What happens when one person in a relationship or marriage decides to quit drinking? And what if the other person doesn’t have any interest in quitting? How do we avoid a negative impact on our relationship? Tune in as Annie answers this difficult question using advice from some of her readers who have walked through this situation. Find out tips and tricks that can help prevent changing your relationship with those who aren’t ready to give up booze.

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Download EP:188 Transcript

Quitting Drinking is Hurting My Relationship

Usually what we hear is that drinking is hurting my relationship but for some quite the opposite is true. You may find yourself saying – quitting drinking is hurting my relationship. You’re not alone! This is something, it’s a question that’s come up before. It’s a story that I’ve heard from literally dozens and dozens of people. One reader, he drank with his wife every single night and when he decided to stop drinking she sort of thought it was going to be a phase and it wouldn’t last and as the weeks went by and he kept saying no to the glass of wine during the evening she really let her bother her and she got really snippy and judgemental and she started saying things like, “Oh, you’re still on this kick. What’s this about?”

The truth was that without him drinking she had to look at her own kind of habits and behaviors and it was totally obvious how much of that bottle of wine was gone every night and it made her really uncomfortable.

Boozy Relationship

Another reader, she had a really boozy relationship with her husband for 20 years. It was one of her main reasons for keeping drinking. She was so afraid of the things that you’re talking about, that it would negatively impact the relationship. Afraid of change because he had been very upfront with the fact that he had no intention of changing and no intention of giving it up no matter what. He was really upfront and she was very afraid that they were going to miss drinking together.

Attitude Matters

I needed to make sure I had the right attitude. When I told Jim I was stopping he made it clear that he was happy for me but he had no intention whatsoever of quitting and I had to understand that. He’s a much better controlled drinker than I ever was so if he choose to drink I guess that’s his business.

Especially during those first few weeks when I was sort of starving the beast, I had to be really careful not to push my agenda on him and not to make him feel guilty of defensive.

He kind of did in the early days anyway no matter how I tried. I didn’t want to be a bitch. Didn’t want to try and change him. Especially I didn’t want to be some humorless sober person and so I was the one changing. I had to recognize that and I had to realize he didn’t need to. I was really consciously upbeat. If I did bring up my not drinking it was more to explain how great I felt or much funnier things were or how much more fun I was having or how delicious my latest non-ethanol drink discovery was.

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