Should I stick with the problem drinker I’m dating?

Readers Question Readers Question: (Name changed for privacy)
Stanton Peele Response by: Dr. Stanton Peele
Posted on November 9th, 2008 - Last updated: November 21st, 2023
This content was written in accordance with our Editorial Guidelines.


Further Reading

I know this may sound stupid coming from a Female of my age group but I’ll ask anyway….I am a 16 year old female who is dating a 18 year old male…When I met him he was doing drugs and drinking…. but i still fell for him..Don’t get me wrong I do love him to death but his drinking is driving me crazy….. Since we have been dating he has stopped doing drugs but he still drinks… He got caught intoxicated by the cops for underage drinking and intoxication in public streets but he only recieved a warning.. i thought that would settle him down but I realize that his Dad is a recovered alcoholic and I was wondering if that could have an effect on anything… How can I help him as he admits to being an alcoholic….I don’t drink but I live with drinkers.. My mom my dad and my 17 y/o sister all drink and it makes me ill to see my mom and sister drunk.. my dad drinks socialbally and can hold his alcohol…..I am really sick of seeing alcohol around me and I am afraid that his alcoholism will ruin our relationship…..I love him and don’t want to lose him


Dear Melanie:

You don’t want to date someone with a drinking problem; you love a guy with a drinking problem. You are 16. Your mother and sister have drinking problems. You want to lead a good life.

How is your life going? I assume you are in school. Do you have plans for your education and a career? Do you have constructive activities aside from school? Do you play any sports? Like the outdoors? Ride a bike? Contribute to the community? Is there something you like to do or skills you have that perhaps can be the basis for a profession? Do you have good girlfriends?

You seem to be a sensitive and perceptive person. You are imagining where your current actions are going to take you in life. Apply your thinking and feelings to yourself. Ask yourself what will make you happy and healthy three, and five, and ten years from now.

When your sister and mother get drunk it makes you sick. Can you imagine if you were locked in a lifetime relationship with someone who did that? Do you ever think, I wonder how my father ended up in a relationship with someone who gets drunk? Because that answer may apply to you as well. It seems, from what you say, that you want to avoid that fate at all costs.

Best wishes,

Stanton Peele

Dr. Stanton Peele, recognized as one of the world's leading addiction experts, developed the Life Process Program after decades of research, writing, and treatment about and for people with addictions. Dr. Peele is the author of 14 books. His work has been published in leading professional journals and popular publications around the globe.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *