DEAR AMY: My husband “Greg” is wonderful! He is funny and sweet. He is loving toward me and is a great dad to our young daughters.
He is a very hard worker and has a stressful, well-paying job that makes it possible for me to stay home and raise our little ones.
I have very few complaints about our lives together, except that he drinks, a lot. At first, I didn’t really care because he’s drinking at home (not out at a bar) and it’s how he likes to unwind on the weekends.
He is very active in our family life and attends as many events as he can, whether he is hung over or not.
Alcohol does not change him, he doesn’t get mean verbally or physically. He just drinks throughout the day and then at night he eats dinner and then passes out.
Sometimes he will go through 30 beers in a two- or three-day period. The second he starts drinking, I instantly start fuming. Everything about it bothers me. I am embarrassed because I feel that other people can tell that he is drunk or hung over. I can smell it on him. We live in a small town and I really don’t want our daughters to grow up being the children of the “town drunk.” I have tried to explain to him that it’s starting to cause a rift, but he gets defensive and we end up arguing.
His friends are all social drinkers and most of them are my family, so we can’t really cut ties with them. I am worried that his life is going to be cut drastically short, robbing us of a wonderful man and father.
I don’t want to lose my husband. I can’t imagine our lives without him. What should I do?
Sober in the Midwest
DEAR SOBER: The first thing you need to do is get yourself in hand. Your husband’s behavior bothers you, but you are engaging in some destructive global thinking – entertaining dark fantasies about losing him. You are monitoring and counting his consumption – and in a state of fury.
You are NOT responsible for him. You should not shoulder his choices as your unique burden.
Attending Al-Anon meetings could rearrange your thinking in profound ways. Check the website for a meeting near you: al-anon.org.
DEAR AMY: When dining out, my husband and I notice that when the wait staff fills (or refills) water glasses they touch the water container to rims of the glasses.
If the server does touch the rim with the water container (or their fingers), then I stop drinking the water and order bottled water instead.
My husband wants to explain to the server why I am not drinking the water from the germ-contaminated container.
Although I would rather not embarrass restaurant personnel, my husband and I agree it is a public health issue. My sister suggested we print up an educational brochure and leave one with a good tip. I don’t want to use improper etiquette to educate others about improper etiquette! We agree to abide by your suggestion.
Worried Water Drinker
DEAR WORRIED: In researching your question, I learned all sorts of things I wish I didn’t know about how some restaurants serve water (hint: NEVER ask for a slice of lemon or lime in your drink).
You are correct that there is some risk of contamination if fingers – and/or the pitcher – touch the rim of your water glass.
Please – don’t print up an educational brochure. Just treat the waiter like an adult and say, “Hey – could you do me a favor and not touch the rim of the glass with the pitcher? I’m worried about cross-contamination.”
DEAR AMY: The letter from “Bride” really hit home for me. My father was never really in my life during my childhood, and yet I really wanted him to be there for me when I got married.
The thing is – he wouldn’t change just because I was getting married. It was hard for me, but now I get it.
DEAR SAD: Yes – I get it too.
Write Amy Dickinson at firstname.lastname@example.org.