DEAR ABBY: A few months ago I left my husband after a long marriage, mostly due to his drinking. He often insisted on getting behind the wheel while drunk, and I was uncomfortable about it, although I repeatedly begged him not to do it.
Since our split he has been drinking much later at his favorite bar. Where he used to come home about 8, he now stays until 10 or 11. He recently had an accident on his way home from the bar, but managed to get away before the police arrived.
Part of me wants to contact the police and report it because I would feel horrible if he hurt someone and I had done nothing to stop it. I admit there are also selfish reasons I'd like to see him picked up. My concern is that he'll find out I turned him in. Any suggestion on what to do? -- NERVOUS IN NORTH CAROLINA
DEAR NERVOUS: Your husband is a menace on the road, and unless something is done to stop him, he may kill somebody. I say this not only because it is common sense, but also because the daughter-in-law of a friend of mine was the victim in a terrible accident caused by a man who was blind drunk. She was the only survivor; two others died. Her injuries are extensive and traumatic, and it may take years for her to fully recover.
So, please, put aside your personal issues. For the safety of the community, turn him in. If his car was damaged, you would not be the only person who is aware of it.
DEAR ABBY: "Kirk" and I have been together for 10 years, married for five. We're nearing our 30s, and the idea of a child has come up. While I have never had any desire for children, I'm becoming more open to the idea. My parents divorced when I was young, so I have a fear of being a single mom. Kirk grew up never knowing his father, so he has always wanted to take on that role.
Kirk is a wonderful, loving husband, but when he's tired, he doesn't always handle things well. We have two dogs, and when they bother Kirk during the night or when he wants to be left alone, he gets frustrated. I'm wondering if this is an example of how he would be if we were to have a baby.
I have discussed my concerns with him; he says it would be different because it would involve a child, not a pet. I love my dogs dearly and feel they should have their needs met as children do, no matter the circumstances. Is it possible that Kirk will be different with our child, or is this how he'll react when he's disturbed in the middle of the night? -- LOOKING TOWARD THE FUTURE
DEAR LOOKING: That depends upon how Kirk reacts when he becomes "frustrated." Most adults are mature and rational enough to differentiate between an animal's need for attention and a small child's, and react appropriately.
However, since you are approaching this rationally in advance of becoming pregnant, it might quiet your fears if you and Kirk were to join some parenting classes together. Your OB/GYN might be able to tell you where to locate one. Or go online and do a web search on parenting classes in your area.