Dear Abby: My wife loves me but strays when she’s drunk

Now that she’s back on the bottle, she keeps having incidents where she’s with other men.

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DEAR ABBY: I have been married for close to a year, and in this short time I’ve seen a side of my wife I’ve never seen before. Although I met her during a period of sobriety, she drinks now. The problem is what she does when she drinks. On one occasion, she was supposed to go to the market and return on foot. Instead I found her in a car with a stranger, drinking and high. She claimed it was too cold to walk and she was just trying to keep warm.

On another occasion, she got drunk and had a male friend with whom she’d been intimate in the past pick her and all her belongings up and left me watching her drive away with him. She later called apologizing profusely from a different man’s apartment begging me to pick her up. I could go on and on with similar scenarios, but my letter would be too long.

Her latest is when she told me she put a “code” on her phone so I couldn’t find out where she had been. (She had really just turned off location sharing on her phone.) She says she loves me with all her heart and there’s no one else, but I find it very hard to believe. Am I the world’s biggest, dumbest doormat for not divorcing her? (I can’t just turn off my love for her.) — SUCKER OUT WEST

DEAR “SUCKER”: If you haven’t already contacted your physician, schedule an appointment and be tested for any STDs your wife may have passed along to you after one of her escapades.

This scenario will continue until she comes to the realization that if she doesn’t immediately get help for her drinking, her marriage is over. The question is whether she’s willing (or able) to give up her addictions to alcohol, whatever other substances she may be sampling, and sex with other men.

Loving her doesn’t make you dumb or a doormat. However, sooner or later you must accept that you can’t fix what’s wrong with her, and you’ll have to decide how much more pain you can tolerate. Please accept my sympathy.

DEAR ABBY: I have a single friend in her 40s. She has very noticeable vertical lines between her eyes when in animated conversation that detract greatly from her sweet face. She’s on a limited income. I’d like to suggest Botox for her, and I’m willing to pay for it with a gift card or cash. Would it be OK to suggest it to her and how would you approach it? — BEAUTY HELPER IN TENNESSEE

DEAR HELPER: While I’m sure you mean well, if you bring this to your friend’s attention, you may make her self-conscious. Although Botox treatments can make a positive difference in someone’s appearance, they are only temporary. To maintain that “fresh” look, they must be repeated, and unless you plan to pay for her Botox in perpetuity, you shouldn’t give her something she can’t afford.

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 www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

For an excellent guide to becoming a better conversationalist and a more sociable person, order “How to Be Popular.” Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds), to: Dear Abby, Popularity Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)

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