Amy Dickinson is a general advice columnist.
DEAR AMY: I have been dating my girlfriend for six years, and for the most part, our relationship is great. We have the same sense of humor, values and ideas about raising children. I want to be with her for the rest of my life. The one problem I have is her drinking. She's not a raging alcoholic, but every night she has two to four glasses of wine. When she drinks, she either talks nonstop or gets kind of mean. I don't really drink, so I'm aware of her mood swings, and our biggest fights have stemmed from her drinking. What should I do about this situation?
DEAR WORRIED: Get yourself to an Al-Anon meeting
(al-anon.alateen.org). Al-Anon is a fellowship of people whose lives have been affected by a loved one's drinking.
You have no control over your girlfriend's drinking.
If you have asked her to seek help for her drinking and she has refused, then the choice you have to wrestle with is your own. Are you willing to be with someone who -- for now, anyway -- puts the bottle first? Are you able to accept and stay with someone who treats you badly when she's drinking? You should make an honest and no-holds barred inventory of the effect your partner's drinking is having on your life.
Your girlfriend can be the most wonderful, smart, funny and ethical person in the world -- and she is also a loud and mean drunk. Life with both of these people is the reality you need to contemplate.
DEAR AMY: This is in response to "Disgruntled Grandpa." Grandpa wanted to dump his grandson because the young man was ungrateful and disrespectful. Here's a quote from a poem I've used to guide me for 55 years. "He drew a circle that shut me out -- Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout. But Love and I had the wit to win: We drew a circle that took him in!" By Edwin Markham (1852-1940)