How To Help Your Partner Drink Less
If your partner is an alcoholic then he’ll require the help of professionals, like a therapist, a sponsor or an alcoholics anonymous program. The type of help you’ll need to provide then is very different than what we’re about to discuss. If your partner isn’t addicted to alcohol but has simply stated he’d like to cut back on it due to health or money reasons (or perhaps doctor’s orders) his success is going to rely a lot on your support. When you’re in a serious relationship with someone, you spend a lot of time around this person, your actions influence them, and even your hobbies and traditions affect them. As much as you may want to, you can’t just passively sit on the sidelines while your partner tries to cut back on the booze; everything you do and don’t do affects him. Here is how you can help your partner drink less alcohol.
Do the grocery shopping
Like with anything you don’t want to consume, if you don’t have it around the house, you probably won’t eat/drink it. Take over the grocery shopping for now since the alcohol isle is usually prominently placed at the store. It’s too easy for your partner to throw a bottle of wine in the cart when he walks right by it, or when the butcher suggests some Merlot with the cut of meat he picks out.
Find non-booze related events
Take a hard look at your normal activities. Do you usually hang out at bars, or have boozy dinner parties with friends, or visit mimosa brunch spots on the weekends? Take this opportunity to see what your city has to offer besides alcohol. You’ll be surprised how much you’ve been missing out on.
Let him sit out some events
While you may usually drag your partner to every friend’s birthday party, engagement party or office party, let him sit out some events for now. It’s hard to pass up alcohol when A) It’s free and B) Your partner is only around people you know so he needs alcohol to ease the conversations.
Help him relax in other ways
If your partner turns to a cocktail every night to relax then help him find new ways to relax. Take bubble baths together, meditate, go to yoga, learn some acupressure you can perform on your partner and play relaxing music. Create a relaxing space for your partner so he doesn’t have to create one with alcohol.
Cut back with him
It will be hard for your partner to skip the alcohol if you’re drinking right next to him. As an act of solidarity, try not to drink around him. If you want drinks, go out with friends or enjoy some wine at home alone when your partner is out.
Become that fit couple
Realizing how good you can feel without alcohol, and how cutting back on booze helps you get in great shape can really motivate you to stop drinking. Now that you and your partner will not be waking up on Saturday mornings slightly hungover, do the things you could never do before like sunrise hikes, all-day kayaking trips, and morning workout classes. Let your vanity kick in; when you both see how other couples are checking out your newly defined muscles, you may want to kick the alcohol entirely.
Choose the right company
Recognize the company that tends to encourage your partner to drink and stay away from them. They’re not evil—they just have a way of kicking your partner’s inhibitions to the curb and getting him to make the wrong decisions.
Switch up your routines
For some people, alcohol is such an integral part of their routine that it’s hard to know what to do without it. So, for example, if you always meet for happy hour drinks after work while you wait out traffic or you always get mimosa brunch after the gym on Sundays, make sure you have some other rewarding activity you get to do in those time slots. If you’re left with nothing to do during that time, you may just slide back into the alcoholic activity.
Keep him busy
If you’re too busy to drink then you’re not going to drink. Book up your partner’s weekends with errands, visiting family, taking the dog to the park, fixing things around the apartment, workout classes, and other activities. Sometimes people just drink because they’re bored, so prevent that.
Use the money for something else
Calculate how much money you both spend on alcohol every month. Then add the money you spend on taxis when you drink because that adds up too. Now take that sum and think of something that costs around that much that you’d both like. Maybe you both want memberships to the fancy gym that has the nice pool and steam rooms. Maybe you’d both like to get away one weekend a month. Put your booze money in a jar specifically for that goal.
Have more sex
Sex makes you feel relaxed, it makes you feel happy and relieves muscle tension—in a lot of ways, it’s just like alcohol, but it doesn’t cost you anything and is calorie-free. When your partner has a hankering for a cocktail, get him in the mood for something else.
Choose restaurants that don’t serve alcohol
Again, if the thing isn’t around, you probably won’t want it. Start choosing date night spots that don’t serve alcohol—there are probably plenty in your town and you just didn’t realize it. In fact, this could be a good time to try those restaurants you were always curious about but used to avoid because they didn’t serve alcohol.
Offer to be the DD couple
When you go out with friends, offer to be the couple who will drive people home at the end of the night. Your partner won’t want to be a total jerk and drink then, forcing you to be the DD. And as a couple, you won’t want to let your friends down.
Give up something yourself
As another act of solidarity, give up something that you tend to lean on a bit too much. Maybe you’ll watch less TV, eat less candy, get fewer messages or shop less. Whatever your thing is, giving it up gives you and your partner the chance to vent about how much you miss that thing and commiseration has a bonding effect.
Help him find his passion
Sometimes people drink because it creates false feelings of excitement when no real feelings of excitement exist. If your partner is in a slump and doesn’t really look forward to his days, it’s quite likely he’ll have a drink every night—everything is so dull without it. So help him figure out what his passion is. Is there a class he wants to take? Does he possibly even want to switch career paths?