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psychlady, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 6893
Experience:  I have over 16 years experience in treating adults presenting with a variety of relationship issues
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Please can you offer me any advice other than run for my life

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Please can you offer me any advice other than run for my life? I have a girlfriend of just over 4 years. She is 50, I am 57. I love her and she loves me. I’m going to stay with her if I possibly can. However she is a functional alcoholic. She has a very responsible job where none of her co-workers would even believe she drinks. The last 4 years have been hard to say the least. She is a miserable, mean, violent drunk. Her basic problem relates to her marriage of 20 years breaking up (11 years ago) and the loss of the “love of her life” and family unit. She’s had 4 DUI’s and several dealings with the law all to do with drink. I’ve installed a permanent alcohol interlock to her car so she won’t be getting any more DUI’s. Her husband was lying to her about his business and financial affairs. He ran them into over $100,000 of debt. She found out and they together, with her guidance worked for the next few years digging themselves out of debt. He continued his lies and she had a brief affair with another man. That led to the breakup of their marriage. Now she can’t forgive herself and says (when totally drunk) that she does not deserve a happy life. She says she only deserves to be punished. She’s been to a number of rehabs. Some by her own volition some mandated by the courts. They only focus on the alcoholism. None have helped. I think she needs help with her loss and some grief counseling. What do you think would help her?
I think she needs several types of therapy. They probably address the addiction first because a substance effects the mood and is dangerous (but I know what you are saying). However she seems to be suffering from either situational depression or chronic depression. If this isn't addressed, then people self medicate with alcohol or drugs. Both of these need to be addressed. She needs mental health therapy that addresses depression and why she drinks. She may need an evaluation for both therapy and medication. It sounds like their are possibly some self esteem issues which can be addressed in therapy. Alcohol is complicating her mood by making an imbalance worse. Any grief can be included in her treatment plan to be part of her treatment. Find a rehab, program, etc. that includes mental health and addiction.
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