Dear Shelly

By on March 6, 2003

Dear Shelly,

Recently, the object of my affection has been struggling. I find that he is frequently partying or just having a drink with the guys, but most times it gets out of hand. I’ll meet up with him later on that night and he is just embarrassing. Not only is he stumbling and slurring his speech, but many times he is obnoxiously loud and rude to people that do not deserve his verbal abuse. It seems like his banter is either discriminatory or is offensive to me with perverted overtones. What can I actually do, especially if he does not remember anything the next morning?

Embarrassed on Elm St

Dear Embarrassed,

What you need is some sort of eye-opening intervention. There is a great chance that if you recall his appalling acts and tell him why it bothers you, he might just realize that his disgraceful behavior is not only not funny, but humiliating to you and for himself. He may truly be apologetic and maybe he will be more conscious of his drunken behavior next time.

The issue seems to be that he makes you very uncomfortable at these moments when he is under the influence. My impression is that you do not share some of his opinions, especially on sensitive issues such as racial discrimination, and such remarks should not be tolerated.

The foremost of your concerns should be his perverted innuendos towards you. Whether the boy is intoxicated or not, do not just brush off the discomfort of verbal or emotional abuse. Other innocent bystanders are not deserving of these ludicrous remarks. If he cares for you at all, he would respect you more than that.

I am sure that this man has some redeeming qualities that you adore. You might be convinced that by day or by sobriety he is an amazing individual and is only a problem when he drinks.

His personality may alter but it comes from one being. Though you may not want to blame him, but use his drinking as the scapegoat, his performance is all up to displaying some self- control, or lack thereof.

If other destructive behaviors also frequently occur, it would not be out of place to look for warning signs of alcoholism. Your partner might need more than just your help; He may need professional care.

Not being in this situation, I cannot give you direct advice in what your next move should be with the progression of the relationship. From the sound of things, you deserve far better. But the strength of the relationship may determine your action.

You may be the type that wants to heal the world, but keep in mind that your happiness should not be at the expense of another.

It may be hard to leave, but it will be much harder to stay in the long run. Either way, don’t be hesitant to take the first step and call him on his unmanageable behavior.

Best of Luck,


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