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Do you not drink in order to be supportive?

Discussion in 'Alcohol' started by aimeep80, Mar 11, 2016.

  1. aimeep80

    aimeep80 Senior Contributor

    For those of you with an alcoholic spouse or family member that you're around a lot. If they are in recovery do you not drink in order to support them? This is something that I'm curious about. I can not drink anymore due to having weight loss surgery, but when my husband was sober for so long I decided to not drink at all to be supportive to him. When he went back to drinking I would have the occasional beer when I was able to (before surgery). I don't care for drinking so it was not hard for me to not do it.
  2. Momma9

    Momma9 Community Champion

    My stbx-husband is a really bad binge alcoholic, currently in recovery. We can have NO alcohol in the house or he will drink all of it. He just can't help himself. I don't find it to be much of a sacrifice. Life without him drinking is much better!
    aimeep80 likes this.
  3. yaitsjonny

    yaitsjonny Member

    When my uncle used to have an alcohol problem, my parents and other relatives would tend to abstain entirely from drinking any kind of alcohol. When he saw my other family members doing it, my uncle was able to repress his own feelings to drink and it seemed to have helped him greatly. Sacrificing a simple pleasure seems like a small price to pay in order to help a family member in need.
    aimeep80 and MrsJones like this.
  4. Min

    Min Active Contributor

    I think that whenever there can be a community of people in solidarity that's a good thing. I know that when I'm struggling with something it helps to have people "come along for the ride". Seeing how much they care for me makes me realize how important I am to them ... and so I should be careful with myself too. Turning that around and doing that for someone else is a great thing. I know it helped me often, so I can only hope it helps in the same way when I do it for others.
    aimeep80 and MrsJones like this.
  5. Mara

    Mara Community Champion

    The best way to support a person in recovery is not to expose them to things that might trigger their cravings. Not drinking in front of a person who is trying to be sober is just a small price to pay for the rewards that we will reap later on. It's hard for a person to veer away from alcohol when the people around him are enjoying a drink or two. So it's best that he be surrounded with people that are also willing to do a little sacrifice.
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2016
    aimeep80 and Steve Dawson like this.
  6. Steve Dawson

    Steve Dawson Community Champion

    Although you want to make things easier for your husband, if he does have a drink problem, you may be inadvertently causing him temptation. I always found it easier to avoid drinking when I was around non-drinkers, as soon as I found myself in a room where people were drinking I began to feel tempted. Even now, 7 years after giving up my life-destroying drinking habits, I'm still unable to go into a pub without feeling tempted, restaurants are stressful and I generally avoid parties. Trying to help your husband to keep his mind off of drinking and occupying his mind with something else to do would probably make him less likely to drink, although he will have to want to stop in order to do so. If he has a drink problem and is drinking again, see if he is amenable to the idea of going to a support group, or seeing his doctor about it.
    aimeep80 likes this.
  7. MrsJones

    MrsJones Community Listener Community Listener

    I don't drink so I can't say that it helped that I didn't once my husband began his recovery. I will say that the nights on the town were stopped completely and I don't miss that at all because he would just drink and I would drive home.
    aimeep80 likes this.
  8. pwarbi

    pwarbi Community Champion

    My partner didn't stop drinking when I was recovering from alcoholism, but that was at my request. I knew she enjoyed a drink every now and again but could control it, whereas I couldn't.

    I took the stance that it wasn't fair on her to stop doing something she enjoyed just because of my weakness and while at first it was hard for me after a while I was ok with that.
    aimeep80 likes this.
  9. JoshPosh

    JoshPosh Community Champion

    If they are a recovering addict you aren't suppose to drink around them. That is not helping them at all. recovering addicts need support to get through it. Regardless if they do slip, you shouldn't join in and have a beer because he broke the rules first.
    aimeep80 likes this.
  10. Tremmie

    Tremmie Community Champion

    Yeah, I'd totally do that for someone I love, because I know how hard it's to resist the craving... specially when everyone around you practically rub it on your face. I'd do it for someone I really care about, staying sober is high enough, but I'd really advice those struggling with alcohol issues to just avoid places or actives where other will be drinking.
    aimeep80 likes this.
  11. aimeep80

    aimeep80 Senior Contributor

    It is great to see that everyone is pretty much in agreement that not drinking around an alcoholic loved one is the best thing. I do not drink anymore but even when I was still able to I did abstain while he was sober. Now when he slipped up I would have the occasional beer but that was not "with him" per se. It was me sitting outside or at my PC drinking it. I never wanted him to think I was celebrating anything with him. He understood. I sure do not miss drinking and I'm so thankful he's found sobriety again. I really wish he would get into a meeting though. I have not mentioned that to him is up to him. Thank you all for replying!
  12. GettingBetter

    GettingBetter Senior Contributor

    Yes I would do this to support an alcoholic. Almost all the alcoholics I have been close to insist that it's not necessary to abstain around them but I do feel like it's the right thing to. Especially if the person is in early recovery, it can make a big difference.
    aimeep80 likes this.
  13. henry

    henry Community Champion

    Yep, common sense says not to drink around anyone who's got a problem with alcohol. It's like sitting down to eat a whole pizza in front of starving children in Africa. Instead of drinking, try to show that person that there's many things you can do to pass the time besides drinking.
    aimeep80 likes this.
  14. deanokat

    deanokat Community Organizer Community Listener

    When our older son was in treatment for heroin addiction, my wife and I attended a family therapy session at his rehab. The therapist told us, "Be the change you want to see in your son." In other words, if we wanted our son to stop self-medicating, then we should stop self-medicating, too. Neither my wife nor I were problem drinkers, but I admit that I would overdo it on occasion. In any case, we thought that quitting drinking was the least we could do to support our son in his recovery. So we both quit that day. That was 7+ years ago. Our older son is in long-term recovery from his heroin addiction and no longer lives with us, but my wife and I have continued to not drink as an act of solidarity. Remember: Be the change you want to see in your loved one.
    aimeep80 likes this.
  15. L_B

    L_B Community Champion

    After being through what I have with my husband and his addiction I have no desire to drink. I use to enjoy a drink on occasion but not I just cringe when I hear the twist of a beer cap. It makes me feel sick. Since he stopped drinking almost 20 days ago now there has been no alcohol in our house and it has been wonderful.
    aimeep80 likes this.
  16. innaf39

    innaf39 Member

    This is a nice way to spend time with your friends and family who may need support.

    Ever so often I felt like that my grandfather would just drink because every man around him did so. We knew about his problem but still didn't do anything.
    It can show the person that you fully understand and support them, also the temptation is smaller in that case.
    aimeep80 likes this.
  17. Rainman

    Rainman Community Champion

    Anything that can make someone relapse shouldn't be around him/her soon after they stop using the drugs and for a long time afterwards too. Since many people drink because alcohol makes them feel good, you definitely don't want to remind them of the "fun" part. So if a spouse drinks occasionally but they aren't addicted, they should stop drinking when their OH decides to fight their addiction. It's the little things that count . . .
    aimeep80 likes this.
  18. aimeep80

    aimeep80 Senior Contributor

    I"m so glad to hear that all agree. Some forums that I have been on actually do not agree. They do not say to drink around the recovering alcoholic, but they actually tell others to not stop doing it because they are not the alcoholic and it is not their disease..but the truth is, addiction and alcoholism is a family disease in my opinion. Not only does the alcoholic/addict suffer, but their loved ones do as well second hand of course.

    Now, this is something that kind of bothers me but I do not say anything to him about it..and that is that my husband smokes cigarettes while I am in the vehicle with him. I quit smoking months ago not only to better my health, but because I had to due to my surgery. The surgeon made it clear that he would not perform my surgery if I had any trace of nicotine in my system. So I quit. It wasn't easy but it is worth it. So I kinda wish he would at least respect me and not do it around me. I even cough and gag and have told him how much I hate the smell but he figures the window being down is sufficient enough. Our car smells awful and it is only a year old. Sigh.
  19. Tsky45

    Tsky45 Community Champion

    I think that kind of helps. Not drinking around somebody who's trying to quit is a good way to show support. It's just because your not causing temptation. At least your considerate of your spouse.
    aimeep80 likes this.
  20. ejorman1010

    ejorman1010 Senior Contributor

    I make it a point to not drink around someone that is trying to stay sober. I just do it out of respect knowing that they may feel bad about not drinking and that being around another drinker may cause them to drink. It always feels good to make them feel comfortable knowing they aren't the only non-drinker.
    aimeep80 likes this.