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Dr. Mark
Dr. Mark, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5170
Experience:  Dr. Mark is a PhD in psychology in private practice
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Ive been dating this girl for about 6 months now. Shes very

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I've been dating this girl for about 6 months now. She's very sweet to me and I always try to be sweet to her. Our relationship is really good and we're happy, but there is an underlying issue of her drinking too much that scares me from going much further in the relationship.

She's a great girl from a similar background as me. I'm 30 and she's 25. She's very smart, definitely smarter than me in many ways, but she lacks some common sense I think. Anyways, she is an ER nurse that works nights and has a really good job, and she's great at her job. However, when we spend time together, 75% it's at my house, she will drink from the time she gets here until the wee hours of the morning, keeping me up at night, until she eventually passes out. She's fun on about her 4th through 6th drinks but anymore than that and I can't understand what she's talking about and she wants to stay up until 6 or 7 AM because of her weird sleep schedule with her work. On her nights off, I understand her wanting
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 2 years ago.

Hi! I believe I can be of help with this issue.

I can imagine how frustrating and confusing this situation must be for you. You are clearly an intelligent man and a loving man. And it appears the two sides of you are in conflict here.

The intelligent man appears to recognize what's going on: your girlfriend is an alcoholic. She may be drinking to self medicate to deal with accumulated stress. There may be other psychological reasons accounting for the alcohol abuse. But the truth is that she's an alcoholic and you appear to recognize this clearly.

Your loving part, though, is trying to figure out how to make it seem like lemonade.

Whatever reasons can be found to make it make sense to drink (day off, etc.), does that make it sensible to drink this quantity? I think we both agree that this is not what life is about and we can also agree that it does not bode well for a person to be a loving partner in a positive, healthy, coherent way. I know that's tough for your loving part, but I also sense that your intelligent part is strong and recognizes this.

Should you continue with this relationship appears to be your real question. I am concerned for you. Because alcoholism wears down the intelligent side of good people who are in relationship with it. This is a truth that you can't avoid. It is not healthy for you. Should you go to Al Anon to learn how to stop enabling and how to try to get her to AA?

I'm going to tell you my first impression, but it's only that. I think you need to move on. As I said, I'm concerned for your health and wellbeing. But if you are going to continue, then here's the meeting finder for Al Anon. It's the part of AA for family members:


http://www.al-anon.alateen.org/meetings/meeting.html

Okay, I wish you the very best!

My goal is for you to feel like you've gotten Great Service from me and the site. If we need to continue the discussion for that to happen, then please feel free to reply and we'll continue working on this. If the answer has given you the help you need, please remember to give a rating of 5 (Great Service) or 4 (Informative and helpful), or even 3 (Got the job done) button. This will make sure that I am credited for the answer and you are not charged anything more than the deposit you already made by pressing any of these buttons. Bonuses are always appreciated! If I can be of further help with any issue now or in the future, just put "For Dr. Mark" in the front of your new question, and I'll be the one to answer it. All the best, XXXXX XXXXX

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for the reply Dr. Mark. If I wanted to first try and approach her myself about it without making her upset, what do you think would be the best types of questions to ask or things to say? The things I love about her, like her support of my career and encouragement along the way, the way she cooks, the way she loves, and the fun we have together are all so much more important to me than having to break up with her over getting wasted at night. I've been in a few serious relationships and this girl has absolutely stolen my heart like no other, so I'm trying to avoid losing her over it! Thanks again.

Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 2 years ago.
Ah, I see.


I like your approach of leading in with the positives and then seeing if you can have a mature discussion about the drinking. She's a professional, after all, who deals with health.


I am concerned, though, about your minimizing the drinking. I don't think you'll be feeling this way a year from now if she gets mad at your bringing it up and you back down and it just goes on like this. I've seen alcohol too long: it doesn't stay small as an issue; it just grows. And grows. Because it begins to overtake the positives.


So, if you want to be the most effective? Wait before you have a conversation. Wait for what?


Wait till you've been to a few Al Anon meetings and have talked with the other people at the meeting and discussed how to bring it up with people who've done it before. Get their perspective. Yes, I'm making it a big deal. Because I've seen it before. So, I can't do more than tell you I'm concerned and hope you'll make the effort and go to Al Anon.


I wish you the very best!

My goal is for you to feel like you've gotten Great Service from me and the site. If we need to continue the discussion for that to happen, then please feel free to reply and we'll continue working on this. If the answer has given you the help you need, please remember to give a rating of 5 (Great Service) or 4 (Informative and helpful), or even 3 (Got the job done) button. This will make sure that I am credited for the answer and you are not charged anything more than the deposit you already made by pressing any of these buttons. Bonuses are always appreciated! If I can be of further help with any issue now or in the future, just put "For Dr. Mark" in the front of your new question, and I'll be the one to answer it. All the best, XXXXX XXXXX

Dr. Mark, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5170
Experience: Dr. Mark is a PhD in psychology in private practice
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Dr. Mark is a PhD in psychology in private practice