lord allows you. If you get serious with someone, be honest about your condition and make that decision together.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, Calif. 90069.
(c)2004, Universal Press Syndicate