Life Advice



Annie's Mailbox: The Drunk's Wife

Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar on

Dear Annie: My husband and I are the parents of a 15-year-old boy. "Will" is a good student. He has been in a friendly relationship with a 15-year-old girl, and it has become serious. They have had sex on two different occasions, and Will used a condom both times.

There was a brief pregnancy scare, and the girl was so concerned that she told her parents about her predicament. Now her father wants us to pay for her birth control pills. I don't know what to say about this. I don't know what type of insurance they have. And I think putting her on the pill is saying, "Great, have sex." And who knows whether she will have partners other than my son. Is he responsible for her birth control? What should I do? -- His Mom

Dear Mom: It's a good sign that your son feels comfortable discussing his sex life with you, but it is unfair to believe that a girl on birth control pills is going to be more promiscuous than a boy using condoms. And while we aren't crazy about 15-year-olds having sex, once they start, they aren't likely to stop.

You should be relieved that both kids are being responsible about using protection to prevent not only pregnancy, but also sexually transmitted diseases. That said, you are not obligated to pay for his girlfriend's choice of birth control. He should continue to use condoms. Her body belongs to her.

Dear Annie: My 62-year-old husband and I have been married for 25 years. For the past 11, he has owned a small yet profitable bar. While he doesn't do much hands-on work anymore, he still supervises the bartenders and the business.

Here's the problem. My husband drives home drunk at least once a week. There are taxi services that easily could pick him up and return him the next day, but he prefers to drive himself.

I have threatened to leave. I've threatened to toss his belongings in the yard. I've even threatened to call the cops. But I haven't done any of those things, and he knows my threats are empty. Most of the time, he denies that he was drunk, and we go silent for a few days, not speaking at all.


I have stressed what he is putting at risk. It's his job to prevent this with his customers, yet he's somehow above it all. Last night was the last straw. Since it's never a good idea to talk to drunk people, I let him know I was angry and then went to bed. He is setting a horrible example for our 21-year-old son. Any suggestions? -- The Drunk's Wife

Dear Wife: You both are setting a horrible example. As long as there are no consequences for his behavior, your husband will continue to drive drunk. Please don't wait for the consequences to be deadly. Follow through on some of those threats, particularly the one about calling the police. He may become angry, but you could be saving his life, as well as the lives of other drivers. Also contact Al-Anon ( and get some emotional support.

Dear Annie: As a cancer survivor, I would like to thank you for your wonderful response to "Clueless on Cancer Etiquette."

I'd like to add two more suggestions: First, please don't comment on how people look. Just say, "It's good to see you." And finally, I was reluctant to make requests when people said, "What can I do for you?" Instead, please offer choices such as: "I want to wash your car, work in your yard, bring a home-cooked meal or clean house while you are at the doctor's. Which do you prefer?" One neighbor brought easy, quick meals and just dropped them off. Actually, she rang the doorbell and left. It was the sweetest thing. -- K.


"Annie's Mailbox" is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar. This column was originally published in 2017. To find out more about Classic Annie's Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit Creators Syndicate at




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