Agony aunt column: Ask Lucy

This is the latest column from Lucy Saunders, who provides a regular agony aunt feature - Ask Lucy.

Sunday, 4th September 2016, 5:00 pm
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 3:26 am
Lucy Saunders SUS-160623-152004001 SUS-160623-152004001 SUS-160623-152004001

Dear Lucy. My husband is drinking too much, he seems to be out at the pub every evening and always comes home smelling of drink. He denies all of it and is currently unable to get a job as he never gets anything together. I am wondering what has caused him to drink too much and what shall I do?

Lucy. This must be so hard for you to sit back and observe, as you have no control over the situation. Alcoholism is a very common and occasionally chronic disease and there may be many factors that is causing your husband to drink too much. Do you feel he might be suffering from stress or could he be experiencing some loss or disappointment in his life.

Maybe he has suffered from a traumatic event. Whatever the cause is, it can help to know what the triggers are that make him want to turn to the bottle? Unfortunately, until he is willing to admit he has an unhealthy addiction to alcohol he may not be willing to go and look for help.

I suggest you need to sit down and talk to him about your concerns and ask him if he believes he has got a problem. You need to be honest and tell him how it is affecting and upsetting you and point out to him how you feel. There is a lot of support out there, which he can access if he feels he needs to. When he feels ready he could go to his G.P. and also find out about organisations like Alcoholics Anonymous, which can support him daily. I hope he gets the help he needs and you can stay strong as well.

Dear Lucy. I am 18 and just feel I don’t fit in with my peer group. The girls just want to go out and club all the time and pick up boy’s and see who can get the most drunk. It’s starting to make me feel like there is something wrong with me, as I don’t want to spend my evenings doing this. They also look at social media all the time and just want to talk about celebrities and how they look and what they’re up to. Am I weird that I don’t want to be like them, I actually liked learning at school and want to go on to study Psychology at University but I am starting to feel an outsider and they call me weird. Am I weird?

Lucy: No you are certainly not weird, just mature enough to know what you like and what you don’t like. I think it’s great that you are wanting to be true to yourself. I am aware of the pressure at your age to ‘fit in’ is very important but the more you mature you will begin to realise that it becomes less important.

Going out and having fun is very common and there is nothing wrong with that. We all have to let our hair down sometimes but maybe you could also try and find more like-minded friends, who can make you feel good about yourself, while still staying friends with your peer group. It’s great that you want to broaden yourself and I am sure that when you go to University you will meet many new like-minded friends with interests and ambition. Good luck!

Lucy is a BACP Accredited Qualified Counsellor. She previously worked in the media as an actress.