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by Abigail Van Buren

Sobering Up Changes Dynamics of Wife's Closest Relationships

DEAR ABBY: I know I have been blessed with wonderful relationships in my life. I have been married to the same lovely man for 25 years. I am also fortunate to have had the same best friend for 40 years. The problem? They drink.

Because of past behavior, I decided to get sober two years ago. I know I won't be able to drink socially again. I changed; they didn't.

We are all very high-functioning alcoholics. We never miss work and lead, for the most part, productive lives. I love them both so much. My husband is supportive and adoring. My best friend and I have gone through everything together. But Abby, I can't stand them after 8 p.m. after which they both repeat the same things over and over, and tell me how much they love me (in a slurry, sloppy way).

My life isn't bad, but this is making me miserable. I'm not asking that they quit drinking entirely, but for the sake of our relationship, I wish they'd just slow down some. Am I wrong to ask something of them that will change what was a big part of all of our lives for so long? I'm not willing to throw away long-term relationships, but I am truly at my wits' end. -- ODD ONE OUT IN WASHINGTON

DEAR ODD ONE OUT: Because you can't control the behavior of anyone else, you have two choices -- change the way you react to the person(s) or end the relationship(s). In this case, I vote for the former. Because your husband and your good friend are so drunk after 8 p.m. that they can no longer clearly pronounce their declarations of affection, plan some socially distanced visits with other sober individuals a few nights a week, including support group meetings for yourself, if you're not already attending them.

Read more in: Marriage & Divorce | Friends & Neighbors | Addiction