DEAR ABBY: I have been married about 16 years, but there is something I can't handle anymore. My husband, "Karl," drinks every day. He insists he doesn't have a problem, but I think his problem is severe.
I have spoken to Karl's parents about it. His father lives with us, so I have spoken to him more than I have to my mother-in-law. His father says we should help him. However, every time there's an episode where Karl gets violent, calls me names and says I'm good for nothing because I don't hold a job, his father says things like, "Karl works hard. He has the right to have a few beers if he wants to."
How can I help my husband stop drinking? -- KARL'S WIFE IN STATEN ISLAND
DEAR WIFE: You can't "help" your husband stop drinking. However, you can help yourself by recognizing that his outbursts have nothing to do with you. Karl's father should be ashamed of himself. By making excuses for his son and turning a blind eye to his abusive outbursts, he has become his son's enabler.
There is an organization for people in your situation. It's called Al-Anon, and it has been mentioned in this column many times. Al-Anon is 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 near you, call (888) 425-2666, or visit their Web site: www.al-anon.alateen.org. Please do it soon, because when you do, you will be welcomed by people who understand what you have been experiencing and who want to help.
P.S. Another way to help yourself would be to find a job. I predict that the less financially dependent you become, the better you will feel about yourself.