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KimberlyF, Longtime Relationship Expert
Category: Relationship
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Hi, I talked to you a while ago about my boyfriend situation,

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Hi, I talked to you a while ago about my boyfriend situation, and I have a follow-up concern/clarification. I don't know if you have a back-log of our exchange from before, but we've new been together for nine months. He's opened up quite a bit. One night early last month we was drunk and he told me that he liked me a lot, more than he wanted to like anyone. Recently, he got a DUI and it caused a lot of emotional turmoil. No one was hurt, and I'm glad it happened, because it made him accountable for his actions. The entire time we've been together, I have never been directly disparaging toward his drug and alcohol habits. I did tell him, coincidentally, a few days before his DUI that if he needed rides, he should call me rather than drive drunk. After his DUI without any rubbing in on my part, he told me he should have listened to me. All I did was nod. I think I've done a pretty good job of not being naggy. I told him I love him. He told me he's trying to love me back. I don't know exactly what that means, but it makes me happy to hear. He's worked hard this past month especially to show me that he cares for me. For example, he wants me to meet his sister, he's affectionate with me in public, I know he told his mother that we're involved, etc.

My biggest concern right now is the role I should play in his life in terms of his substance abuse problems. The same night he sort of poured his heart out to me, he expressed that he felt that I'm a better person because I care about everyone and the environment, etc, and that he doesn't understand why I like him when he's sort of a jerk while he's drunk and that he has a small drug problem. He later told me that he just needs a "pick-me-up" once in a while to explain the substance abuse. I didn't really respond. I know he appreciates my non-nagginess, but I don't want to encourage him either. I really don't mind that he smokes pot once in a while, and if he get's hammered one or two nights a week I guess that's not terrible as long as it doesn't interfere with his job, but I hate that he does coke when he drinks. He starts early and then because of the coke he stays up all night drinking. It makes me physically ill. Currently, I feel that we're gradually becoming closer and that the distance between us is growing smaller. Although I've never said anything, I know he's aware of how I feel. He's not a very direct person when it comes to non-verbal communication. Would it be best for him and for our relationship for me to sort of evasively help him avoid drugs, by making plans for us on the weekend, and keeping him occupied and happy? Or should I bring it up to him the same way I brought up my discomfort with his drunk driving? I'm afraid of him growing resentful of me. He already has in his head that I'm somehow a "better person" and I don't want him to think that I'm looking down on him, trying to steer the direction of his life. I know that was very long-winded...what do you think?


First let me thank you for asking for me by name it makes me feel as though you trust me with your questions. With that being said I think you need to be honest about how you feel his drinking and driving and his substance abuse. Would you rather him know that you do not agree and you allow him to go on harming himself and possibly others. Tell him that you are proud of the steps that he has taken but you feel he needs help for his alcoholism and substance abuse or you are afraid that it will harm him and you will lose him forever. When someone is abusing drugs they usually go on to bigger and stronger drugs because their system has become so use to the drug of choice that he will need something stronger and you do not want that to happen so you should try to get a control of this now.


Tell him you are only doing this because you love and care for him and want him to get better so that you can make a life together and so that you don't have to worry about whether he comes home safe at night. It's very important that you try to talk him into getting some counseling for his abusing alcohol and drugs and may not be able to do it on his own and has a better chance of kicking these habits if he has you and counseling but if he has a DUI the courts may order him into counseling as part of his sentencing. Make sure you tell him that you will be there for him and make sure that you are totally involved in his recovery if that is what he chooses to do. Keeping a closed mouth is not the good thing to do because he may take that as you accepting what he is doing and that isn't the impression I get from what you have told me.

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