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How can I change my drinking if my husband still drinks?

Updated: Dec 12, 2021

This is the #1 questions I get from clients.

Does this sound familiar?

You wake up in the morning and you promise yourself you're NOT going to drink tonight... then you come home from a long day and your husband is in the kitchen drinking a beer and you think to yourself, "I know I made my self a promise, but that beer looks too good. I think I'll just start tomorrow"!

You know how the story ends... it's never just one beer or glass of wine. You wake up with regret and then make yet ANOTHER promise not to drink tonight.

A merry-go-round kind of life!

What if your husband still drinks when you’re trying to learn how to drink less?

It’s a daunting habit to change if you know going in to it that you’ll be confronted with seeing your better half drinking wine at the dinner table or standing there in the kitchen opening a bottle of wine when you walk in the door after a long day.

Is it hard to change your relationship with alcohol when your #1 relationship partner is still drinking?

Yes and no.

Oh my gosh, Stephanie, what a wishy washy answer!!

The Yes:

Why is it hard at this point in your journey to drink less… it’s because you have tied so many thoughts to the connection that alcohol has given you in the past when you share a glass or bottle with your partner.

Our minds… Your mind loves to hear a story. We are a story telling species. And we love a story that is easy and helps us not work hard to get what we want.

We want to be swept away from what ever ails us.

And when you see your husband drinking. Your story mode kicks in.

You find yourself saying, “that sounds so good right now”,

“I’d love to unwind and talk with my husband and tell him about my day with a crisp chardonnay”

A drink seems like the answer to your discomfort.

A drink seems like the answer to get connection with the one you love.

How do we undo these stories?

How do we create new stories and beliefs about alcohol that will serve us long term?

You must begin by listening to the story that you tell yourself about why you want to have a drink in the first place.

The story about why you say yes in the first place.

You have to know your why before you can make a change.

Why it’s hard… The No:

What your husband does or doesn’t do has nothing to do with your decision to have a drink.

You drink because of what you want to believe alcohol does for you.

You drink because of what you believe alcohol does to enhance your relationship with your husband … or whomever your with.

No matter who offers you a drink you ultimately have all the control over your decision.

Even if you get some “peer pressure” to have one, as in when someone says, “Are you sure”?? … you are the one who ultimately creates your results.

You also get to decide how miserable not drinking is.

Your misery happens and is created in your thoughts. You might think, “my husband wants to share a glass with me” , or “I don’t want them to be drinking on their own”. Or “he must’ve had a hard day… a drink will make him feel better so I’ll have one, too”.

You also get to create confidence. You are the one who gets to say how strong and confident you are if you make the decision to pass on a drink.

Not drinking doesn’t have to be miserable.

Not drinking can be fun. YES it can.

Not drinking can mean really so much more for you if you decide to can be.

It’s miserable because you keep telling yourself a story about how miserable it is.

Let me tell you this…

You don’t need someone you live with to be alcohol free in order for you to be successful.

I’ve always been the heavier drinker in my marriage.

So when I decided to change my relationship with alcohol I had to look at why I was drinking as often as I was.

I didn’t need to look at my husband to guide me.

I needed to trust my own intuition about what my decisions were to be if I wanted to drink less.

I remember on countless occasions when I’d have a day and first thing in the morning I’d swear I wasn’t going to drink tonight.

Then I’d come home and see my husband having a beer and all of the sudden the promise I made in the morning to myself seemed like an silly promise and I’d say, “I’ll just start tomorrow” or “one won’t hurt”.

My thoughts were looking for an answer that gave me permission to drink.

So, I naturally looked to my husband.

If he’s drinking today and it’s only Tuesday, then it must be ok for me to drink on Tuesday.

But that didn’t serve me well long term.

You see he could have just one beer on Tuesday where I would have a beer and 2 more glasses of wine.

In the coaching world we call these… wait for it … permission giving thoughts.

So deep and profound, right.

But no jokes here.

When I could give a name to my behavior it helped me have more information about myself and how I needed to look inside in order to make the change I so desperately wanted in my life.

So is changing your relationship with alcohol while your husband/partner still drinks difficult.

You get to decide if it’s a yes or a no.

You get to have that power.

Isn’t that nice to take your power back instead of letting alcohol have all of the power?

The power you have over your choice to drink or not starts in a thought.

You must look at what your thoughts are and what your stories are about drinking.

If you believe that alcohol helps you connect with your husband then my friend that is your permission giving thought and I can only predict you’ll stay stuck.

If you believe that it’s your thoughts about your husband that creates the connection you desire then you’ll start to realize that alcohol has nothing to do with the connection with your husband.

Alcohol doesn’t connect people. It has no human qualities. It’s just liquid in a glass.

You create the connections.

Your husband creates the connections.

So next time you think you need to have your husband not drink in order for you to be successful at changing your relationship with alcohol…

Take back your power and create a new story.

Create a story where you don’t need something outside of yourself to have connection.

You create connection from the gifts Mother Nature gave to you… your mind. The most powerful part of our bodies.

Yes it will take some work and a lot of energy to do this.

But your freedom from being stuck is worth it.

We all need a cheerleader from time to time.

If you need someone in your corner, I’m here for you.

Let’s work together and I’ll teach you all of the strategies I used to change my relationship with alcohol.

I’ll teach you how to get your off button back and teach you how to take it or leave it without feeling miserable.

Drink on your terms without feeling deprived.

Drink on your terms and finally find FREEDOM!

Is it difficult to drink less when your husband is still drinking??? I can be if you let it. I'll show you how to make your journey to drink less possible EVEN if your husband still drinks.

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