Sunday, May 3, 2009

Dear Ms. Vicki,

My wife uses every excuse in the book to hang out at the bar down the street at all times of the night. Everyone in my unit is making comments and laughing behind my back about her behavior at the bar. I’ve had to come and pick her up many times because she is too drunk to drive.

Now I find out she is working there as a bartender. Who would hire a drunk? This gives her more access to do nothing but drink. I confronted the manager and told him my wife shouldn’t be working there. He said he can hire whoever he wants.

I don’t know what to do Ms. Vicki. My life is going down the tubes, and I can’t do anything about it. We need an intervention and quick. — Bar-Hopping Wife

Dear Hopping,

I agree that your wife needs an intervention; she is showing signs of alcohol dependency. There are many on-base services available to her. Unfortunately, you cannot force her to get the help she desperately needs. Because of this, my first recommendation would be for you to pick her up at the bar and drive her home when she gets off work. At least she won’t be driving home intoxicated. This recommendation is in no way blaming you or holding you responsible.

Second, you should consider soliciting the help of your family; perhaps her parents can come for a visit if they are available to do so. Trusted friends would be helpful, too.

You also need support from a clinical social worker or professional counselor who can give you more options and insight. You should call Military OneSource; they have trained counselors who answer their phones 24/7 and would be more than happy to help you and connect you with other resources. Call 800/342-9647.

Reader responses to previous columns:

• Ms. Vicki, I look forward to reading your advice every Sunday. I was shocked to read April 12 that this abused writer is comparing her plight and current condition to that of Rihanna and Chris Brown. She really needs to grow up and get a grip. You told her right, and she needs to worry about herself. Keep telling people the right thing, Ms. Vicki, I’m proud of you.

• Ms. Vicki, I’ve dreamed of the opportunity to meet you and tell you off face to face. I’ve been reading your advice in The Washington Times and I just don’t get you. You can be so nasty and crude to people who you are supposed to help. You even have a threatening tone at times. I can’t believe The Washington Times even prints half of the advice you give. When you should be mean and sassy to people, you are not. Then when you should give some gentle advice you are mean. Do you have a split personality? Make up your mind. Carol in Fairfax

• Ms. Vicki, your column is in a conservative newspaper. You are given a prime slot on Sundays. My question is: Are you a conservative or a liberal? I want to know because it’s hard to tell from the advice you give. I hope you are a conservative because you would be able to reach a lot of people through your column and further push the conservative agenda. Let’s face it, we need your face, too. To be more specific, conservative Republicans need more black people. I can send you information on different meetings and functions we have in the D.C. area. We need you. Please join us if you haven’t already.

Vicki Johnson is a licensed clinical social worker, military spouse and mother of three. Her column runs in The Washington Times on Thursdays and Sundays. Contact her at

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