By Alma Gill
NNPA Columnist

Alcoholic Parents

Dear Alma,

My Dad and my Stepmom have been together for over 20 years. They both have and always did drink way too much. I’d even say both are alcoholics. Recently my Dad was hospitalized and obviously told he has to stop drinking. My Stepmom says that’s his problem, not hers. How do I get her to see what she’s doing is wrong and how can I stop her from drinking in front of my Dad? My Dad won’t stop drinking if she keeps providing it. 

C.K., Alexandria, Va.

Hi C.K.,

This is a tough situation and I sympathize with the position you’re in. That still, however, doesn’t remove the fact that your Dad has an addiction that he’s “large and in-charge” of.  Let’s pause here and give you a minute to understand and resonate, this is your Dad’s burden to bear.

Allow me a minute and address the consideration and compassion this deserves. I say this as respectfully as I can muster – you can’t give up crack living next door to the crack house. You feel me?  Offer your Dad resources to finding a local Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. He has to take the first step. Once associated, I’m sure they’ll direct him on what his next step should be.  Remind your father that facing his addiction is a sign of strength. Let him know you’ll support him unconditionally.  After taking hold of his responsibility, your Dad will decide what to do about your stepmom. That, too, is his choice not yours.  I’ll be praying for your Dad, you and your family.


My Husband is Having an Affair

Dear Alma,

Around six months ago, I started to see clues that something was going on with my husband.  I started going through his wallet and cell phone because I thought he was having an affair. I was right. I almost fainted when I found a phone in the trunk of the car with pictures of him and another woman. All of the calls were to the same number, which made me believe it was her number. I hit the button and she answered the phone. When she said hello, I hung up. I put the phone back and didn’t tell him. I love him and am trying to keep my marriage. He hasn’t said anything about my phone call. Do you think I should mention it? My ego is just about gone and all I want to do is stay in bed. I wish I had not looked in the trunk. I do not know if I should stay or go or why I’m confused on what to do.

Name withheld, Durham, N.C.

You’re not confused sweetheart, you’re heartbroken. You’re dejected, sad and depressed. Your husband is having an affair and you don’t want to confront him because you’re scared he might leave you. Let that truth simmer for a minute, then drop it. If not addressing it is an option, learn to live with it. My question to you is, why did you go searching for what you weren’t ready to find? Should you mention it, you asked. Really? If you need me to answer you Sweetie, continue to entertain that rubber ducky in your dirty bath water. Email me back when you’re ready to pull the plug and do something about it.  Let me know when you’re ready to clean up your mess, redress your problems and restore your self-worth. That’s when I’ll have amazing, life affirming advice to share. Honestly, if I took the time to answer you, you wouldn’t hear me. Cause truth-be-told, right now, on this day, you love him more than you love yourself.


Alma Gill’s newsroom experience spans more than 25 years, including various roles at USA Today, Newsday and the Washington Post. Email questions to: Follow her on Facebook at “Ask Alma” and twitter @almaaskalma.


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