‘My wife’s drinking is out of control since our kids left but she refuses to admit it’ – Coleen Nolan

Dear Coleen, My wife and I are in our late fifties. She’s always liked a drink but ever since our kids grew up and left home, her drinking has increased to the point that I’m worried about her, and also quite frustrated.

She drinks most nights and during the day at weekends. She dresses this up by having a very busy social life, which we do, but at the end of the day she’s still drinking far too much.

Even on a quiet Monday night at home, after a weekend spent boozing with friends over lunch, she’ll open a bottle of white wine and have half of it with her dinner. I like to run and stay healthy, so I’m always more sober than her and I can see the amount she gets through.

We have two grown-up daughters, a nice home, lots of friends and an otherwise lovely life. But this is really starting to bother me.

What would you tell this reader to do? Have your say in the comment section

Whenever I say anything she calls me a killjoy, as do our friends who also like to drink a lot. But they don’t see what I see – her asleep on the sofa at 9pm, or being sick in the bathroom on a Sunday morning after a boozy dinner the night before, or the times she crashes around the house when she gets home and wakes up with bruises.

I love her, but I hate her drinking. What can I do?

Coleen says

I’ve been called a killjoy or the fun police loads of times because I really don’t like drunks. If your wife is drinking as much as you’re saying, then I’d say she’s definitely got a problem, however she dresses it up.

People often have free rein to drink more than is healthy when they’re around other people who do too, and it sounds as if this is what’s happening here.

Your social crowd gives your wife the green light to drink too much.

You should sit her down, when she’s sober, and say, “Look, I love you so much, but I feel like I’m watching you destroy yourself health-wise”.

When you get to your fifties you have to take care of yourself, otherwise you begin to store up health problems for later on.

I’m often called boring because I don’t like to drink too much, but there’s nothing fun about being sick on a Sunday morning.

It’s not healthy, it’s not attractive and it’s a sign she needs help.

You could also ask your GP for advice, or try a charity such as Alcoholics Anonymous or Drink Aware.

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