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Dear Abby: My wife has more than just a taste at whisky tastings

DEAR ABBY: My wife and I enjoy wine and the tasting and selecting of fine vintages. We also enjoy learning more about and tasting fine spirits like single malt scotches and Kentucky bourbon. The challenge is, my wife pours whiskey like it’s wine. She fills a glass halfway to the brim and drinks these spirits at the same pace she would drink wine. As you can imagine, she quickly becomes very intoxicated.

She seems unaware that her behavior changes when she’s drinking large volumes of spirits. I don’t think she’s an alcoholic because she goes for weeks without drinking. But when she does, the amount of whiskey she imbibes makes her very drunk. There have been times at social events when I had to intervene because her behavior became erratic. This is new behavior and I’m concerned she is developing a dependence. What strategy can I take to discuss this with her? — WHISKEY’S NOT WINE IN OREGON

DEAR W.N.W.: Your wife appears to have gone from a connoisseur to a binge drinker. If you haven’t pointed out that her behavior changes after she drinks large quantities of hard liquor (how many ounces do those glasses hold?), you should. That you have had to intervene in social situations should be a clue to both of you that she can’t handle the amount she’s drinking.

Because this is new behavior, it should be discussed with her doctor. It could be a symptom of a physical problem or even her age. Her doctor can explain how drinking large amounts of alcohol can damage her health, safety and cognition, and recommend a path to follow. Please don’t procrastinate, because this is serious.

DEAR ABBY: I have been separated from my husband for a year and a half. The divorce became final five months ago. He had major mood swings, and was nice one minute and hateful the next. We have two children together.

I have a boyfriend I’ve been seeing for about a year. We are casual, but monogamous. Suddenly, my ex is being really nice, telling me he loves me and if I “change,” he’d want me to come back. He has a lot of changing to do as well, and he acknowledges that.

Lately, he has been asking to come over to cuddle, he says, for some type of human contact. I doubt my boyfriend would agree this is a good idea. Sex is not on the table, and everyone knows that. What do you think? — MOVING ON IN ARKANSAS

DEAR MOVING: I think it’s a terrible idea. It isn’t your job to cuddle with your ex so he has human contact. Unless you actually plan to reconcile with him, do not buy what he’s trying to sell. Tell him you will always want a cordial relationship with him — for the sake of the children — but it’s time he finds himself a girlfriend to cuddle with.

DEAR ABBY: I have been married to the same woman for 20 years. We are happy together. I have a skin condition called NF1 and have tumors all over my body except my legs and face (those were removed a number of years ago).

I still have a number of them on my arms that I want taken off. But my wife says she’s happy the way I am, and when she met me, she was OK with the way I was. However, for my own self-confidence I want them gone. Should I stay as I am or have them removed? — TORN IN TENNESSEE

DEAR TORN: That your wife loves you “just the way you are” is wonderful. But it’s just as important that YOU love yourself the way you are. If you would feel happier and more confident having the growths removed, you should do it.

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 www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

What teens need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS and getting along with peers and parents is in “What Every Teen Should Know.” Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds), to: Dear Abby, Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)

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