DEAR ABBY: I am a 34-year-old wife and mother of four. I'm concerned about my husband. He is 44 and drinks at home every evening after work.
I don't mind him having a few cans of beer, but he drinks between six and 12 a day. He refuses to see a doctor for checkups or when he is sick. I am worried about his health. The drinking could have an impact, and I would like him to have a physical exam to put my mind at ease.
I tell my husband I want him to take care of himself to live longer for our children's sake (our youngest is 4). At times, we argue about it, and I'm tired of fighting over his drinking. His response is, "At least I do it at home and not at the bar."
I think he is being selfish and thinking only of himself. He talks about "pride." How can I get him to cut down on his drinking or see a doctor as needed? -- WORRIED WIFE IN GUAM
DEAR WIFE: Your husband is an alcoholic. He may not want to see a doctor because he knows what the doctor will tell him. It is important that you understand you cannot control another person's behavior, and the only person who can "get" your husband to stop drinking or cut down is him.
For your own emotional well-being, I'm advising you to contact Al-Anon. Al-Anon is a fellowship of family members and friends of alcoholics, and it was created to help people just like you. Visit Al-AnonFamilyGroups.org, call 888-4AL-ANON or email email@example.com. You may also want to contact your department of mental health services for guidance. I can't guarantee that it will help with your husband's illness -- because alcoholism is one -- but it will help you to cope.
DEAR ABBY: I'm 13 and in middle school. We have a program called an iPad Pilot Program in which students are given an iPad for a year to use in daily classroom activities. I'm a responsible honor student, yet somehow some scratches appeared on it one day.
My parents are really tight with money. I'm afraid if I tell them, I'll get in trouble. I have some video games I don't play anymore that I can sell to fix the scratches, but if I do, my parents will find out. I guess I don't want them to be upset or think I'm irresponsible. Please tell me what to do. -- IN A BIND
DEAR IN A BIND: Some wear and tear on items that are issued to students is to be expected. Stop stalling and tell your parents what happened. They are going to find out eventually, and it is better that they hear it from you.
DEAR ABBY: I recently moved into a lovely house located not far from a funeral home. From time to time, funeral processions pass by my house.
Is there a way for an outsider to quietly pay respects without making the people in the procession uncomfortable? I feel bad ignoring them and just going about my business. I don't wear hats, or I'd remove it. I'm also not Catholic, so the sign of the cross doesn't seem appropriate. Any ideas? -- RESPECTFUL IN NEW JERSEY
DEAR RESPECTFUL: While no gesture is required, if you happen to be outside when a funeral procession passes by, pause from what you're doing and place your right hand over your heart to acknowledge the mourners' grief. I'm sure your thoughtfulness will be appreciated.
To receive a collection of Abby's most memorable -- and most frequently requested -- poems and essays, send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $7 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby -- Keepers Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. Shipping and handling are included in the price.