DEAR ABBY: The music director at our church — I’ll call her Mildred — is an alcoholic. I realized it after I offered my home to her when she said she needed to escape from her alcoholic partner. Mildred is a nighttime drinker and imbibes until probably 2 a.m. She says she can’t get to sleep until the “middle of the night.”
I was married to an alcoholic for many years, yet I had no idea Mildred had a problem until she lived with me for those few weeks. She left my home giving me the various reasons why I wasn’t nice enough to her and has returned to her alcoholic partner.
Should I say anything to the administrator of the church? At this point, it’s my word against Mildred’s, and her problem will be discovered sooner or later. Your advice? — GETTING INVOLVED IN THE EAST
DEAR GETTING INVOLVED: If Mildred’s drinking negatively affects her work, tell the administrator. If not, keep the bad tidings to yourself.
However, in the future, if appropriate, be ready to share with Mildred information about support resources available to her such as AA, SMART Recovery, LifeRing and Women For Sobriety.
DEAR ABBY: My partner recently lost one of his lateral incisors. He got a prosthetic tooth to wear until he gets an implant, which looks fine if he wears it. The problem is, it isn’t comfortable. He can’t eat with it, and he often prefers to leave it out. He also does this at home.
We live in a major metropolitan city. Having missing teeth is just not acceptable. Aside from it being bad for his dental health, he looks like a jack-o’-lantern when he smiles, which is extremely unattractive. I feel it’s socially and professionally detrimental. Every time I broach the subject of moving forward with the implant, he responds with fierce opposition, which inevitably ends in an argument. Any advice? — THAT’S THE “TOOTH” IN SAN FRANCISCO
DEAR TOOTH: It would be helpful to understand why your partner fiercely opposes moving forward with the implant. Is he afraid it will be painful? Is the problem that he doesn’t have the money? If it’s the former, he should talk to his dentist so his fears can be allayed. If it’s the latter, perhaps he can talk to the dentist about payment options, or you can help him pay for the implant.
DEAR ABBY: What does it mean when your husband answers everything with “no”? For example, if I ask, “Are you watching ‘This Old House’?” he says, “No, I’m watching ‘This Old House.’” If I ask, “Do you want to eat dinner at 6?” he replies, “No, how about we eat around 6?” It’s driving me nuts, and he doesn’t even realize he does it.
This happens almost every time I ask a question. Do you have any insight into this phenomenon? — TALKED OUT IN TEXAS
DEAR TALKED OUT: Your husband may be joking with you or not paying close attention when you ask him a question. I assume that you have told him how much this bothers you. (If you haven’t, you should.) However, if it continues, stop asking and TELL him what time dinner will be ready, and reframe the way you ask your questions. (Instead of asking if he’s watching “This Old House” say, “What are you watching, Honey?”)
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