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Dear Mari: Sober lady, drinking boyfriend

SHE IS SOBER NOW. But he’s still drinking.

Dear Marilyn,

I am an alcoholic. I am six months sober. The problem is that my boyfriend has started to drink more and more frequently. When we first started dating, I was the one with the problem, and he hardly drank at all.

Now, it seems that we can’t go out to dinner, or to a party without him having something to drink.

   I don’t want to push him. I honestly don’t know if he can control his drinking or not. However, it makes me uncomfortable to see him with even a glass of wine. I don’t want to make him feel uncomfortable, though. What should I do?
Signed, Caught in the Middle

Dear Caught in the Middle,

Congratulations on your six months of sobriety. That is just terrific.

   You know what you should do. You just don’t want to do it. Your boyfriend probably has a drinking problem as well. If he didn’t, would he be so incredibly selfish as to drink in front of you?

   Either way, he is not the guy for you. You say you don’t want him to be uncomfortable. He should feel the same way about you. You are a person of value and worth. He is, for whatever reason, not treating you as you deserve to be treated.

   Please break up with him. You may want to stay out of any relationships for a while. You should focus on yourself and your sobriety.

Dear Marilyn,

My boyfriend of four years, and I recently broke up with each other. It was his idea, and it has been very painful to me.

We had not seen each other for about five weeks, and then he called me. He said that he has missed me.

He told me that he wants to be “just friends” and that he would like to see me again “as friends”. He wants to go to dinner or the movies together, but not as boyfriend and girlfriend.

I really miss him, and I would like to see him. But, I am having a difficult time making the transition from girlfriend to buddy.

What do you think that I should do?

Signed, Missing Him

Dear Missing Him,

   Oh, so he wanted to break up. Now he wants to be just friends. He wants to go to the movies or dinner.

   Excuse me! What do YOU want to do? Why should he be the one calling the shots here?

   If it is painful for you to see him, then don’t do it! He has no right to expect that you are going to do whatever he wants you to do.

   You are totally right. It is VERY difficult to go from girlfriend to buddy. Most people cannot do it. And, yes, it is usually the one who has chosen to instigate the breakup that wants to remains friends.

   So, as hard as it will be for you to tell him that you don’t want to see him, in the long run, it will be easier for you to get on with your life.

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