Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Jack Burke says it's one of the most painful and complicated problems he deals with.  He says "Right now opioids get the headlines, but alcohol has been hurting families and destroying relationships since its invention."

Burke goes on, "Alcohol itself is not the problem. Many people can enjoy drinks and not have a problem. But many can't and their most important relationships are seriously harmed."

Burke suggests:

1. To the drinker:  If you have seen your partner in pain because of your drinking, you've got an alcohol problem. So step up. Get a professional assessment. Go to AA meetings. 

2. To the partner:  Protect yourself and protect your kids. Go to Al-Anon meetings. Get the help you need. Refuse to be convenient. This is a situation where it's appropriate to say, "Get help or we're done." 

3. To both partners: Changing drinking behavior is a very big deal. Both of you will experience changes.  Doing it together can create a future you both will value and enjoy.