DEAR ABBY: I am a 39-year-old gay man in a three-year relationship with a wonderful man. We had both come out of very long and abusive relationships when we met. He works hard, and I stay home and take care of the house, the animals and the yard. There is no kind of abuse in our relationship.
The problem is that I am an alcoholic. He keeps telling me he can handle it as long as there is no abuse. I feel I'm taking advantage of him and that he deserves better than this, and I have told him so.
I have been in rehab several times and tried AA. Nothing worked. I always go back to drinking. Where do I go from here? I don't want to lose the love of my life, but it's killing me inside that he has to put up with my drinking problem. -- NEEDS HELP IN FLORIDA
DEAR NEEDS HELP: There is abuse going on in your relationship -- substance abuse. Until you finally decide that there is something more important than a drink, you will remain stuck in your addiction. And as long as your partner continues to accept and "handle it," he will be your enabler. Where you go from here is up to you, but getting counseling for your low self-esteem and going back to AA would be giant steps in the right direction.