Sobering up changes dynamics of wife’s closest relationships

Published 8:13 am Tuesday, September 15, 2020

DEAR ABBY: I know I have been blessed with wonderful relationships in my life. I have been married to the same lovely man for 25 years. I am also fortunate to have had the same best friend for 40 years. The problem? They drink.
Because of past behavior, I decided to get sober two years ago. I know I won’t be able to drink socially again. I changed; they didn’t.
We are all very high-functioning alcoholics. We never miss work and lead, for the most part, productive lives. I love them both so much. My husband is supportive and adoring. My best friend and I have gone through everything together. But Abby, I can’t stand them after 8 p.m. after which they both repeat the same things over and over, and tell me how much they love me (in a slurry, sloppy way).
My life isn’t bad, but this is making me miserable. I’m not asking that they quit drinking entirely, but for the sake of our relationship, I wish they’d just slow down some. Am I wrong to ask something of them that will change what was a big part of all of our lives for so long? I’m not willing to throw away long-term relationships, but I am truly at my wits’ end. — ODD ONE OUT IN WASHINGTON
DEAR ODD ONE OUT: Because you can’t control the behavior of anyone else, you have two choices — change the way you react to the person(s) or end the relationship(s). In this case, I vote for the former. Because your husband and your good friend are so drunk after 8 p.m. that they can no longer clearly pronounce their declarations of affection, plan some socially distanced visits with other sober individuals a few nights a week, including support group meetings for yourself, if you’re not already attending them.
DEAR ABBY: I’m 16, and I feel as though my mother (a single parent) does not respect that I have differing political opinions. She is very liberal and is a registered Democrat. I am very conservative and, as of a few weeks ago, a registered Republican.
When I want to leave the house, if I’m wearing any of my conservative slogan apparel, she yells at me and tells me I’m not allowed to represent “us” like “that.” I always do my best to be respectful of her beliefs and to have a civil conversation with her about politics, but she just ends up yelling at me and telling me I’m never going to get a girlfriend or find a job with my beliefs. At the same time, she’s the most loving, supportive person I know when it comes to anything BUT politics. What can I do to get her to respect who I am and what I stand for? — FREE-THINKING GUY IN D.C.
DEAR GUY: Be patient with her and remain respectful. Because you understand that your mother is the most loving and supportive person you know (except when it comes to politics), try to accept that she’s being protective in the only way she knows how — warning that in this current environment, expressing political beliefs can have lasting consequences. No matter what your political leanings are, as you mature I’m confident you will find a girlfriend and job that are compatible.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
For everything you need to know about wedding planning, order “How to Have a Lovely Wedding.” Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Wedding Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)

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