The Matters w/ Matt: Enabling A Ship At Anchorage

Every Wednesday: I never fail to be disgusted with advice columns. I am unsure why they still get paid to do what they do. As always, I am in awe when it comes to awful examples like Dear Prudence and Dear Abby. The columnists seem to get rewarded for giving you bad advice. I think that people get terrible advice from them. I don’t blame anyone that calls advice column responses garbage. I use my postings to correct these responses and help society by being an utmost asshole, (as always, a hat tip to Aaron Clarey at Asshole Consulting).

Consider this piece from Dear Annie’s column (courtesy of Arcamax) from April 10, 2022:

Dear (Matters):

I’m a middle-aged single mom of two great kids. I recently entered into my first serious relationship since my divorce five years ago, and I love him dearly, but there is a huge problem. I found out that he has had an alcohol addiction in the past (which cost him half of his pancreas and caused liver issues).

Recently, his company closed after more than 20 years in business, and he started drinking again. One day, we had plans to see each other, and I couldn’t reach him. It turns out he drank so much that he blacked out and slept for an entire day. I was upset and really worried. So I confronted him and told him that I will not watch him slowly kill himself.

His health is failing again, but he swears up and down he won’t drink again and he wants a life with me and our kids. I want to help him, but only if he helps himself. My gut is saying he’s still drinking behind my back.

I’ve been through a lot and am perfectly comfortable being on my own. Do I take him at his word, or do I trust my gut and leave? It would break my heart, but I can’t be an enabler. – “Confused”

Dear Confused:

I believe that everyone has at least one time in their lives that they did everything within good intentions but wreaked havoc instead. I had my time and I believe that you had enough in your past.

You mean well, but you will not save him. A boat commanded by a reckless captain will only steer towards shoals. You can say that you are concerned, but your words alone will do nothing.

It is up to the other person to steer their ship in better waters. Only he can decide when he had enough. He can make the decision to feel better or continue on the path that he was stumbling.

You should spend the time that you have doing things that benefit you. Worry seldom pays out that exercise or a hobby does. To be happy is a decision that only one person makes.

—————————————————————————————————————————

I don’t imagine that I will have a shortage of emails to answer. I would love to start doing this for anyone that sends me an email. If this is you; email us at freemattpodcast@gmail.com

If you hate advice columns; I don’t blame you. If it isn’t soft people giving advice; it is someone trying to justify acting like an insensitive asshole. Till next week.

https://www.arcamax.com/healthandspirit/lifeadvice/dearannie/s-2659154

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