Nearing Rock Bottom
Dear Readers: I wish you all an enjoyable Easter and Passover. Here's to a spring season filled with new beginnings and lots of hope, happiness and joy. Thank you so much for the joy you bring me through my column each week.
Dear Annie: My 40-year-old son is an alcoholic. He recently went through a divorce and is currently living with my husband and me. He has two beautiful little girls, both under the age of 6, whom I adore. He is unemployed, and while I know he is deeply depressed over losing his wife and job, alcohol is to blame.
I am reaching out to you and your readers to see what I can do. His Alcoholics Anonymous sponsor recently dropped him due to lack of commitment. He refuses to go to rehab -- he's been twice -- and I worry that he will drink himself to death.
We have tried everything, from tough love (kicked him out) to trying to help and understand his pain and being there for him. I will do everything to take care of my grandbabies. I watch them during the day while their mommy works, and we have them every other weekend when my son has visitation (only because they are with me).
My therapist tells me he has to hit rock bottom, and that may mean homelessness. I am just so heartbroken and cannot see myself doing this. -- Out of Options
Dear Out of Options: I'm so sorry for all the suffering you and your son have endured. Alcoholism, like many other diseases, often affects not only the alcoholic but also the entire family and group of friends. I recommend you try Al-Anon, a support program for people whose lives have been affected by someone else's alcoholism. By sharing common experiences and applying the Al-Anon principles, group members can bring positive changes to their individual situations, whether or not the alcoholic seeks help.
You sound like a wonderful grandmother. Keep up the good work, and know that people do recover from this terrible disease.
Dear Annie: My boyfriend, "John," and I have been together for 2 1/2 years. John is 37, and I'm 29.
The other day, he surprised me by announcing to our friends, "She doesn't want kids!" When I asked him about it the next day, he basically said he doesn't see me as a parent. This took me aback. I'll admit I've never mentioned wanting kids as passionately as most other people, but I've often wondered about being a parent, and imagined boy or girl names and all the things I would like to do as a family.
I love this man very much. But I'm at a loss for words. I know I would make a good mom someday, when the time is right, but evidently, John doesn't think so. -- Family Matters
Dear Family Matters: Evidently, John has no consideration for your feelings. Maybe he was projecting his own fears of not being a good father, or maybe he thinks he has reason to believe you wouldn't make a good parent. But the way he handled this was unkind. You two need to have a straight conversation about children. If you want children and he does not, that alone might be a deal breaker. Regardless of his position, it's very important to address this situation before you move forward in your relationship. Tell him you won't tolerate those types of comments and to keep private matters between the two of you.
"Ask Me Anything: A Year of Advice From Dear Annie" is out now! Annie Lane's debut book -- featuring favorite columns on love, friendship, family and etiquette - is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit http://www.creatorspublishing.com for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to email@example.com.