DEAR ABBY: My husband of 43 years, an alcoholic, has started going to the local grill/bar in our small town. He spends three to four hours there, six days a week. He would go more often if they were open on Sundays.
People who know us tell me things that have been going on between a single bartender and him. This bartender has given him gifts, and I heard he overtips her. I have also been told there's more going on than the outward flirting, and my husband has been saying bad things about me.
The bartender is not a young woman, and she tells anyone who will listen that she's looking for a man. I have asked my husband nicely to stop going there, and he does for a few days, until her calls and posts on Facebook start about me "keeping him from going to the bar." When he gets home, he continues drinking until he passes out.
I have told him that if he gets a DUI and goes to jail, I won't bail him out. He doesn't really care, and I don't know what to do. Help! -- DISASTER IN GEORGIA
DEAR DISASTER: Your signature is correct. Your marriage is a disaster. As long as your husband continues to drink, nothing will improve. Keep uppermost in your mind that, as much as you might want to, you cannot change him.
Contact a divorce lawyer and find out what you need to do to protect yourself financially. And join an Al-Anon group. There may be more than one near you. When you do, you may find not only some much-needed emotional support but also perspective. I am sorry for what you are experiencing, but once you attend a meeting, you will find you are not alone and that there is a way out.