Annie's Mailbox: Beside Myself
Dear Annie: My youngest son is 34 years old and lives with my wife and me. He is an alcoholic and is unemployed, with no interest in getting a job. He helps at home by doing the cooking. He is a great cook by trade. He was laid off as head cook at a restaurant and can't get over it.
My son is a good person, and I love him very much. He claims he was blackballed. He has had 10 good jobs over the past 15 years, but has had at least five DUIs and has been in jail three times.
Could this be true? Is there any way I could get him out of the house and into a work program? My wife will not back me up when I tell him he has to get a job. -- Beside Myself
Dear Beside: Employers routinely refuse to hire those who have a drug or alcohol problem and have been arrested multiple times. It has nothing to do with being "blackballed." Regardless of his cooking skills, your son is not a reliable employee. Before you check out a work program, please see if he will go to an AA meeting. You and your wife could also benefit from understanding how you may be enabling your son's drinking, which undermines his efforts to find employment. For you, we recommend Al-Anon. Your son can still turn his life around, but he needs to get off the booze first.
Dear Annie: I could have written the letter from "Tired of Sharing," the woman in her 50s who was dating a man who always had a group of women around him. It brought back vivid memories of a crazy time in my own life. I, too, met a man who seemed witty and funny. I fell hard, ignoring all the signs of a lousy relationship blooming on the horizon.
My guy had a harem of women, too. They were only "friends" whom he talked about all the time. They knew no boundaries and would call him at any hour for anything. If they wanted help, he'd drop whatever he was doing, leaving me to handle stuff at home by myself. How stupid of me not to know that the relationship could only go downhill.
My life was a living hell for a long time, culminating in a nervous breakdown. I finally had enough and moved out, and it was the best thing I ever did. He ended up marrying one of his "friends." I dodged a big bullet.
There is life after such a horrendous mistake if you get out in time. I always thought I had to have a man in my life in order to be happy. But after years of dating and being in unhappy relationships, I gave it all up, and I've never been happier or more free. It's exhilarating to know you can do for yourself and be truly content with life. I would never go back to that crazy lifestyle. Tell that woman to run away as fast as she can. She'll be glad she did. -- Older and Wiser
Dear Older: No one should remain in a relationship where you don't feel valued, where you think you have to put up with constant mistreatment and disregard because otherwise you would be on your own. There are worse things than being alone, as you have learned.
This Classic Annie's Mailbox column was originally published in 2015. To find out more about Classic Annie's Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit Creators Syndicate at www.creators.com.