Al­co­holic rec­og­nizes sober truths af­ter wife leaves him

Truro Daily News - - LIFESTYLES - Abi­gail van Buren 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.

DEAR ABBY: I have been mar­ried for 17 years to the love of my life. I met her 40 years ago while we were grow­ing up in the same neigh­bor­hood. Last year she de­cided our mar­riage is over.

Nine years into our mar­riage, I be­came an al­co­holic. Try as I might, I couldn’t find a way to stop drink­ing. Year af­ter year she stuck by me, hop­ing some­thing would change. I never laid a hand on her, but I was ver­bally abu­sive at times while I was drink­ing.

Last year I found out that, due to my drink­ing, I had de­vel­oped a heart con­di­tion that may end my life. I think it was the last straw for her be­cause even af­ter get­ting the news, I con­tin­ued to drink. Seven months ago she told me we are done.

Since the day she said it, I have been clean and sober, and my heart is get­ting stronger. I have tried con­tact­ing her, but she won’t re­turn my calls or letters. I know the trust is gone, but I so badly want my wife back. I don’t think she be­lieves I’m fi­nally sober be­cause we have gone down this road many times.

How do I prove to her that I have changed and it will no longer be an is­sue? This is break­ing my heart and has given me an in­sight into what she must have been feel­ing all these years. – LEARNED THE HARD WAY IN IN­DI­ANA

DEAR LEARNED: The best way to prove to your wife that you have changed and won’t fall off the wagon again is to con­tinue liv­ing a clean and sober life­style. If you have friends or fam­ily in com­mon, when they see what you are ac­com­plish­ing ev­ery day, they may men­tion it to her. Even if you re­ceive no re­sponse, con­tinue writ­ing to her and de­scrib­ing how your health is im­prov­ing. I can’t guar­an­tee it will bring her back, but it may help.

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