August 19, 2010 in Features

Annie’s Mailbox: Relocation sent him drinking again

Kathy Mitchell/Marcy Sugar

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 ( at 1-888-4AL-ANON (1-888-425-2666) and ask for help.

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