A woman meets a man with issues around alcohol. What is a wise approach?

I received an email from a person who has met a man with unresolved alcohol issues.  She asked me what approach to take towards this person and his situation. This is a common situation.

Here is my response:

Dear …

Thanks for message.
Addiction to alcohol has the potential to generate a range of mind-states/emotions based on absence or presence of alcohol at the time, and the quantity of consumption.
Freedom from addiction to alcohol usually requires group support.
Be clear that you may find yourself facing a variety of moods and views.
Do not play at being Mother Theresa.
Do not expect anything different unless the person is on the road to recovery, and that requires motivation and support from a skilled person/group.
Kindness, clarity and wisdom matter without being naive.
Love
Christopher

 

Note to readers.  Before my reply, the emailer decided against developing a romantic relationship.



  • I think the advice you’ve given is good Christopher. The first issue is the alcohol itself and the deeper issue may be the addictive orientation in general. What need or emptiness is being filled?

    Either way, as you point out, consulting with a wise and compassionate, experienced professional would help and also getting support from a like minded group.

    Sometimes a new relationship can be the trigger for making major positive changes, but the motivation must be strong.


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