“Dear Abby” Regurgitates Poor Advice

Syndicated advice columnist Carolyn Hax recorded this “Dear Abby” question.

Dear Carolyn:

This week I discovered that my spouse has been hiding daily drinking. Spouse cops to drinking a fifth of vodka per day for the past year; I think the reality is probably more. Six months ago I called an ambulance because I thought Spouse was having a stroke; turned out Spouse was drunk.

At that time, Spouse swore it was a onetime thing. In the past week Spouse had a similar episode, which prompted me to search until I found hidden bottles.

Upon confrontation, Spouse acknowledged a problem and agreed to make an appointment with a counselor. I am so angry and scared I can’t think straight. We have school-age kids and I travel for work, and I am now petrified to leave for fear Spouse will drive drunk and hurt someone. How do I move forward?

See this link: Detroit Free Press Article by Carolyn Hax

Ms. Hax has little alternative but to recite the advice condoned by professionals and “accepted” by the public.

But we know that the drinking thing? It’s just a symptom.

What matters is that this family finds help. Actual support. Secular (professional) counseling can only lead to the same suggestions Carolyn made (that bear dismal statistical results.) There are alternatives, that won’t point to the eventual destruction of this family. But the public is so aware of poor “professional “advice, they echo the “Tough Love” stance. Read some of the comments here:


Folks should be aware of the incredibly low success rates held by the D&A counseling profession. It’s widely known that treatment, counseling and 12-step programs fail addicts about 65% of the time. Relapse is inevitable. Abstinence doesn’t have to define success.

It’s a complex issue:


Plainly stated: Abandonment of a drinking spouse doesn’t have to be the solution. It should not be.

There are other options for this fellow. Among them, actions that involve talking to men who’ve successfully navigated similar issues, accountability with fellows who are NOT primarily sipping AA / Al-Anon 12-step cool-aid. What I’m referring to are more along the lines of faith-based programs. Faith tells us to stay together and help each other, no matter what the issue is.

Carolyn, contact me if you have any interest. Referrals are ready.

If not, I hope the father and husband finds help. It’s hell man. But, keep going.

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