Dear Lulu Jeh: My partner has a drinking problem which is really affecting our relationship. I think she feels she’s losing control of her life, so as a result she turns to alcohol and throws strops at people around her — and I’m on the receiving end a lot. What can I do? — Scared and Worried
Dear SW: This is not a good situation to be in for anyone.
You say that she feels she is losing control of her life. It seems like you have an idea of why she’s acting out but are too scared to dig into why. Have you talked to her about this in a neutral environment, without alcohol involved?
I understand that you feel helpless, but when you notice this kind of thing going on the best thing to do is not to run away from the problem. Aside from talking to her, have you tried to find out what’s going on from her close friends or family, too?
I’m not trying to blow up the situation and suggest you stage an intervention, but it’s better to get to the bottom of it sooner rather than later. So at the very least, you two need to sit down and confront the issue directly, no beating around the bush. Perhaps you can debate the merits of therapy together. And besides genuinely listening to her if and when she chooses to unload her burdens, you also need to make known how the situation has started to affect you as well. Maybe this can serve as motivation for her to actively want to change her circumstances for the better, for both of your sakes.