Dear Amy: My sister “Lisa’s” husband “Bart” is an alcoholic. Although he’s been sober for long periods (on his own, without treatment), he’s had at least a dozen relapses in the past 15 years — more frequently since the pandemic.
Lisa denies that Bart has ever become violent when under the influence, but he typically rants and rages, and sometimes vomits and soils himself. She cleans up the mess. She’s even bought him alcohol because he’s convinced her that if he suddenly stops, he may die.
When Bart is sober, he’s an affectionate and funny guy.
Lisa can’t bring herself to leave him; she will demand that he get into treatment, he may get sober in a treatment program for a few weeks/few months, and then the cycle repeats.
She’s the breadwinner. He works sporadically but obviously his drinking has impacted his employability.
She has occasionally come to sleep on my couch during his binges (I live nearby), but never for more than a few days.
Lisa has also been to therapy and Al-anon, but doesn’t stick with either.
I’m fed up with giving her the same advice over and over: stop enabling him; stop believing him, move out until he has been sober and in treatment for months, and move out the minute he starts drinking again.
She agrees with me — and then she goes right back to tolerating his behavior.
I think I’m her only friend.
Am I enabling HER? What can I do the next time this happens?
— Frustrated Sister
Dear Frustrated: Your sister is a vital component to her husband’s addiction. If she had really absorbed the lessons provided by her Al-anon program, she would only put a blanket over her husband when he passed out on the floor.
By cleaning him up when he falls, she is protecting him from the actual consequences of his addiction. By bringing alcohol home, she is contributing to his addiction.
If she wanted her life to be different, she would commit to her “friends and family” program, even if her husband didn’t commit to his sobriety.
Yes, by providing housing for her, you are to some extent also enabling her to stay in her addiction cycle.
You could also “put a blanket” over your sister by welcoming her into your house when she needs it, but not offer advice or counsel of any kind.
She knows what she needs to do, but she is not ready. Until she reaches her own low point, she will continue to accept your blanket and reject your advice.
Work on your own ability to accept a situation you are powerless to control.
These peer-led support programs are called “friends and family” groups for a reason. My point is that Al-anon is not only for your sister. Check Al-anon.org for a local or virtual meeting you can attend.
Dear Amy: I am 25 years old and have been in my current job ever since graduating from college, four years ago.
Over the past year, I have grown to hate this job and even some of my co-workers.
I know I’ve been languishing in one of those thankless “first jobs” that a lot of people laugh about later.
Of course, working through the pandemic hasn’t helped. Honestly, I got used to working from home and now that I’ve been asked to return to the office, I just dread it.
I’ve found a new job and I’m excited about it.
My question is how should I exit from my current job? Honestly, I want to post one of those viral “I quit!” videos, but — maybe that’s not too smart.
— Quitting Time
Dear Quitting: Like most people, I love those viral videos of people dancing through the office as they quit in spectacular fashion.
I wonder about the other videos — the ones that don’t go viral enough to inoculate the person making them.
The ones that are passed along to the next employer, and the one after that.
It’s a pretty dumb choice, unless you can afford the consequences — and it doesn’t seem as if you can.
Dear Amy: Regarding “C,” whose fiance was arrested for not keeping his address updated with the sex offender registry, I have some experience dealing with offenders. Failure to keep the sex registry updated is usually an attempt to keep off law enforcement’s radar. Many re-offend again and again helped by people in their lives who have been hoodwinked.
My advice to C is to RUN.
— Retired Corrections Officer
Dear Officer: I agree. Thank you.
(You can email Amy Dickinson at [email protected] or send a letter to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or Facebook.)
Subscribe to our weekly newsletter, In The Know, to get entertainment news sent straight to your inbox.
Source: Read Full Article