The Mail on Sunday - You - - Dear Zelda -

Since my hus­band re­tired, he has lost in­ter­est in tak­ing care of the house­hold bud­get. I find it hard to jug­gle money each month to make ends meet. He drinks a lot and I have asked him to cut down to save money and im­prove his health. His body is be­gin­ning to suf­fer and his GP has warned him of the dam­age he could do, but he takes no no­tice. I have thought about leav­ing him, but why should I give up my home? I am go­ing round in cir­cles and get­ting nowhere. I sus­pect your hus­band is not lis­ten­ing to you be­cause his drink­ing is out of con­trol. Sadly, when this hap­pens, the per­son with the prob­lem puts their need for al­co­hol be­fore the needs of their part­ner. So, in the end, love of­ten goes out of the win­dow. Try talk­ing to him be­fore he has had a drink and ex­plain that his be­hav­iour is driv­ing you apart, caus­ing money prob­lems and, if it con­tin­ues, your mar­riage could end. Ask him to go to Al­co­holics Anony­mous (0800 917 7650, al­co­holic­sanony­mous.org.uk), and also con­tact Al-Anon Fam­ily Groups (020 7403 0888, al-anonuk.org.uk), which of­fers sup­port to part­ners and fam­i­lies of prob­lem-drinkers. If he doesn’t seek help, I fear things will only get worse. Though it’s al­ways hard to lose the fam­ily home, maybe you would be hap­pier on your own in a smaller house, with the po­ten­tial of meet­ing some­one new.

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