DEAR ABBY: In about three years, my wife and I will be able to comfortably retire. The problem is she's 57 and has smoked since she was in her teens. In addition to tobacco, she also smokes reefer and consumes alcohol three or four nights a week, and her family medical history is not great. I indulge a little with her — on weekends only — and I'm not a smoker.
Needless to say, I'm becoming increasingly worried that our golden years will be difficult or cut short. I have tried talking to her about it, but she doesn't want to hear it. She's a great person and the love of my life, and I don't want to lose her before we can enjoy retirement and grandkids. What can I do?
— WORRIED SICK IN NEW JERSEY
DEAR WORRIED SICK: Try this approach: Tell your wife she's the love of your life and you would like to spend your golden years celebrating them with her while you both take full advantage of everything you have worked so hard to accumulate. Explain you're worried that her vices will shorten her life, which is why you "need" her to quit smoking cigarettes and cut down on the drinking.
If she refuses, add that if her life ends prematurely, your life will NOT be over, and what a shame it would be if everything you had worked and planned for couldn't be enjoyed together. If that doesn't motivate her, nothing will.