Written by Sasha

Dear Sasha. About four and a half years ago I met the love of my life. We will call my husband D and although we are very happy and love each other dearly, there is always a big elephant in the room when it comes to one issue, drinking. When we first started dating D had just gotten out of rehab and at the time he reassured me it wasn't necessary he be there and he only went through with it because it would make his case look better in court. (His case was for an aggravated DWI). He told me in his early 20's he was a problem drinker and was in a very volatile relationship, the combination of being young and feeling in a rut led him to make poor decisions. I felt like he was never completely honest with the severity of his drinking problem and tried to play it down, so I wouldn't judge him for his addiction, which to this day he won't admit to really having.

The first two years we dated he didn't drink at all, didn't go to bars, and always reiterated that he didn't miss drinking and that it caused too many personal conflicts for him. After two years of sobriety, he said to me one day, "You know, I am in a very good place in life, I have a great relationship and a good job, I don't see the harm in just having a beer." He asked me if I would be critical of him wanting to have a few drinks here and there, and I said, "No, I don't see the harm in that." Flash-forward to only four months later and our relationship had gone from loving to verbally and emotionally abusive. D was a very mean drunk who would get blacked out and call me names for hours, break our belongings, scream at me, cry, and degrade me in front of his friends. When he was sober he was so sweet and remorseful of the way he had treated me while he was drunk, but sometimes he would stay wasted for hours on end and I would pray for him to pass out, so the verbal abuse would stop.

Things got really bad one night, I won't go into great detail, but the trip resulted in a turning point in our relationship, I told him I would no longer stay in the relationship because of the way he had been treating me. That horrible night was a blessing in disguise because he quit drinking, recognized his faults, mistakes, the way he had been treating me and turned his life around.

We recently got married and on our honeymoon he mentioned he didn't see the harm in having a glass of champagne and he now knows his limits when it comes to drinking. This of course upset me dearly and I told him that after everything we had been through I just didn't get why he thought I would be ok with him having a drink. He ended up never drinking on our honeymoon, but two months ago he got drunk at a concert and it resulted in a huge fight. I told him that his drinking would be the only thing that would come between us and make me divorce him. D doesn't acknowledge that he is an alcoholic; he constantly claims that alcoholism is not as black and white as "the professionals" define it as being. He thinks there is a time and a place when it is appropriate for him to have a drink and he won't admit to having an addiction to drinking. Every time I have a glass of wine with a friend and he can smell it on my breath he gets upset and weird about it, he thinks I am being hypocritical about the whole thing and maybe one day I will go through some crazy alcohol drinking phase like him. I just don't see it that way; I am deeply afraid this will destroy our relationship, again. L

Denial is one of the most obvious signs of addiction….I mean, Charlie Sheen anyone?

Now, I should obviously clarify that I’m not a doctor, psychiatrist or psychologist of any kind. My only background for addiction is watching 5 seasons of Celebrity Rehab so I can’t really speak to this professionally. But as a sane common-sense kind of person, I can absolutely say that he has a problem.

Alcoholism, of course, isn’t black and white. There are a lot of complexities behind each person’s struggle, but what IS black and white is that his drinking, no matter how much or how little, is destroying your relationship. No ands, ifs or buts about it.

Every relationship has its problems and it all comes down to how much you can handle. From what I know about addiction, it’s not an easy fix, and more often than not it’s a long fight. So L, I think this all boils down to your own personal limit.

Look at Sharon Osborne. Can you imagine being married to Ozzy? He’s basically a borderline vegetable. How she did it, I don’t know. Maybe she’s a nicer more supportive human being than I am. All I know is that no matter how much I love someone, I couldn’t witness them destroy themselves let alone have their actions destroy ME. Call it selfish, call it whatever you want, that’s just my makeup.

Some people have a higher tolerance for those sorts of things – it just comes down to what kind of person you are. My hat totally goes off to Sharon Osbourne – she’s a burly biatch to see her man through all his rockstar uppers and downers. I don’t have it in me…..Do you, L? Because that’s the question you have to ask yourself.

Let me put it this way. Something is brewing and it ain’t just the booze he’s guzzling. There’s a very good chance he’s going to slip up again so are you ready for it? I mean, Robin Williams was sober for 20 years after he fell off the wagon in 2006. It happens.

What I’m saying here is that no matter what ultimatum, no matter what treatment or program he goes through, there IS a chance he might relapse. So if you have it in you to see him through this, then I think the first thing you need to do is sign up for something like Al-Anon. They can give you the tools and the support you’ll need. However, if his drinking is a reality you never want to face again, then I’m sorry to say, it may be time to start packing your bags.

Dear Sasha, I'm currently in University and over the past few years I've been really lucky to meet an awesome group of friends. The only problem is C. C is a really great friend, she's the type of person who if you need a shoulder to cry on in the middle of the night she would be the first one there for you. The only problem is that throughout the last couple of years my friends MG , BC, and I have caught her lying repeatedly. These lies have just been little things like what she had for dinner or who she hung out with last night. And the thing is we would probably never even know she was lying if she wasn't so inconsistent.
But a few months ago she took the lying to whole new level (or at least we think she did). Basically what happened was that her ex-boyfriend starting seeing someone new and then a few weeks later so did C. The trouble is we just don't think that this new boyfriend actually exists. She says he's quite a bit older, already graduated, and really good looking. He seems like a total catch and so you would think she would want to show him off. But none of us have ever met him. We've told her to invite him over several times, and each time she says he'll stop by but then something "happens" and he isn't able to make it after all. She doesn't even have him as a friend on facebook even though she told us she did.
We are at a loss here because we really don't think this guy is real. And we feel like horrible people for assuming the worst about our friend. So do we confront her about it, knowing that she probably won't admit she's lying? Or do we just let her keep lying?

Let’s get to the truth here – we’ve all lied. I know I busted out a fair share in my early 20’s. More often that not I’d use the ‘white ones’ to bail out on some social event. My thinking was ‘I just don’t want to hurt their feelings’. But the TRUTH was I was just too pussy-ass to be honest. And lord knows it was never worth it; suffering the anxiety of getting caught after said lie was worse than eating a fart. But after a few more years I finally got a clue. So RO, what I’m saying here is you need to serve your friend up a big fart buffet so she can finally face the facts.

Here’s what you need to do.

You need to catch her in a lie and bust her as the words are coming out of her mouth. Have you ever watched To Catch a Predator? Yes? Good. Because that’s the sort of hard coreness you’ve got to bring to this task.

At this point I don’t think the imaginary boyfriend is really the issue. What’s more pressing here is why the hell she thinks she needs to lie all the time. So start by keeping a tally of her lies, say, 5 good ones and as soon as you’ve got all the inconsistencies in place – confront her. Tell her you’re not here to judge, but you just don’t understand why she feels the need to lie, especially to her friends. Assure her that you value your friendship, but in order for that to continue she needs to be honest with you. Hopefully this will be the wakeup call.

I wish I could tell you that ignoring it would work but that would be a lie. Let me know how it all pans out!

Hi Sasha,I'm 26 and I've been with the same guy for almost three years now, in a warm, loving relationship. Sure, there are things he does that drive me absolutely nuts, but that hardly seems out of the ordinary. Unlike my other relationships, it started very mildly and slowly and not in a head-over-heels crush sort of thing. About a year before we started dating, I was with someone for four years, in an off-the-charts insane, traumatic, on-and-off sort of thing, in which the craziness became a sort of normal. So, when I started dating my current boyfriend, everything, including the most commonplace gestures (holding hands, general politeness, etc), was strange but very much appreciated. However, since the beginning, I've gone through periods (ranging from a few days to a few weeks) of going between being really, really into the relationship and its future to being totally over it or very indifferent to it. At the beginning I almost broke it off a few times because I was so afraid I was leading him on. Is this normal for a long term stable relationship or am I just fooling myself out of fear of being alone? I keep telling myself it's normal because I'm threatened by the stability/commitment and will eventually get over it. I'm afraid that I pick fights sometimes or look for things that are wrong to justify when I'm not into it... I think I need a little perspective. GG

I’m not a fortune teller so it’s impossible for me to say if he’s ‘the one’ or not. But my inner Miss Cleo says you should probably open yourself up to find out if he is.

Sometimes when people get out of a f*cked up past relationship they find being in a normal one quite jarring or even boring, if you know what I mean. Like, they don’t know how to function in a healthy loving one. And while that’s totally understandable there comes a point when you need to get a grip. If I can be blunt: stop using your past as a crutch.

GG, there’s been enough time between you and your last man for you to start letting the good stuff pour in. You’re only 26 so chances are this guy probably isn’t the last guy you’ll ever date, but that doesn’t mean you should keep looking for the emergency exit. If things are good, let them be good, let them run their course. As I said before, this guy might not be your future husband, but there’s no fault in learning more about yourself and what it is you want. So peel back on the pressure, the expectation, the hang-ups and just see how it goes.

Let me leave you with some new Beyonce to give you some love inspiration. This song is my jam - I can’t get enough of it. GG, relationships can be a real f*cking drag sometimes, they are never perfect, but if you’re ever going to make one work you’ll need to open yourself up. I hope this song gets you excited for what it can feel like. I’m off to grind up on it now.