Alcoholic boyfriend manages to be even worse as father

Published 8:16 am Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

DEAR ABBY: I dated a guy who hid from me the fact that he was a severe alcoholic. After I realized it, I continued to date him, thinking it was love when it wasn’t. Unfortunately, after two years of dating, I became pregnant. 

When I told him, he moved back in with his mother in another state. He doesn’t work, won’t get a job and calls only when he’s good and ready. He has never paid any child support. He’ll call once every few months and promise our now 4-year-old daughter that he’s coming to see her, but he never has. 

He saw her only twice when she was a baby, and I had to travel to him for both of those visits. (He wasn’t there for her birth, either.) My daughter cries for him. He also has an 18-year-old daughter from a previous relationship I found out about only after I was pregnant. He abandoned her, too. 

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Should I cut off contact to save my child from being sad for a man she doesn’t even know? – DISILLUSIONED IN GEORGIA


DEAR DISILLUSIONED: By all means, cease contact with your sperm donor. You have to concentrate on the well-being of your daughter, who understandably is grieving the loss of a father who abandoned her. It was a mistake to allow her deadbeat dad to talk to her and make promises he had no intention of keeping. Do not allow that to continue. 

Because the reason he gives for not contributing to child support is he doesn’t work (are you SURE this is true?), consider discussing this sorry situation with a lawyer. It might be worth the money to pay for one consultation.


DEAR ABBY: My husband and I have been married 37 years. We’ve always been happily married. He gives me loving greeting cards, telling me how much he loves me, and so much more. 

Over the past few days, he has been snapping at everything I say. He twists it around and accuses me of saying it nastily. I didn’t, and when I repeated it the same way, he disagreed. He’s so touchy. He even told me a few times to shut up and not talk to him. For a little while I didn’t. Then I remarked, even though he tried to shut me up, that if he hates me so much, he must have a girlfriend. He got furious at that. 

I finally suggested he see a doctor. I thought maybe he’d had a stroke. Hopefully, he’ll think about that, because something has changed. What do you think? – MISTREATED IN ILLINOIS


DEAR MISTREATED: What has been happening with your husband is very recent. Give it a few weeks and see if it is a lasting change. If it is, THAT would be the time to talk to your husband. Tell him the change in his personality is striking, and you are worried about him. His problem may be emotional or financial and have nothing to do with you. If there is a chance that there could be a medical problem, alert his doctor at that time.


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 an excellent guide to becoming a better conversationalist and a more sociable person, order “How to Be Popular.” Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Popularity Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)