Life Advice


Health & Spirit

Close family wants to confront alcoholic brother

By Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

How should we approach this rift?

-- Broken Family

Dear Broken: As a family, you should offer support to your brother concerning recovery, while not letting him manipulate you.

He has stomped away from the group. He promised to punish you, and now he is.

All you need to do is to say, "We miss you and your family. We hope you are well and will choose to return to the family fold. The door is open."

You will likely never receive an apology until and unless he has embraced sobriety and acknowledges his own toxic behavior as part of a recovery process. Pushing for an apology will not hasten it.

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You should also reach out to his wife separately to let her know that you would all like to see her and the children. You have no way of knowing what she might be going through.

Maintaining a neutral attitude is not condoning his drinking. Rather, you are conveying that he is responsible for the consequences stemming from his behavior. For the time being, you all might have to hope for harmony, but love him from a distance until he stops raging and can come home.

Dear Amy: My husband runs a small business in which some of the work is done by subcontractors. He recently hired someone who is also a close friend of ours to do a job for him.

Our friend presented my husband with substandard work. My husband was greatly disappointed.


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