Dear Annie: Finding help for those who are suffering because of a loved one’s drinking problem

Dear Reader: Many of you were touched by a husband, Anonymous, who wrote about losing his wife to alcoholism. She is still alive, but the woman he married was a different person than the alcoholic. Al-Anon is a spin-off from Alcoholics Anonymous focused on helping people struggling with their loved ones’ drinking problems. Below is a sample letter in support of Allanon, which I wholeheartedly endorse.

Dear Annie: My deepest condolences to my husband “Anonymous” who is suffering because of his wife’s alcoholism. I am a widow and was married to an alcoholic for 44 years. It is highly recommended that “Anonymous” attend Al-Anon meetings. Al-Anon is a highly effective recovery program for those who have trouble drinking others. Allanon provided me with a lifeblood of sanity and serenity eroded through years of living with an alcoholic. No more alcoholics in my life, but I am happy to put this program into practice in everything I do. – have been to

Dear Annie: I just finished reading a letter in today’s newspaper about a husband whose wife is in a vicious cycle of alcoholism. I wanted to cut back or stop drinking, but I was too addicted. i just destroyed my family.

My wonderful wife has spoken with several Alanon members about my drinking and behavior. She loves me, so she followed their advice. As she did, I had my last drink on her February 20, 1985 night. I am still alive today because her wife decided to go to Allanon. We have been married for 55 years and I don’t want to drink. My suggestion is for her husband to join the Alanon program. — one day at a time

Dear Reader: Thank you for recommending Al-Anon and telling your story. There is one reader with a different point of view and here is her letter:

Dear Annie: It was clear that this letter by ‘Anonymous’ was only about the writer and the issues he assumed. No actual mention of the alcoholic, her name, her feelings, her circumstances, or even her supposed crimes or attempts at healing, only about judgment, blame, self-pity, and potential sexism. was mentioned.

Who can live with all that pathetic, emotionally confused, sober, heartbroken Hank Williams men? his letter about the world

My father was an alcoholic and my mother hated him. She set unrealistic abstinence goals and denied the medical and true emotional understanding that comes with treating alcoholism. Her denial has driven him to unattainable perfection. nothing was enough. When his love dried up, he didn’t have much consolation, but he did have that booze.

My mother didn’t drink, so it was “obviously” right. Her justice was unwavering. But she was cold-hearted and he died of it. She now lives happily on the vast fortune he left her from his hard work, which he was able to carry out through drinking.

Poor Mr. Anonymous has to attend many AA meetings before he is in a position to change his situation. — she needs a voice

DEAR SHE NEEDS A VOICE: Thank you for sharing your point of view. Clearly, resentment over how your mother treated your father is eating into you. Read your previous letter and check Allanon. You will find love and support in meetings.

Note: The above column was originally published in 2020.

“How to forgive a cheating partner?” Featuring her favorite columns on marriage, infidelity, communication and reconciliation, Annie Lane’s second anthology is available as paperback and ebook. For more information, please visit

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