Over 15 million people struggle with alcohol addiction in the United States. If you are one of these 15 million, you are far from alone. The good news is that you can make a full recovery from alcoholism and stay sober. Ideally, when you decide to become sober, your spouse or significant other would jump on board with you and the two of you would embark on the journey together. Unfortunately, this is seldom how it goes. In some cases, parting ways is the healthiest solution for both parties. However, it is very possible to stop drinking alcohol even when your spouse still drinks and still have a healthy relationship. Here are a few tips to help you become sober and stay sober even if your spouse is not ready to put down the bottle yet.
Set Clear, Healthy Boundaries
Set clear boundaries for yourself without feeling guilty. It is okay to decline social invitations that involve drinking if you aren’t comfortable. If you choose to go to a dinner party or other social outing, have an escape plan in case it becomes too much. You can even bring a non-alcoholic beverage of choice that you enjoy. This way you aren’t feeling deprived or stuck drinking water all night. Set boundaries with your spouse as well. If the two of you are going out together, communicate your game plan to him or her.
If chances are good that he or she will want to hang out longer than you, either drive separately or arrange for your spouse to Uber back home if he or she has been drinking. Whatever the situation may be, plan accordingly so that you are not stuck in an uncomfortable situation that could potentially derail your progress.
Ask For the Things You Need
Communication with your spouse is extremely important during this time. Make sure you ask for the things you need. For instance, if the sight of watching him or her drink is difficult, ask that your partner drink from an opaque cup or glass. You might also explain that you do not mind if he or she drinks, but that you do not want to be around someone who is drunk. Your spouse doesn’t have to quit drinking for you to be sober, but they should be supportive of the things that you need on your road to sobriety.
Do Not Have an Expectation of Your Spouse’s Behavior
Just as you do not want your spouse trying to convince you to have a drink, your spouse doesn’t want you to convince him or her to stop. You can’t force someone to change if they aren’t ready. This will only lead to fights, resentment, and an unhealthy relationship. From the beginning, if you choose to stay, understand that if your spouse has stated that they want to continue to drink, it is unrealistic to expect him or her to just up and change their mind.
Everyone evolves and changes at different speeds. After seeing the positive change in your life from becoming sober, your spouse may, down the road, decide sobriety is the right decision for him or her as well.
Identify Your Triggers
Identifying your triggers may be one of the most important things you can do to help maintain your sobriety. It will take time for you to understand your triggers, so be patient. For instance, for some, it is hard to have alcohol in the refrigerator. Consider a second refrigerator elsewhere, such as the basement or garage. This way your spouse can still drink, but the alcohol doesn’t have to be in your face. Have alcohol-free areas of the home such as your office or the bedroom.
Having your drink of choice in the home might be another trigger. Ask your spouse if that particular drink can be banned from the house. If he or she wants to consume it, you don’t want to know about it.
Florida’s Leading Treatment Center for Alcoholism Can Help You Quit Drinking
It is hard to recover from alcohol and substance abuse. If your spouse is still drinking and you are trying to quit drinking, it can make the recovery process that much harder. However, seeking outside help and treatment is a sign of strength, not weakness and will increase your recovery rate and ability to stay sober. Fairwinds understands that every patient and every situation is different. This is why we focus on family during our treatment process. We provide the tools, information, and guidance needed to help families better support their loved ones on their journey to recovery. Contact us today for information on treatment for alcohol addiction.