Kate's Blog

My Partner Wants Me To Drink Less Alcohol Instead Of Quitting

Picture this: You’ve made the decision that you’re going to stop drinking for a while and take a proper break from booze. (Hurrah!)

So you tell your partner what you’re planning. But instead of being met with the support you’d hoped for, they say:

“Don’t do that. Why don’t you just try and drink less alcohol instead? Why don’t you just stop after one or two drinks, like I do?”

Argh. It’s painful to have someone you love question your decision. And it can leave you wondering who’s right.

If you’re in this position, there are three things you MUST consider – and I explain what they are in this week’s video.

Key points:

In the same way that you wouldn’t let someone else decide whether you’re gluten intolerant or whether you should quit smoking, no one else gets to decide whether alcohol is or isn’t working for you. You’re the only person who knows how it truly affects you. It’s not about how your relationship with alcohol looks to those around you. Or how it appears on the surface or what they think is the truth. Only you know how it makes you feel. Only you know the true impact it has on your life.

If you’re a people pleaser – and your partner has made it clear they’d like you to moderate – it might feel hard to say no. But remember, you’re not forcing your partner to change. They can still drink. The good drinking times you shared together are often more about spending quality time together than anything else – so you can still have that, no matter what liquid is in your glass.

If you’re convinced that you’re going to let your partner down by getting sober when they don’t want you to, then you have to remember this brutal truth. If you continue to drink, you will let them down in other ways. And you will let yourself down too. You will be the partner who says things she regrets, who falls asleep on the sofa, who doesn’t have the energy to do things that were planned, who can’t remember moments that were meant to be special. The partner who picks fights over nothing, who risks her health, who is unpredictable and sometimes irrational whilst drinking… Continuing to drink lets everyone down, including you – and you deserve better. 

I’ve had thousands of women go through my Getting Unstuck coaching programme and here’s what I’ve noticed: your other half will get on board with this change when they see the transformation in you. Their approval probably won’t come straight away – and they might need some time to get used to the idea –  but it will happen. Who knows… they might even be inspired to quit drinking themselves!

Hi, I'm Kate

I founded The Sober School to show you there’s another way out of your shame that doesn’t involve AA or rehab. 

Comments

26 responses

  1. Hi Kate,
    This is the best video yet.
    My partner died in December, and ironically my drinking got even worse. However, I have 1 week alcohol free under my belt. He used to always say ‘ Why can’t you just have 1 or 2 like me? ‘ I have always used alcohol as a drug. In lockdown I would share a bottle of wine with him, then do secret drinking; that is when my alcohol intake went up.
    Great video, and not something I have seen addressed before.

  2. So very true Kate. I have tried periods of not drinking several times before. I am single. One of the hardest things was I found was the disbelief I encountered from my friends who tried everything to encourage me to at least have just one drink with them. Really hard to cope with and I found myself avoiding social situations because of this.

    1. Peer pressure may influence your drinking habits, but ultimately, the choice of beverage is yours when socialising with friends. This issue, among others, is addressed in my coaching programme titled ‘Getting Unstuck,’ which aims to do just that. Here’s the link to find out more: https://thesoberschool.com/course/

  3. Hey Kate!! So, I am 19 days without Alcohol , Wednesday will be 21, 3 weeks!! It was God that spoke to me at 1:30 a.m. on a Tuesday, the 19th of June. I sure heard his voice and what he told me to do and I did just that , Praise God✝️♥️ Poured it all out and haven’t touched it since
    And I love your stories and I enjoy getting your emails!

    1. It’s wonderful to hear about your 19 days of being alcohol-free. Sobriety is a gift that continues to give, so keep it up! 🙂

      1. This is not really my problem as friends round about me don’t drink as much as me and don’t force me to drink its just I enjoy it. I’m not very sociable and alcohol helps me to be sociable

        1. As someone who identifies with shyness, I’ve realised through sobriety that I possess more confidence than I previously believed. I’m fully capable of engaging in small talk and conversing with strangers when necessary. While it’s not my favourite activity, I can manage it. We’re often conditioned to believe that alcohol is a necessity for socialising, which led me to depend on it since my teenage years. This dependency obscured my understanding of my true capabilities. It’s only when you attempt an alternative approach that you uncover what you’re truly capable of.

  4. This really resonated with me. 4 days ago I chose to take a break from alcohol.
    I told my husband. His response was “”just have a wine” we did have a laugh about his response and I retorted “great support thanks” anyway yesterday he wanted me to go to the pub with him. At first I said no. But I changed my mind. Pubs sell non alcoholic drinks right! I had water and sat with him 4 hours while he drank beer and I felt great! I was bored after a couple of hours but didn’t once wish I had alcohol.
    I don’t know how long I am going b to choose not to have alcohol for. The first step was to choose not to. I’d like to think I can at least do 30 days. There are 73 days until my holiday I might go all the way through to then.
    One thing is gif sure I do not miss foggy head or raging hang overs.
    I’ve only had 1-2 days a handful of times alcohol free in 4 years. Lockdown for me was drinking every night. Day 4 today and loving it.

    .

    1. You’ve demonstrated to yourself and your husband that connection is possible regardless of your location or the contents of your glass. The variety of non-alcoholic beverages on the market has greatly expanded, offering many delicious options to explore. Who knows, after 73 days, you might find yourself embracing the idea of an alcohol-free holiday, discovering the profound joy and genuine tranquility that comes with such an experience. 🙂

      1. Thank you Kate.
        I have already been telling friends and work colleagues of my choice and they too said about the possibility of a drink free holiday! Which would be amazing.
        Letting others know spurs me on as I don’t want to let myself down or face everyone if I broke the fuzz free days. Xx

    2. P,
      I had the best summer in many many years in 2022. I took my last drink in March 2022. Originally, I set myself a 100 day marker. At about 100 days, I felt great. I was sleeping well, enjoying my job more and not fighting with my spouse although I was finding it somewhat boring watching him get blotto night after night. I realized then, that this is what I looked like to our teenager who was still in our home. I stopped making excuses for myself and for him. I decided to reset the marker to 250 days knowing I was going to have to make it through all of our vacations without wine. Everyone was on board, and i bought all kind of fun summer drinks to take along on our vacations. Even my spouse was fine with my decision to extend my pause after i told him that I was feeling real joy for the first time in a long time. I have never looked back. Got a giant promo at work and my spouse quit drinking Labour day weekend that same summer.

      1. That’s an amazing consequence of your decision to go alcohol-free Jonelle. Credit to you for sticking to your goals and showing others what benefits an alcohol-free life can bring. It truly is a lifestyle upgrade!

  5. This right here!! My partner doesn’t say things like that, but he enables me. He’s even bought me wine and hid it “in case I change my mind”. I don’t feel like we’re on the same page and that’s a scary thing for a marriage. This is my fight. My problem to solve. I don’t expect him to quit, I just wish I had more support from him. Anyway. I fell off the wagon last week, so I’m back to square one and ready to do this!

    1. The lack of support at home can be disheartening, yet this is precisely where I can assist. I offer guidance through a six-week break from drinking, supplying the necessary tools to achieve your goals, regardless of home support. Don’t just take my word for it, have a listen to some of my successful students here: https://thesoberschool.com/success-stories/

  6. Hi Kate, I’m so lucky to have the support of my husband and children, they encourage me every day, I know it’s
    early days but for the first time something just clicked in me regarding my drinking, I’m nine days alcohol free and I feel I’m just beginning to wake up and see myself and what I have around, thanks Kate

    1. Achieving your goals feels more possible when the timing is right. Nine days is an excellent start, so keep going Joan. 🙂

  7. Hi I’m over a month sober now. I must say I don’t like the term sober, I much prefer to say I’ve been liberated and free now for over a month. I’ve changed my mindset so I’m not ‘deprived’ I’m the one who is now free from the alcohol grip. I have had some difficulties with my husband about him continuing to drink a bottle of wine every night, an issue when he offered me wine which I told him was completely unsupported. I did think, when I started this that he would be saying oh just have some wine, just cut down a bit or you’re so boring now. However, so far he hasn’t and is saying I’ve done well. My husband though is a very big drinker, especially if he is with like minded friends. He would say he’s lived a ‘rock n roll’ lifestyle in the past which he still wants e we elements of. I’m keeping strong though and if he does say anything to diminish my achievement, I pick him up on it straight away. A few weeks ago we met up with a friend, who can be a big drinker, I was telling her I’d given up and she was really supportive of it. My husband then pipes up ‘ are you still drinking’ to her and she says yes, he says ‘good lass’. I was absolutely furious with him but just said what a completely childish and ridiculous thing to say, and he knew that it was x

    1. I agree Kim, alcohol-free is a more liberating way to describe the freedom that not drinking brings. When a partner or family member doesn’t support your choices in life, it can be disappointing, but that’s why you need to be your own best cheerleader. I wrote a blog a while ago on this exact topic that you might find helpful: https://thesoberschool.com/my-partner-doesnt-support-me/

  8. Hi Kate, I’ve been sober for 5 months with your support, and my partner has also been sober for the same time although he didn’t have a drink problem like me but decided to go alcohol free and we support each other and we doing good many thanks Kate x

  9. I am 163 days without alcohol. But still my husband says ” Christmas will not be the same if you’re not drinking” or ” our anniversary won’t be as good without wine”. Last week he asked me to taste his wine to see if I liked it!!!!! Luckily, to me, it tasted like petrol. But still he persists. ” I don’t want you to feel like you’re missing out” . I don’t. I feel better without alcohol. It’s my body. He just can’t get it.

    1. I often hear from women in the same situation Kaz and essentially it comes down to the fact that change of any kind can be destabilising to a relationship, even when it’s good change. Have a little patience and understanding both with yourself and others during this time of transition in your life. I’m sure your husband is happy that you are taking care of your health, but he needs time to adjust to your new lifestyle.
      Above all, focus on the rewards and benefits to you and he’ll come around in time. You can still connect over a drink as it doesn’t matter what’s in your glass. 🙂

  10. Hi Kate, I’m day 26 of your course & Im currently half way through my 1st alcohol free holiday for almost 40 years, i cannot express how good I feel, however my husband was one of those who regularly tried to encourage me to drink even when I really didnt want to, for example 5 years ago i knew in my heart i had a problem with alcohol so in my attempt to reduce my consumption i started to say to him that I didn’t feel like going out & his reply was, you’ll be ok once you’ve had a couple of glasses of wine. Over time i became argumentative, loud & out of control & he hated it but he still wanted me to drink, he kept saying I needed to just have a couple like he does or cut down, change my drink, have water in between etc etc. All of which i had tried many times, i was in a terrible place when i fortunately came across your web site & i havnt looked back. However, last night i asked him if he preferred to have me drinking or sober on this holiday, he replied saying he has noticed a huge improvement in me, my behaviour & mental state, he finally accepts its what I need to do. I asked him if I’m spoiling his holiday & he said, not at all, he doesn’t miss the old drunk me. It definitely helps to have his support.

    1. Hi Trudy, Well done you are doing brilliantly. I am so pleased to hear how you, and your husband, are enjoying your first alcohol free holiday together for so long. Our loved ones only ever want the very best for us, so once they understand and can see how alcohol was holding us back they know we are making the right decision.

  11. This really rings true for me. We are off on holiday soon, first time in years in a hotel and first time ever all inclusive. I was so disappointed my husband said because he’s paid all inclusive I should drink as it’s been paid for. Makes me feel uncomfortable. This will be my first holiday alcohol free and I have to admit I am a bit anxious about it.

    1. Hi Claire, this is your holiday too and you get to choose how you spend it. It may be worth checking with the resort, as more and more are offering alcohol free all inclusive options now. You may get to enjoy some delicious mocktails as part of the package.

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