Dear Annie 2020

Dear Annie: We occasionally will have friends over for dinner, and there have been times when they simply won’t leave. I’m not talking about an hour or two; many times it’s three or four hours after dinner.

We love our friends and are happy that they feel very comfortable with us to stay that long. What’s a polite way to wrap up a delightful evening that shouldn’t be more than a few hours?

 — To Leave or Not To Leave

Dear To Leave or Not To Leave: It sounds like your subtle hints are not working, so it’s time to start from the beginning. Next time you invite your friends over, instead of just putting the start time, add an end time. That way, everything is clear before the dinner even begins. Another tip could be to have a goody bag with a cookie in it. You could drop a subtle hint like, “Here, don’t forget your cookie on your way out.” Honesty coupled with kindness is always appreciated.

Dear Annie: I lost my wife to alcoholism. On Oct. 4, 2020, she died of liver failure. She drank wine morning, noon and night.

For five straight years, until her death, she used to drink a gallon of whiskey every other day. She eventually became a recluse.

The past two years have been really rough. I begged. I pleaded. I cried. I screamed. Nothing seemed to happen and nothing seemed to work. She passed away in an ICU hospital three weeks after I admitted her.

After being with this woman for 20 years, I lost her to the bottle. You can’t make somebody stop what they don’t want to stop. I was a drug addict for almost 15 years. When I finally hit rock bottom, I said enough was enough. I haven’t touched any drugs in over 22 years.

Alcoholism is like a drug addiction. You don’t quit unless you want to quit. I just thought you should know that to give information to your readers. For those coping with an alcoholic spouse, here’s my advice: Keep everything positive and keep their spouse moving and try to keep everything on a happy basis, and either they’re going to come around or they’re not.

 Come to the Conclusion on Your Own

Dear Conclusion: I am very sorry for the loss of your wife. It sounds like you were a loving and forgiving husband. As your letter pointed out, alcoholics must decide for themselves whether or not to get help. If they don’t want to, they will not. There is no amount of forcing you can do. I would encourage you to seek grief support groups and other groups for family members of alcoholics. Thank you for sharing your story. It will help others know they are not alone in watching a loved one fighting this disease.

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