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Drinking to the point of poisoning while playing computer games — that's Rob's weapon of choice. He wounds himself and points the finger at me. I don't pay enough attention, he told our therapist. And she has all the sympathy in the world for him. How nice.

After a whopping near-death episode last spring he stopped drinking for two months to examine his relationship to alcohol, and when he started again he put rules in place: He'd have no more than two drinks per day, and do that no more than two times per week.

That went really well for him. His memory and response time in conversation improved, and he seemed more confident. Then I went out to the Madonna concert last week and he retaliated. (It always happens when I go out with friends or leave town on business for a day or so, leaving him alone.)

Our therapist agreed with my hastily developed strategy to react to his recent setback with no reaction. I shouldn't admonish him, but I also can't take blame or be the one to make him feel better after he acts out.

Soon I leave again for upstate NY to take care of my ailing father for a few days. (Rob didn't think coming with me was worth sacrificing a few days of vacation time. Huh. Noted.)

I wonder what Rob will do while I'm away? Will he get drunk and play video games? If he did, it would put me closer to the door, that's for sure. I'm just not attracted to that behavior. Blame me? And our bond isn't strong enough for it to be worth putting up with.

But if I'm not supposed to discuss his drinking drama with him, how do I make clear to him those consequences? Any advice?

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