Dear Annie: I am 13, and my parents are divorced. I moved in with my father eight months ago, but soon realized that Dad is an alcoholic. We lived in a nice apartment for a while, and he seemed to be doing well, but I had no idea how addicted he was until the landlord evicted us. I moved in with my aunt and will have to move back in with my mother soon.
Dad is not my biological father, but he raised me. He’s the only father I’ve known. But I think he’s trying to buy my love. He never leaves me alone and is always telling me how much better things will be. But he’s lying to my face. I happen to know that when he tells me he’s at work, he’s drinking at a bar.
I don’t want to discuss it with him. If he wants to be in my life, he has to quit drinking. Otherwise, I’m done with him. Am I wrong? – Nevada
Dear Nevada: Please understand that giving up alcohol is not an easy thing for your father. We are certain he is struggling with it. Nonetheless, you should not be living with him until he can provide a stable, healthy home environment. Please look into Alateen ( al-anon.alateen.org) for kids whose parents have alcohol problems. Alateen will provide information, as well as support.
Dear Annie: This is for “Hurting Daughter-in-Law,” whose in-laws never liked her and have cut off the grandchildren.
I married my husband 54 years ago. His parents were not happy and let me know it. My husband said to ignore it, and I tried, but they undermined me, blatantly favored his sister’s children and worked to destroy our marriage. After his parents died, my husband finally admitted that they had kept up an unrelenting stream of criticism about me, hoping we’d divorce.
One of my kids is completely alienated from me because of her grandparents’ subtle inferences that I “treated her differently” from her siblings. – Wish I Had Left