(Closed) How to approach my alcoholic friend who acted horribly at my wedding.

posted 6 years ago in Emotional
Post # 3
13012 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

Honestly, you’re right, she needs help.  I think you need to confront her, even if it’s just calmly writing your points out in an email.  If nothign else, you’ll feel better about having said something about it.  How she acted, especially towards your husband at your wedding, was horribly inappropriate, and she needs to know she just can’t do that. 

Post # 4
2494 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

Honestly, I would confront her in a very non-confrontational way. You are an adult and so is she. When you have an issue, you have the right to talk to her about it and work it out.

I would say, “K, you are a really good friend of mine, and it really hurt when Darling Husband told me how you acted towards him at the wedding. I wouldn’t have expected you to be flirting with him, and I want to know why you were doing so.”

That gives her the chance to bring up the drinking, and for you to recommend she cut down on the drinking.

As an alcoholic, she likely will get upset or angry, but perhaps, one day, this might make a difference in her life, remembering what she did and what you are saying to her.

Post # 6
487 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

I fear this a little bit at my own wedding. A couple of people we’re planning to invite don’t know when to stop when it comes to alcohol and for this very reason we are not supplying free alcohol at all. People are free to buy their own alcoholic drinks in the evening but hopefully the fact they have to pay for them will deter them somewhat but I am not sure with a few of them.

I have seen them drunk by midday in the past, puking under tables in a restaraunt, getting way over emotional and causing a scene and their legs just giving way under them. It’s very sad. And then we have the 1/2 who start insulting people.

The problem is, they are all in such denial when it comes to admitting they perhaps have a problem. I hear the defensive “I only drink at weekends” which actually translates to “I have a few glasses of wine during the week but that’s not really drinking, and I get smashed at the weekend”. I hear the “it’s called having a good time” and the “people who don’t drink are boring” whereas personally I think if you have to rely on drink to make you fun that shows a lack of personality plus what’s wrong with remembering your “good time”? When it comes to alcohol abuse, the person with the problem has to recognise it themselves and do something about it themselves. Nothing anyone else says or does will help unless they want help.

I am so so sorry to hear this happened at your wedding. Whilst, like I said K has to recognise and want help rather than you seek it for her, it might be helpful to let her know her actions hurt you. Chances are she might not even remember it so it would be good if you informed her of the things she did. If she recognises she caused you upset through her actions it might be the first step for her to decide to seek help.

Post # 9
7779 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

I’m so sorry that she behaved like this at your wedding. 🙁 I have a Future Sister-In-Law with a bad drinking problem (she is like your friend, her filter goes and her worst qualities come out when she’s drunk) so I understand where you are coming from.

Honestly though… I don’t think you should say anything. a) You can’t say anything in person because you live in different countries. This isn’t a conversation that should be had via technology. If you do confront her, it needs to be in person, face to face so that nothing can be misconstrued. b) it sounds like this girl would just create tons and tons of drama over the confrontation. c) If you feel your friendship is already one-sided, then just stop contact and let her drift away.

If she is truly an alcoholic, nothing can help her until she decides she needs help. You can’t recover from addiction unless you want to. Eventually, she will either self-destruct or she will stop her denial and get herself some help.

Post # 11
7779 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

@soccer25:  No. You said that other friends have tried to reach out to her and she gets mad and still doesn’t do anything about it. She’s obviously not ready to take the steps to help herself.

If you do decide to say something, I, personally, would take the stace of “Friend, I feel like you have an issue with alcohol. I can’t sit by and watch you do this to yourself any longer.” I don’t know that I would even address the issues surrounding the wedding. At this point, it was 2 months ago (if the wedding date by your name is correct) and I think it will be more beneficial to approach it from a place of concern for her rather than a confrontation about her behavior. She’s more likely to listen to you.

I still don’t think you should say anything until you can do it in person, though.

Post # 12
2712 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

I think you need to confront her.  I’ve been through something similar.  I have a good friend who would drink and get really mean and very very inappropriate things.  It was funny in college in his fraternity, but he was 26 and still acting like that.  He came to visit me once, got drunk, called my friends fat and depressed, kept calling everything gay (which was really offensive and my friend was ready to punch him in the face), pulled my hair when I didn’t pay attention to him, refused to pay for his drinks, tried to cuddle with me and kiss me (even though he had a girlfriend at the time), and he was the most rude guest I have ever had.  Everyone told me not to say anything and just not talk to him any more.  And if he tried to contact me just say “Oh, based on your behavior I didn’t think we were friends.”  I tried to do this, but it didn’t work.  I’m not good at holding grudges and eventually we talked again and it came up.  He didn’t realize he had acted so terrible and in appropriate and was confused when I wouldn’t invite him back.  At first, he didn’t even believe that he had been a complete a** the entire time until I started listing the things he had done.  He then apoligized and said he wished I would have told him sooner.  I honestly have no idea if he’ll be better and work on not being an a**hole, but at least he knows how I felt and all I can do is hope he gets better.

So moral of the store, I think you need to tell her how she acted and how hurt, offended, and embarassed you are by her actions.  Then you need to urge her to change her ways and to get help if she needs.  And you can tell her that you love her and will support her but if she doesn’t work on changing her behavior then you can no longer be friends.  It sucks, but I think that’s the best course of action.  Saying nothing does no one any good, IMO.

Post # 14
2712 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

@soccer25:  Yeah it sucks and only you can really decide if you want to say something.  I don’t know the relationship you have with your friend and I can only share my personal experience.  I know it’s not an easy decision to make and I wish you the best.

Post # 16
107 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

I had to comment because I had a friend who is nearly identical to your friend, behavior and history of friendship. 

When I would politely remind her of her drunken actions the night before, she would laugh at how ridiculous she was, but would never act remorseful or even the decency to feign being ashamed.  

Like I’m sure you’ve done, I tried relentlessly to be nice, recommended counseling and eventually ceased contact.  We reconciled for about a year, but her behavior was even more deplorable than before.  She made new friends who, as I saw it, encouraged that behavior because they were just as unstable as she.

My ex-friend, and yours too, is determined to hit “rock bottom”.  I’m sorry to say it, but it seems like she’s not going to allow you to stand in the way of that.  Identical to K, my friend had “milestones” that she claimed would magically change her behavior (school, new job), but those moments were short-lived.

I have to say, letting her know what exactly was the problem made me feel good because I felt that, regardless of her opinion on the matter, I was being honest and I was truly concerned for her welfare.  She understands that her behavior is what tore us apart, and that’s all I can ask for.  

I enjoyed the friendship we had but it wasn’t the same.  I wouldn’t choose that drunken mess today for a friend, so there was no reason to cling to history.  We haven’t spoken in well over 3 or 4 years, and to be honest, that last confrontation was the best thing to happen to me.  Maybe her too, I have no idea.

So, I think you definitely need to say something. For yourself, for her.  Yes, you two may stop speaking indefinitely or forever, but you’re not doing this to be selfish.  It’s for her.  She probably won’t accept that now, but hopefully in a few months or years, you’ll get a call from her when she realizes what you were trying to do.

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