DEAR ABBY: I have a 9-month-old son and am expecting another child in three months. My husband, "Matt," works nights, so when I get home exhausted at the end of my workday, I care for our baby by myself.
Matt used to drink a lot, but he slowed down quite a bit when we got married. I still feel that alcohol rules his life because his idea of an evening out is getting drunk. If he has a day off, he spends it drinking, too.
On Matt's birthday, I took the baby and slept at my parents' house so he could have a party with the guys and get drunk. Because of my pregnancy I can't drink -- nor do I want to -- but I didn't want the baby there with a bunch of drunks, either.
Matt and I went to a sporting event together not too long ago. I was embarrassed because he left me sitting alone while he kept going off to buy more beer. Seven beers into the event he was stumbling over the other spectators in our row.
I hate living like this. He says I'm overreacting. Am I? Is this normal for a 26-year-old man? If it is, our marriage is doomed. -- FED UP IN RICHMOND, TEXAS
DEAR FED UP: No, it's not normal for the average 26-year-old man. But it is typical of an alcoholic of any age.
It's important that you contact Al-Anon, a 12-step fellowship of people whose lives have been affected by the compulsive drinking of a family member or friend. To locate a chapter in your area, call 1-888-4ALANON (888-425-2666), or go to the Web site, which is www.al-anon.alateen.org.
Your husband's behavior won't change until he realizes he has a problem and wants to do something about it. Whether you want to spend the rest of your life this way is a question only you can answer. But please realize that a tendency toward alcoholism can be inherited, and be sure your children understand that fact as they grow older.