Dear Annie: If I go to bed and watch TV, my husband insists I turn the TV off when he gets there. But he often puts on the TV if he goes to bed first, and when that happens, he immediately falls asleep. I change the channel to my preference and leave the room for one or two hours. If I come back and get quietly in bed, as soon as he realizes I am watching TV, he is irritated. Is this a control thing? If I am not there, he can sleep for hours with the TV on. And I actually turn it down lower when I arrive. Help! — TV in Bed
Dear TV in Bed: Numerous studies have shown that screen time before bed disrupts your sleep cycle, so the bedroom isn't the best place for your television set. A TV in the bedroom can also negatively impact intimacy.
Why not keep it in the living room instead? Then you can watch your shows and your husband can sleep, all without interruption.
Dear Annie: "Saved by Sobriety" wonders why his wife cannot get past his 22 years of drunkenness. When you live in constant fear for that long, you don't just let it go. It has become your new normal.
I remember when my husband and I were in the same boat. I wanted him to go to Alcoholics Anonymous, not just to stop drinking but also to go through the 12 steps. The eighth step is to apologize to those you have harmed by drinking. I needed that apology to move forward. He could not just assume that everything was now hunky-dory because he stopped drinking. It hurts a spouse to her very core thinking that she ranks below the bottle. In this case, the wife may never feel No. 1 again.
Al-Anon helped me move past this when I reached the eighth step myself and apologized to the drinker for not looking at the positives in our life and only concentrating on the hurt. Even though he never attended AA to give me what I felt I needed, my attending Al-Anon helped me move forward.
Thank God that now in our 60s, we are both in a good place and best friends — and more in love than ever. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, but sometimes you have to be the first one to turn it on. — I Am No. 1 Again
Dear No. 1 Again: I loved reading your letter. It's inspiring to hear from people who have taken it upon themselves to find peace.
For anyone who is bothered by a loved one's drinking: Try Al-Anon meetings (http:///www.al-anon.org).
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