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The Strawberry Letter: This Drinking and Cussing Has To Stop

Dear Steve and Shirley,

My husband of 22 years has made a lot of changes in the last six months. He's been in the military since I met him and retired last year, but he still hangs out with his coworkers. He has always cursed like a sailor because he was a sailor when he was younger. When we had our first child, I asked him to watch what he said around our daughter, and he did slack up on using profanity.

Now that he's retired, I think he's frustrated and bored because he started using strong four-letter words, and he said the kids are old enough to understand. We have a 17-year-old and a 15-year-old, and he curses at them like they are his age. Not only do I have to put up with his bad language, but he also put a bar in the basement and bought all kinds of alcohol. His former coworkers pop up at our house, go downstairs, and drink up all of my husband's liquor. He gets very drunk, usually falls asleep in the basement, and I have to usher his friends out.

Money is not an issue with all of the alcohol, but I get tired of his buddies drinking up his premium liquor, and they don't give him one cent to buy more. I asked my husband if he's going through something or if this is a midlife crisis, and he told me that he's fine but ready to let his hair down a little because he's not working anymore. I did not want to spend my retirement with a drunk, foul-mouthed man.

Here's the worst part: the last time we were being intimate, he was drunk and called me a dirty name. He kept cursing so loudly I was afraid our kids would hear it. How can I stop him from being so crude? I need the drinking and cussing to stop.