My boyfriend has a well-paid job in finance, but he can’t cope with the party lifestyle and drinking culture that seems to go with it.
There are a group of young guys at his office who go out nearly every night after work.
I’m starting to worry that he has a drink problem. Even if he’s at home with me (which is rare) he can’t get through the night without drinking.
He forgets big chunks of the night when he’s out with his colleagues and a couple of weeks ago he woke up in the doorway of a bar and had to take the day off work because he was still drunk.
Am I right to worry and what should I do?
Yes, I think you are right to worry, especially if he can’t get through a night at home without a drink.
Most people have a stereotypical view of what an alcoholic is – unable to participate in family or work life or living on the streets. But here are many functioning alcoholics who hold down jobs.
The trouble is, if your boyfriend doesn’t think he has a problem and he does, that means trouble.
I realise it’s probably hard to approach him about it, but emphasise that you’re not bringing it up to nag him or stop him enjoying himself, but that you’re worried his excessive drinking is taking its toll on his health, his job, and your relationship.
At the very least, if he’s out with his workmates nearly every night, it means you’re not seeing each other. Tell him you’re not sure you want to be with someone who’s constantly absent.
There might be pressure from his colleagues to be one of the lads and maybe he’s stressed at work. Try to get him to open up to you.
Perhaps once he realises that his drinking is affecting you to the point where you’re questioning the relationship, it might sober him up a bit.
He might reassess things if he thinks he could lose you. And if he does feel pressured by colleagues, tell him to use you as an excuse!
More of our agony aunt Coleen Nolan’s advice on your sex, family, health and relationship problems