Your Dilemmas: He drinks almost every night...

In her weekly column, JOAN LONG, a Bishopstown psychologist and psychotherapist, answers readers’ queries
Your Dilemmas: He drinks almost every night...
"He drinks almost every night, mainly at home, from one to three bottles of wine." Picture: Stock

Dear Joan,

Please tell me what you think I should do. I have met a lovely man who is a real gent but he drinks a lot.

We are both in our fifties. I am widowed for seven years and he is divorced. We both have children. This is the first relationship I have had since my husband died. We were introduced by a colleague in work. I was not looking for a relationship as I have a busy life.

This man is really good to me and all my family. He is as good as perfect in every way except he drinks almost every night, mainly at home, from one to three bottles of wine.

He never misses work and is never late. He works hard and I know his drink is very important to him. When I voiced my concerns to him he did make an effort for about a week.

We have been away for weekends and holidays and the drinking at the end of each night did cause problems of varying degrees. He does not get aggressive or argumentative but often becomes comatose. Then of course he snores the house down.

I am fearful this will get worse. My father was an alcoholic and I do not drink because of this. I do not want to end up with a full blown alcoholic.

I have deep feelings for this man but he changes when he is merry/drunk. It is not a side of him I like. I feel mean being so judgemental but I have to be honest. If I discuss this with him I get the same old argument that his drinking is not interfering with his life.

He has a good salary but never seems to have enough money, I have not yet had the courage to tell him he must be spending at least €150 per week on wine.

Normally I am a straight talker but I am confused as to what is my business and what is not. I could walk away and be done with it. but part of me feels that would be mean and a coward’s way. I really am torn in two.

I know he is besotted with me, but maybe more with his wine.

Dear Reader

Do you love this man? I think you need to decide what he means to you and if he means a lot as you say then decide what that is!

Apart from his drinking are you happy with him? Or just afraid of being vulnerable and hurt again? You obviously were devastated by the loss of your husband so this relationship is a big risk for you.

I think you actually know yourself what you need to do. You know you need to be straight and honest with him.

 Tell him how you feel — your worries and concerns. You would hardly be giving this much thought and time if it were not your business now, would you?

Tell him what you have told me here. He may have a serious drinking problem, never mind what it must be doing to his liver. This is not healthy. Go for it and tell him all. At least then you will know where you stand.

Be prepared for his denial but stick to your guns and be honest. At least then you will know. So all in all what do you have to lose? Take your courage in your hands and talk to him. Be true to yourself.

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