My husband drinks a lot. When he does, his personality changes to the point that I don't want to be around him. He's aware of this, but he continues to drink.
Recently, I caught him sneaking alcohol, so I hid the bottle. When he realized what I had done, he retaliated by letting our cat out after dark, which we don't do because of the coyotes in our area. (We recently lost a cat to them after dark.) After he did it, "Joe" nonchalantly let me know the cat was outside. He didn't say why he did it, but I figured it out.
I know he's an alcoholic, but isn't this evil? It feels evil. Or is it the stunted, vindictive mind of an alcoholic?
- Let the Cat Out
DEAR LET THE CAT OUT: Whether your husband's mind is stunted, I can't say. But what he did was, indeed, vindictive. It was also cruel. As your letter shows, alcoholism is a disease that affects not only the alcoholic, but also the people who are close to them.
Whether you can continue living this way is for you to decide, but before making up your mind, you would be wise to visit some Al-Anon meetings. To find one near you, visit al-anon.alateen.org or call 1-888-4-ALANON. Please don't wait.
What to do about long-term scumbag
I've been involved with a younger man for 15 years. "Grant" and I were great friends, but always kept things casual - bars, hotels, sports events. We agreed we would discuss it if we wanted to date other people and allowed each other the freedom to do so over the years, but we would always come back together.
This year on my birthday, I was shocked to find out through social media that Grant has been in a relationship with another woman the whole time I have known him. In fact, he married her and had a baby with her. He has been lying to me since the day we met.
I feel terrible, not only for myself, but also for Grant's wife. I consider him a scumbag at this point. My gut reaction was to contact his wife and spill the beans. But after I cooled down, I'm not sure if it makes sense to ruin three more lives. I just feel he should be responsible for his actions and shouldn't get away with it. What would you do in this situation?
- Burnt to a Crisp
DEAR BURNT: Honestly? I'd move on.
Lying coworker needs a talking to
I work in a large medical facility that relies on nurses to attend every shift they are assigned. Last Christmas, a nurse I know called in saying her father had died. The thing is, I have known her for years, and her father has been dead as long as I have known her. Would it be snitching to tell my supervisor what I know?
- Shorthanded in New England
DEAR SHORTHANDED: Yes, it would. But it wouldn't be snitching to inform the nurse that lying to get out of work is not only unfair to the rest of you, but also unprofessional.