The normal answer is, if you are asking the question then it is already a problem. True it is a bit of cliché but unfortunately it is also true. People seldom raise the issue to someone outside the relationship until they can no longer ignore it. You may have thought that there is a problem. You may have even brought it up with the drinker. You were almost certainly met with a dismissive denial that there could possibly be a problem and you were probably more than happy to accept the reassurances and bury the concerns and doubts till another bout of drinking makes them surface again.

This cycle of concern and denial may continue for some time, leading partners to doubt the evidence of your own senses. You can see that he has a problem, by his behaviour. Even though he strenuously denies having had a drink, you know he has been drinking by the look in his eyes, the smell on his breath and/or his behaviour. It probably feels as if you have gone mad. You know, really know, that he has been drinking and yet he stands there denying it. Or maybe he admits to having had one or two when anyone can see that he has is clearly drunk. It is baffling. It is infuriating. It is insulting.

If you find that every time you have a night out, you are worried about how it will turn out. Will he get drunk and embarrass himself or you? Will he start an argument with people? Then you have a problem. If before a night out you find yourself pleading with him not to drink too much and the assurances that he gives don’t give you any confidence that he won’t, then you have a problem.
If you no can longer trust him to do what he says, be where he arranged to be, stay sober when he promised he would, believe what he says, you have a problem. In short, if you find yourself worrying about his drinking, searching for bottles, checking the level on bottles, worrying when he is late, you have a problem. If you do not feel that you can talk about these worries to others, friends, relatives and you are feeling depressed, anxious, confused, frightened, angry, resentful, then you have a problem.

You probably came to this article looking for something that you did not know, something that would give you the definitive proof that HE had a problem. In reality you have all the proof you need. You have had this proof for some time. All of your senses tell you there is a problem. Whether or not he is an alcoholic is not the issue, in fact that is just a distraction from the real issue which is that his drinking is causing a problem in your relationship. That is the real problem! If he was having an affair with another woman you would not be agonising over whether he was a sex addict, or if he was spending all the money and you could not pay the bills you would not be worrying if he was a spendaholic (if there is such a word). No you would be pointing out the problems that these issues were creating in the relationship. Drinking is really no different. If you believe there is a problem in your relationship that is caused or exacerbated by alcohol, you are probably right. Believe your eyes and nose, at least they don’t usually lie.

Author's Bio: 

John McMahon Has worked in the addiction field over 25 years as therapist, university lecturer and researcher and published widely including two books and a website to Help for people living with an alcoholic

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