Posted on | November 18, 2012 | Comments Off
Dear Short Answers:
My brother-in-law is 53 and has been an alcoholic for 15 years. He has been arrested, in jail, and homeless. He has no job. His wife left him and his kids won’t acknowledge that he is alive. But my husband (his brother) continues to try to help by bailing him out, cleaning him up and sending him money. The ONLY reason he does this is so that Tom (the drunk) won’t die before their mother does. But I want my husband to stop. It is tearing him apart inside. We live 1,000 miles away from Tom so like his wife and kids, we can pretend he doesn’t exist. What do you think?
Sick of It
On every rational level, you are right. Helping Tom is enabling all that ails him. However, we suspect your husband knows this and can’t make his heart listen to his head. Hard to watch, but we suggest you leave it alone because you are unlikely to effect the outcome.