Posted: Thursday, August 19, 2010 8:01 pm
Dear Annie: My husband and I have been married for 20 years. He was a drinker when I met him, but of course, I was young and naive and thought I could change him. When I couldn’t, I decided to join him.
We had two children, and because of our drinking, the children were taken away from us for two months. If we wanted them back, one of the conditions was to go through an alcohol treatment program and attend AA. We both did this and were sober for three wonderful years, during which time we had a third child.
The problem is, my husband got a job in a different city and started drinking again. Things have gone downhill ever since. We tell him often that he drinks too much and needs to get help, but he doesn’t see it. When he is drunk, he repeats himself over and over and causes drama with everyone around him. He yells at our adult children and is angry that he can no longer control their lives.
It seems he only cares about himself. He is not remorseful when he sobers up and instead sulks for days and stops speaking to everyone. I don’t know how to help him. I know that I don’t want to be with him anymore unless he changes. Any advice? — Confused in S.D.
Dear Confused: It’s likely that your husband’s work relocation uprooted the support system he had in place that helped him stay sober. Also, if he was a drinker when you met him, there could be a genetic component to his alcohol problem. Please contact Al-Anon (al-anon.alateen.org) at 1-888-4AL-ANON (1-888-425-2666) and ask for help.
Dear Annie: I work at a nursing home. I love my job, and my co-workers are the best. However, some of the other employees bring their children to work with them. Aside from the inappropriateness of having children at a nursing home all day, it is unfair to the rest of us because these children bother us constantly with questions about what we are doing.
Some of these parents make decent money and should be able to afford day care or a babysitter. I know one woman has relatives her children could stay with during the day, but she brings them anyway.
I like to have peace and quiet at work and don’t want to have to worry about a child running around. Nursing homes are for the care of elderly people and are not day care centers for children. What can I do? — Concerned Employee at a Nursing Home
Dear Employee: While we sympathize with parents who have difficulty finding day care for their children, nursing homes are not an appropriate alternative. The staff dispenses medications and handles other items that could be dangerous to youngsters, not to mention the possibility of children tripping up the residents. Talk to human resources and find out what the policy is and ask that it be enforced.
Dear Annie: Having recently thought about changing my will, I was delighted by the brilliant though unintentional suggestion of “J.P. in N.H.” that I physically divide my actual body parts — as opposed to my cremated remains — amongst my friends and relatives upon my death. What a splendid idea!
My head goes to my dad, who always said I would lose it if it hadn’t been bolted on. My heart goes to my high school sweetheart. My liver goes to my older sister, the tippler, who declares she could use a spare. My lungs to my younger sister, “the quiet one,” so she can keep up in the heated debates at the family reunion. My spleen I send to my younger brother, so now he will have two to vent. And of course to the IRS, I bequeath an arm and a leg. — J.P. in La.
Dear J.P.: Let us know who gets your sense of humor.
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please e-mail your questions to email@example.com, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 5777 W. Century Blvd., Ste. 700, Los Angeles, CA 90045. To find out more about Annie’s Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
Published in The Messenger 8.19.10