Drinker's defensiveness is cause to delay wedding


My fiance and I have dated for almost three years. We plan to be married a year from now. We were close friends for 12 years prior to dating.

Abby, over the last two years he has developed a bad drinking problem and lost 12 jobs in the last year alone. To his credit, he has been sober for a month now and has accepted a new job. Although I’m happy that he has a new job, I’m also concerned because he will be working in a bar.

I am bringing my daughter into this marriage and am worried that he will revert to drinking, which wouldn’t be a good environment for my daughter. When I discussed it with him, he became irate and said I had insulted his job and was calling him a loser. Then he accused me of using him to support myself and my daughter. He said my “true colors” came through when I encouraged him to stay sober.

I am deeply hurt. I don’t understand why he would say such a thing. We had discussed this before, and he didn’t react this way. The last thing I would ever do is marry someone for money. I have always planned to keep my job after we marry.

He is barely speaking to me now, and I don’t understand his anger. Please help. — DEPRESSED AND ABANDONED IN TEXAS

DEAR DEPRESSED: Your fiance’s attempt to turn the tables on you, along with his excessive drinking and inability to hold a job, are indications that he has an out-of-control alcohol problem. It is typical for addicts to be defensive and attempt to put anyone who confronts them in a corner. Do not accept the guilt trip.

It is admirable that he has been sober for a month, but his job in an establishment where alcohol is the prime product is an almost sure road to self-defeat. If someone is serious about surviving such an addiction, the person doesn’t place him- or herself in temptation’s way.

Encourage your fiance to reinforce his attempt at sobriety by attending AA meetings. (It is listed in the phone book and online.) Then do your part by attending Al-Anon meetings. Meanwhile, put your wedding plans on hold until you’re absolutely sure he won’t be detrimental to your daughter’s — and your — future.

DEAR ABBY: We have a cabin on a lake in New England. It is next door to some of our relatives. We’ve made friends with neighbors on the other side and would like to invite them over for dinner. Our relatives are also friendly with the neighbors. If we invite them for dinner, must we invite the relatives too? — JUDY ON “GOLDEN POND”

DEAR JUDY: Technically, you don’t have to. However, if you have mostly socialized as a “threesome,” feelings may be hurt if you suddenly change what has become customary.

DEAR ABBY: My wife and I are avid readers who sometimes find that we have too many books. Our solution is to donate our excess books to the local USO. We set up a donation box in our church’s foyer, and once a month we carry the donated books to one of our city’s two USO centers. Service members are encouraged to take them with them as they travel. We have found that there’s always room on the bookshelves at the USO. — TOM IN SAN ANTONIO

DEAR TOM: Thank you for a terrific suggestion. I’m sure many readers will appreciate it — and so will the recipients.

DEAR ABBY: I am writing hoping to avert another tragedy like we experienced last week. Our German shepherd, Leah, was playing with a hard rubber ball the size of a tennis ball.

Somehow, the ball slid down her throat. I tried to dislodge it by grabbing and pulling it out, then I tried the Heimlich maneuver. Neither worked. By the time we got Leah to the veterinarian, she was dead. They tried for 25 minutes to revive her.

Leah was a friendly, funny, loving dog, not yet 2 years old. We miss her terribly. Abby, please tell your readers to never, ever let their dog play with any object that fits into its mouth. If it fits, it can lodge in the throat. I don’t want anyone else to experience the pain of losing their dog like we lost ours. — KAREN IN CENTER VALLEY, PA.

DEAR KAREN: Please accept my sympathy for the loss of your beloved pet. However, because you wrote to other dog owners, take comfort in the knowledge that you have very likely saved another four-footed family member’s life.

Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.


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