Dear Abby: Teen sick of hearing about dad’s drunken regrets

SHARE Dear Abby: Teen sick of hearing about dad’s drunken regrets

DEAR ABBY: I’m 15 and live with my parents. My dad is an alcoholic who finally figured out that he has had a problem for years. When I was in sixth grade, he left me once in the middle of the night (Mom was out of town) to go out drinking. Ever since that night, I have felt so much pain. I feel like I’m not important — or why else would he leave me?

He thinks it’s OK to talk to me about what he does and how much he regrets it. I love him, but I don’t want to hear about how he got drunk the night before or anything like that! It has added a lot of stress to my life. I get all A’s in school and I’m in accelerated classes, but recently it has become really hard to concentrate with all of this going on at home. What should I do? — STRESSED TEEN IN WASHINGTON

DEAR STRESSED TEEN: Tell your mother exactly what you have told me. Your father appears to be trying to use you as his therapist to assuage his guilt about his drinking. Not only is this unfair to you, it is also not a solution to his problem. He should be talking about those things in a substance abuse meeting, not to his teenager.

Alateen is a support group for children of alcoholics. It would be helpful for you to go online and find the location of the nearest one. The website is, or you can call (888) 425-2666. The group was formed for young people just like you, and you will find it not only informative, but also very helpful.

DEAR ABBY: My husband is a partner in a small law firm. One of the secretaries has gotten into the habit of texting him somewhat inappropriate pictures. One of them was of a “willy warmer” for a penis. I know she thinks it’s funny and harmless, but it bothered me. I think it was unprofessional and went beyond the boundaries of an employee relationship.

If I mention it to my husband, he will know I looked at his phone messages, and I don’t want him to think I don’t trust him. Am I making too much of this? — THE MRS., SOMEWHERE IN THE USA

DEAR MRS.: I don’t think so. I agree that what the secretary did was unprofessional and inappropriate. As an attorney, your husband already knows that kind of communication could leave the company vulnerable in the future. You wouldn’t have felt the need to check his cellphone if your woman’s intuition wasn’t telling you that you needed to, so get to the bottom of it now, before it escalates.

DEAR ABBY: I secretly married a man 14 years ago. No one knew about it. We lost contact for several years, but now we are talking again. I’d like to spend the rest of my life with him. He’s happy living where he is right now, but if we did get back together, people would assume I just let a man move in with me. I don’t usually care what people say about me, but this is a small town! If Mr. Wonderful gives me another chance, how should I handle this? And how should I introduce him to people? — KIND OF MARRIED IN KENTUCKY

DEAR KIND OF MARRIED: There is nothing to be embarrassed about. If you never divorced, introduce him as your husband, of course. It’s the truth. If you are questioned, all you need to say is, “We were married, became estranged, and now we’re back together.”

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

To order “How to Write Letters for All Occasions,” send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $7 (U.S. funds,) to: Dear Abby — Letter Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. Shipping and handling are included in the price.

The Latest
The way those investigations are now done in Chicago raises questions about whether they comply with a 2016 law. The idea of having the state police do them was originally recommended to then-Mayor Lori Lightfoot in 2020.
The longtime friends spoke on a panel and presented “The Last Stair,” an oil painting featured as part of Chance the Rapper’s upcoming album and visual arts project.
In an exclusive interview, Dan K. Webb, who was in charge of creating the vetting process for the No Labels third party run, tells Michael Sneed “the ticket came this/close to reality weeks ago.”
Crosetti Brand, 37, held firm in his decision even after Judge Mary Marubio gave him a stern warning that “everyone pretty much universally agrees that it’s a bad idea to represent yourself.”
Chicagoans marvel at the solar eclipse, Dexter Reed’s mourning family protests following the release of bodycam footage, and more from this week in news.