How to talk to new boyfriend about his relationship with alcohol?
August 26, 2013 7:09 PM Subscribe
I have been dating a lovely man for two months. We met online. I'm concerned he may drink too much and would like to talk to him about it.
posted by AlmondEyes to human relations (27 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Signs: I don't think a date has gone by without alcohol; oftentimes he arrives at my apt in the evening after sitting in traffic (mid-week) and has two-four beers while he unwinds before bed (usually brings his own beer, I stock microbrews and he brings cheap, light stuff); he and his brother recently intervened with their sister to get her checked into a dual diagnosis (mental health and alcohol dependency) rehab program and - in her anger/resistance - she accused them of drinking too much themselves; he showed up yesterday early afternoon after a 4.5 hour drive smelling strongly of booze (had been drinking heavily at a family reunion the night before, and has poor oral hygiene, so maybe the smell was leftover from the night before?); he'll have a night cap before bed (shot of vodka, usually) if he's not tired enough to fall asleep naturally.
I don't actually notice his behavior change when he's drinking, and he's conscientious about not drinking too much and driving. I'll often have one or two drinks with him, but would usually be just as happy abstaining. He has attention deficit and suffers from some anxiety and depression, too, and has mentioned that the anxiety is better when he doesn't drink.
I have no experience with alcoholism. I'd like to engage him in conversation and find out, from his perspective, whether his drinking is a problem or not. I'm nervous about rocking the boat, but also want to see what's in the boat! Any suggestions for opening and holding this conversation, staying balanced and compassionate yet also able to recognize warning signs (if he reacts with anger or resistance, for example) and express concerns? Specific verbiage would be great. Thank you.