Kate's Blog

What’s Your Relationship With Alcohol Really Like?

If your relationship with alcohol was a real-life relationship with a romantic partner, what kind of relationship would it be?

It might seem like a weird question to pose, but when you really think about this, it brings up all kinds of juicy questions…
Here are 8 different boozy ‘relationships’ – which one sounds the most like you?

The happy marriage

To be honest, if you’re reading this blog then you’re unlikely to fall into this category, but I’ve put it here for context. In a happy marriage there’s trust and respect, and you have each other’s backs. You do not wake up at 3am determined to never see your partner again!

The occasional hook up

You and booze can go for ages without any contact. No texts, no nothing. But then you run into each other in the pub and suddenly, you’re all over each other. You wake up the next day feeling uneasy, but you’re able to put it to the back of your mind… until next time.

The doomed love affair

When you only saw each other at the weekends, or enjoyed a quickie after work, things were great. But now alcohol’s moved in permanently and you find the side effects pretty irritating and unsexy. Why can’t you go back to how things were? The novelty has truly worn off.

The looks-great-in-public relationship

When you and booze are out together, partying and networking feels so much easier. You look so good together, never taking things too far or losing control. If your friends knew how different your relationship was behind closed doors, they’d be shocked… and worried.

The stormy relationship

“That’s it!” You yell. “I’m fed up of this. Pack your bags!” Alcohol gathers a few things, knowing full well that you don’t really mean it. Sure enough, by mid afternoon you’re wondering if you overreacted. You can’t split up – you’re made for each other. Things will be different this time…

The addictive relationship

You have so many ‘rules’ governing your relationship with alcohol, and yet somehow booze is still a constant presence. You vow to only see each other a few days a week and yet you always go back for more. You’re unhappy, yet unable to imagine a life without drinking.

The trial separation

You and booze are officially ‘on a break’. You’re feeling much better than you thought you would – you’d forgotten what this freedom felt like. But when you catch alcohol lusting over someone new at the bar, you feel a stab of jealousy. That was you once. Where did things go wrong?

The happy divorcee

It’s been months now. Friends say you look happier. Lighter. Less tired. You feel more confident. When you spot booze out and about, chatting up other people in the supermarket, you’re surprised to discover you feel nothing. The past is the past. You’re going to be just fine on your own.

The big question…

If your relationship with alcohol was a real life one (with a living, breathing human) would you be happy with how things are?
Would you resign yourself to putting up with the status quo? Or would you feel you deserved better? Would you take action?
If you need some help breaking up with booze, you can find details of my online course here.

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. 


81 Responses

  1. This is awesome! So clever!
    I feel like I’ve gone through all those stages.. currently a divorcée … hoping to avoid rekindling of the romance and/or spontaneous booty call..

      1. so today is the day i have set out a challenge to stay sober for 55 days . i found an article about you in the sunday independent a few weeks ago so maybe this is a sign . i wouldnt say im a problem drinker but its making me sad and i woke at 6am for the bottle of water,give yourself the “your quitting tomorrow pep talk” .

  2. Agree! This is awesome and oh so true. I think I’m ready To file those divorce papers and skip the trial separation bit. Happy Valentine’s Day!

  3. I was the stormy relationship.
    Sober now for 29 days and am feeling like The happy divorcee.
    It is still early says for me. It’s a hard road to been on, but I’m taking the exit lane and see how far I can go.

  4. Brilliant piece, Kate.
    I think this is my favourite piece so far.
    Thanks to the Getting Unstuck programme, I’m happy to say that I’m the ECSTATIC and liberated divorcee.

  5. I love this, so smart! I think I’ve had all these, except for the first one, and now I’m the happy divorcee. Booze was even my wing guy – all of my actual relationships started and ended because of booze; met my husband 8+ years ago drinking, but gave it up to have a happy marriage. Happy Valentine’s Kate + all!

    1. Yes most of my relationships started with the flirting w drinking. Even my marriage.
      If I wasn’t buzzed when he asked May have thought clearer on my answer Lol
      The marriage was doomed from the start

    1. This is great!! I’m at 1 year and almost 4 months but lately thinking about drinking again.. ugh… what is your secret for getting to three years?

  6. This is sooo true !
    I’ve didn’t drink at all this week/weekend. Even when a friend asked 3 times “ are you sure you don’t want a glass” mind you. She had already had ???# returning from a trip.she must have said the same thing 5 times !!! It was nice to be on the clearer side .
    Even found myself getting frustrated w her.

      1. Thanks. I have a lot going on so this is an overwhelming. Emotional stressful time. I know that drinking is not going to help

  7. I would say mine was the bad-boy boyfriend. So attractive and alluring, but in reality 20% joy and passion and 80% heartbreak and misery. Thanks to you Kate, I am over 400 days past that nonsense, and am now a happy divorcee!

    1. I married the bad boyfriend. Shortly after alcohol became his twin. It’s hard to get free of one with the other still in the house

  8. This is very clever! I’m on a break (56) days and know I need to file for divorce. Taking my time to accept that this relationship is toxic and that it will never change, despite the empty promises.

    1. Just like the breakdown of a real relationship, it can take time to accept that things have come to an end. And you’re bound to feel sad about that at times. Congratulations on your 56 days Sarah 🙂

  9. I’ve never joined any kind of group of any kind….ever!! But I think this is going to be very beneficial for me. I feel kind of embarrassed sharing my struggle. *GAW* But I know that I need this! I am officially in the “Stormy Relationship” category

  10. Love this post Kate. You forgot the truly abusive relationship when you know that booze will hurt you but you go back for another punch in the face. It’s brutal but you keep hoping booze will change but it never does. It can’t change but you can. I’m happily divorced after the October class and I deleted all the contact info and I have really moved on with my fabulous alcohol free life. Good riddance and no looking backwards.

    1. I should definitely add that category – it is a truly horrible place to be. Good riddance to that. It’s great to see you doing so well Tracey! 🙂

  11. I am so scared of life without alcohol. But hate what it’s doing to me. I want to be the happy divorcee. Loved this article.

    1. I’m exactly the same. Hate what it’s done to my figure & mental health. Afraid what it will end up doing to my physical health but keep coming up with excuses such as holidays, night’s out etc coming up.

  12. Hi Kate, I was an addictive relationship, now in a trial separation with a few signs of divorce!I love your emails and blogs. So inspiring, achievable and fun. Thank you for helping me.

  13. Hi Kate, like Janet it’s addictive relationship I can relate to, but today is day 10 without a drink for me! Just finished reading Between Breaths by Elizabeth Vargas and fascinating the link between addiction and anxiety particularly for women. Great read! Thanks so much Kate and all the comments, really inspiring!

  14. Great post – I had several times during my drinking life when I said “pack your bags” to alcohol , it was whenever I had a morning where I felt particularly nauseated, but it always kept creeping back. I’m glad I’ve kicked alcohol out forever now!

  15. Definitely a stormy relationship I know I’m better without it but I’m afraid of how much I’ll miss it. Trouble is I don’t have an off button or I forget where it is most of the time. Here goes!! The list of reasons for kicking it is infinite.

      1. Thanks Dee. This is fascinating. I don’t think any of us are alcoholics ? rather we are in an abusive relationship with it. I know I am sometimes. It’s great to have the support. It’s hard to be honest about it especially in Ireland.

    1. We can do it Gina. I had a resolution of quitting this year. it lasted for 2 weeks and i went back to that abusive relationship.

  16. After several trial separations, I’m now a happy divorcee of 72 days. Feeling better than ever and hoping to stay divorced for good. Alcohol no longer has a place in my life. Thanks Kate for all that I learned in your class!

  17. Wow what a a very fitting way to look at it. I’ve been at all stages of relationships, but am happy to say I am a happy divorcée. I was in your April 2018 class, and because of your help I’m here now. Thank you so very much. I am forever grateful for your course. Best investment in my life ever. going on 11 months AF soon.

  18. I am the Happy Divorcée! I guit on January 1 st and I’m heading towards 100 days. April 11 will be 100 days. I don’t think I’ll ever really drink much again! I love feeling free and happy!!!!

  19. I am in the stormy relationship. I have been to the grocery after work and drank mostly everyday after work. I have days I don’t remember the night before or hangovers that last until 12 noon. I recently changed jobs and I do not pass by the store on the way home which seemed to be a trigger. I want to feel better

  20. I would say I am still in the throws of a toxic love/hate relationship with alcohol. I know they are bad news, and do nothing except bring pain, sorrow, stress, etc…… but I cannot quite fathom living a life without them. That old can’t live with them, can’t live without them. I am happy to say that I managed a 7 month stint before they weedled their way back. But I have since thrown them out and have been very happy for 6 weeks without. I am hoping this is the forever path!

  21. My relationship up until recently has been a doomed stormy love affair, I am on a trial separation that I really hope ends in a happy divorce

    1. The anxiety comes from fear of the unknown, not knowing exactly what you’re doing, and the pressure (and isolation) of having to figure it all out by yourself. It’s tough. That’s why I created my online coaching programme – it’s the perfect fix for this. My course is a six week online class that will guide you, step by step, through everything you need to do in order to create an alcohol free life you love. And because it’s a group coaching programme, you won’t be doing it on your own! Here are some details about the next class and how to get on the waitlist: https://thesoberschool.com/course

  22. I had already decided to go without alcohol for a few weeks when you popped up with this Kate. On the first read I didn’t quite get the context but the more I thought about it the more I loved it. I am going for the trial separation with a view to divorce when I’m ready for it. Last night was alcohol free so not much sleep but at least today I’m tired and proud of myself instead of tired and rough

    1. Well done Marie – it can take a while for your sleep to get back on track, especially if you’ve struggled with sleep issues in the past. But it’s so worth it in the long run. You’ll be a super sleeper in no time!

  23. I’d describe my relationship with wine as Dull, Dependable & Depressing. There for me every night with the same routine, not too much interaction, just a routine few, enough to make me feel a little buzz, a little numb and fall asleep. I’m a couple of months free but not where I want to be. There is a void that needs to be filled. I’m searching for a new love so it’s tempting now and then to think about going back because I haven’t found anything better to fill that empty space.

    1. It sounds as if you have yet to tackle a significant part of sobriety – which is figuring out why you drank, what the void is, and what your unmet needs are. This is hard but it’s also the exciting part: this is the chance to really change your life and feel better. Taking alcohol away is just the beginning of a much bigger journey 🙂

      1. Thank you for the reminder! I was doing more of the mindset work in the beginning and hadn’t even realized it had tapered off. I will be definitely reviewing the successful break tips right away! Thank you for including the link.

  24. My relationship was definitely the stormy/addictive relationship! After returning from holiday in January I vowed to stop drinking for three nights to try and kick start my diet ( I’ve not achieved that in 10 years) I’m now on day 40 and feeling great!

  25. I’m new to this so hope I haven’t posted this twice! I was definitely in the stormy/ addictive relationship. After coming home from holiday in January I vowed to give up drink for three nights to kick start my diet(something I haven’t been able to do in almost 10 years) today is 40 days with no alcohol and feeling very positive.

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