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I can’t live with my violent alcoholic mother

DEAR ABBY: My future husband and I are returning to our hometown in the months leading up to our wedding. This is, in part, to facilitate the organization of the wedding since we have it close to home. We have other weddings to attend this season, and we need to cut our living expenses while saving for a house.

Our initial plan was to live with my parents for three or four months, which they encouraged us to do. The problem is, as the date got closer, I realized that while I love my mom, her alcoholism and the way she behaves when she drinks is hard to be around. In fact, it’s really traumatic, if I’m being honest.

My other half and I decided to stay with a good friend’s parents instead. They have a seven-bedroom house and are happy to have us, but I’m afraid I’ll start a fight or embarrass my parents by not living with them anymore. I don’t know how to handle this without creating a rift before my wedding. — PROTECT ME IN UTAH

DEAR PROTECT: Talk to your father. Thank him for his generosity and offer of hospitality, and explain the reasons for your decision. Although he’s used to your mother’s drinking, living with an abusive alcoholic is not the way for a young couple to start a marriage. There’s enough stress in planning a wedding without having to worry about your mom’s boozy shenanigans. If he doesn’t recognize the common sense of your and your fiancé’s decision, go ahead with your plans anyway.

If your fiancé has seen how your mother behaves when under the influence and doesn’t want to live under your parents’ roof when there is an alternative, he shouldn’t have to.

DEAR ABBY: My wife and I recently invited two of our best friends over for dinner. As the husband walked through our front door, he announced, “I have a terrible cold, but it’s not COVID!” I was so shocked that he showed up on our doorstep with a communicable disease of any kind, I didn’t know how to react. I didn’t want to ruin the evening, but I was seething the whole time, angry at him for reporting us.

We may never invite this couple to our house again, but what should I say if I face a similar situation in the future? Am I overreacting? Is it better to get sick for a week than risk offending someone by asking them to go home, get well, and then reschedule? — TAKE CARE OF ME

DEAR TAKE: If a guest, “good friend” or not, suspects they may have caught a bug, they should call their hosts and reschedule. This goes for colds, flu and viruses that could be deadly. And you, as the host, have every right to smile and tell your thoughtless friend to leave rather than possibly exposing your family to whatever the person is wearing.

DEAR READERS: It’s Halloween, a time of fun and fantasy! I hope all of your celebrations tonight are creative, fun, and safe for everyone involved. Happy Halloween! — LOVE, ABBY

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at or PO Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.


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