My question is about friendship and whether to be intrusive and step in to help.
A well-loved younger friend seems to be having difficulties since her husband took a job in another state and only comes home every other weekend. She frequents community events, which include art gallery openings, concerts, and friends’ parties acting rather tipsy.
Her social skills are excellent, so at first you don’t notice it, but after an hour she is clearly smashed. There is often an unpleasant odor of vomit on her mouth or clothing when she greets you with a hug.
Her husband is a good friend, should we talk to him? We worry about her driving home and would offer her a ride, but wouldn’t it seem patronizing? Plus, she’s always one of the last to leave a party.
–TM, Savannah, GA
Be a good friend, safeguard your friendship.
Next time you see your young friend out and about stay at the event as long as she does. Walk her to her car to say that you’re following her home — which, by the way, you can do without telling her. Decide if she’s too drunk to drive. One of you should offer to take her home and the other can follow.
- If she resists your assistance, risk challenging her (out of earshot of other guests), before she gets into her car. Otherwise, follow in pursuit and wait until she’s securely safe inside her house.
Your friend’s husband may or may not know that his wife has a drinking problem.
- As we age, it is unlikely that we handle liquor as well as we did when we were younger. A known fact you can remind him of without ratting out your friend by name. Putting the ball in his court, you’re opening up the topic for discussion.
- Don’t do so on the phone, but in a face-to-face conversation.
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