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November 17, 2018

My girlfriend is a drunk

Valentine,

My girlfriend is a drunk and I do not know how to stop it. I am younger than her by eight years and I am that polite guy who endures all pain by himself. Please help me?

Julius.

 

Well Julius, you have two options here, to go on as the ‘polite guy who endures all pain by himself’ and continue with things as they are; or to find a new and more assertive side of yourself and tell your partner how you feel about her drunken ways.

I suspect you will go with the first option and your relationship with fizzle out due to your annoyance and lack of communication. There are many people who would say that this is fine because you are only dating, not married or engaged and the point of dating is to get to know the other person and figure out whether or not you are compatible to build a future together. Taking on the herculean task of trying to change another person often doesn’t bear the fruit we hope. Most people do not change, and the few who do, do not do so as the result of another person.

You did not mention how long you have been dating, but you should ask yourself if perhaps your girlfriend is going through a phase that is out of character for her. What do her friends say? Has she been a heavy drinker for years or was this brought on by something like job loss, mourning a parent, failure in business or some other huge life change? Do her friends drink heavily?

After doing a bit more research, you might find that what she is doing is actually out of character and that will make option number two a lot easier to bring up and execute. Please do not bring up her drinking in a bar, or over drinks. Instead do it over a sober outing when it is just the two of you hanging out. Instead of castigating her character and calling her a drunk (as you have in your email), let her know how you feel about the drinking itself. Are you worried about her health? Her security when she is travelling home from bars late at night? The impact of alcohol on her relationships with people? Some people are very mean drunks and they ruin friendships, business contacts and other relationships this way. Let her know and gently show her the error of her ways.

If however these are not really your concerns and you just see yourself with a ‘well behaved’ woman who fits the ‘good girl’ image society holds for wives, then you are free to break up with her and find someone else. Someone who is more in tune with what you want.

As a side note, the role that you have decided to play in life, that of ‘polite guy who takes all pain by himself’ means playing the victim, and also being treated like one. Why would you volunteer for this when you can choose another role? That of ‘assertive guy who doesn’t take nonsense’ for example.

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