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He had made some chilling decisions and I was powerless to change him.

A dear, older woman hurried across the room, sat down beside me and slipped her arm around my shoulder.

Offer your support by helping her to avoid these triggers.

If she has a stressful or bad day, engage in an activity that has stress-reducing qualities such as going for a walk or attending a support meeting. Understand how alcoholism shows up in his life and the measures you have to take.

Alcoholism is a serious issue which has the capacity to affect your life if you date someone with this problem.

A relationship with an alcoholic isn't impossible, but it does take a certain finesse.

Avoid focusing your entire relationships with him on his alcoholism. For instance, some alcoholics can eat at a restaurant that serves alcohol, but the same restaurant can be a significant trigger for a more severe alcoholic.

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I had occasion to discover this for myself about 15 years ago when my youngest daughter was still in high school.

Currently, Butler is a freelance writer, penning articles focusing on mental health, healthy living and issues surrounding work-life balance.

She is the principle/owner of ALIA Living, LLC, providing residential interior design services, professional organizing and life coaching.

"Your parenting in the flesh is over," she said softly. Pray for your son and trust God to do what you cannot do — and He will," she added confidently. Gradually I began to see that God, who reconciled His relationship to His children through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, would surely give me and all mothers and fathers who asked for it the grace to reconcile our changing relationship with our adult children.

I have found that such grace has helped me and others to incorporate three helpful steps into our parenting process. Today, 20 years after that life-changing day, my son is a fine, responsible adult, who has become one of my dearest friends. I realize in talking with others that I have not been as encouraging as I could be. I feel anxious around her, like neither of us is telling the truth. I need to apologize and tell her how truly proud of her I am.

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