DEAR ABBY: I am a 38-year-old woman with three beautiful children. For the past eight years, I lived with a man I care for very much, "Rick," who is an alcoholic.
Two years ago, I decided to take the children and move to China, teaching English and learning Chinese. The experience has been fabulous.
Rick has been at home, keeping house and drinking. Now that I am away from him, I realize how miserable I was, living with him and his disease. We will be returning to the United States in a couple of months, back to our house, back to Rick and back to his excessive drinking. I no longer want to watch him get drunk every night. I have told him how I feel, and he has promised to stop drinking, but I've heard that story before, and I don't believe him.
Rick has been waiting for us and is eagerly expecting us to resume our lives, but I don't believe he can even make it to the airport sober to pick us up. How can I resolve this from here? Or should I wait to get back? -- CONFUSED IN CHINA
DEAR CONFUSED: I don't know how Rick behaves when he's under the influence, but if there is any suspicion in your mind that he might retaliate by trashing your home and belongings, then you'd be wise to wait until you get home to deal with him.
He could surprise you and be sober when you return. But if he is not, you have given him fair warning, and you can insist that he leave with a clear conscience.