DEAR HARRIETTE: My girlfriend and I ended up in the middle of a chaotic fight at a bar the other night. When things started to get too rowdy, I asked her if we could leave, but she insisted that we stay and continue on with our evening as if nothing was wrong. One thing led to another, and she ended up in a full-blown physical altercation with another girl. Not only did my girlfriend throw the first punch, but she instigated by hurling insults at a woman who wasn’t even speaking to her in the first place.
The next day, she apologized to me for being unruly and blamed it all on her drunkenness. Although she told me it would never happen again, I can’t look past the trashy, loud, messy side of her that I saw that night at the bar. Could that have been her true character, or should I look past this incident and move on? -- Bar Fight
DEAR BAR FIGHT: Take this incident seriously. When both of you are sober, revisit it. Remind your girlfriend of what happened. Go into detail describing how she behaved, what she said, how she said it and how you feel about it. She will not likely want to be part of this conversation, but you should press her. Tell her how upset you were (and still are) at her behavior. Just because she was drunk does not excuse her, and it makes you look at her in a different light.
Talk about sobriety. Could your girlfriend possibly have a drinking problem? Look carefully at her behavior and yours. What kind of support would best help you two get through this? If talking to a counselor might help, make that recommendation. You don’t necessarily have to end your relationship now. You should pay close attention to it to see what it needs to be healthier.