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My partner drinks a few beers every night, and I think it’s becoming a problem. How do I address this with him?
That’s a great question. If your partner’s drinking is something that is uncomfortable for you, then it is important to speak to him about this. You are not necessarily saying he has a problem, although he might, rather that the amount he is drinking is uncomfortable for you.
It is important to schedule a time to talk with your loved one and ask permission to begin a conversation. Designate a good time with limited distractions. Be sure that the person you are addressing is not impaired, hungover, or preoccupied when you are going to begin your talk. Remember this will likely be an ongoing conversation, but starting it as soon as possible is important. Limit distractions by turning off the television and putting away electronics. Use “I statements” in communicating how your loved ones’ what you have observed and how their behavior or use has impacted you. Don’t be a parent, cop, or teacher, but instead be a friend and listen. Come from a place of caring and concern, rather than preaching. Don’t talk at them, but instead have a two-way conversation.
Keep in mind that this is the first conversation you are having with your partner about this and that your goal is to walk away feeling heard. You might need to have several conversations about this, decide what your boundaries are, and what you want to happen in the relationship if your partner’s drinking habits do not change.
Thank you for your question,
* All responses provided by a Licensed Clinical Social Worker.