How can I stay sober when I live with someone who drinks?

My husband is a wonderful man but also an alcoholic. Always wine and beer in the house. Sometimes I think it’s easier for me to stay sick than for him to admit we have a significant problem. How?! When it is right there. How will I ever be strong enough to stop. He is not ready and I know that I can’t control that. I just really want to quit drinking.


You have to do what is best for you.

Ultimately its going to be an uphill battle to do it in that situation, but it can be done.


“I just really want to stop drinking,” key word being “I.” It’s admirable that you have had this profound epiphany in a life that caters to drinking.

My suggestion is not to magnify the issue with him, when he see’s the wonderful progress you’ve made, he will have to decide whether going sober is a good idea…positivity attracts positivety, and I think being strong enough to download this app and post on the forums is awesome. Good luck and remember, you’re not alone!


@fontanamax I am on one couch, hubby is on the other. Me a coke zero, him a bottle of red. I have to say…this annoyed me at first. But I’m just kind of being ‘the kid that is doin’ her own thing’. I am focusing on ME. I guess this is the real world, I wish all the bottles of wine would just disappear - but they won’t :sweat: I just try to think ‘I won’t wake up at 3am with my heart racing, hating myself’. Hang in there. I really can empathise.


Hi Font,
It can be chalkenging but try to remember the only person we have the power to change is ourselves. I live with someone who drinks. There’s a glass of wine at dinner almost every night. But I choose not to drink. I understand this can be harder for others especially in early sobriety. You reaching out is a great step, I don’t know if you have gone to a meeting and asked for a sponsor? If not that would be an amazing next step. What I can say is each day you get a little stronger and your head gets a little clearer.


I wonder whether you might actually be helping your wonderful husband to kick his habit? It will be difficult for you to quit especially when alcohol is readily available in your home but you may find that in a few days/weeks, you husband will see what an improvement sobriety has and follow your lead.


He may, he may not.
That, is on him. If you love him, love him. Show him in other ways except for pouring him a drink. That, is on him and is too close to you to have to shoulder that. Do not judge him. Remember when you were drinking nobody but you could make the decision for sobriety. Same for him. He may follow your example, but leave that thought as light as a feather and weigh the heavy burden of sobriety on yourself. Save the energy for you in other words.

Telling him, now, will probably just push him away and further to drink if this is all he knows. Teach him to reach for you. Show him in every interaction that your mind is clear that you can help gently talk through some things burdening him. Respect him. Be kind to him.

Behavioural changes take time. Months…years…

You have to look him in the face and silently decide if it’s worth it.

Seek Al-Anon or AA for your sickness and the rest will look after itself. As they say, let go and let God

A higher power has this, you can’t do it all sweet person. It’s enough for you, expecially early on when you just want to drink together.

Now I’m off to heed my own advise…


@Fontanamax I am in the same situation… However now I see him and others drinking and I want to barf. I guess I don’t see the numbness and escape when I see people drink and longingly want to join them. All I see and feel is repulsion and where that drink or drug is going to lead me.
Hungover and drug sick 8 days total usually

I confronted my husband and said I want to quit so for my peace of mind I said no booze in the house period… So far it has worked…

You can do this… See it has poison not fairy juice… Lol


I’m going to agree with others. My husband drinks too. While I would say he drinks excessively he was certainly not as bad as I was. He CAN take days off willingly. Me, I could not. I was so worried that I would be too tempted with our alcohol cabinet right there with no lock. I thought watching him pour a brandy in the evenings would cause me to want one too. But the truth is it hasn’t. I have had issues with my own brain tempting me but it is never HIM tempting me. I have made the decision that I WILL NOT drink and it is working. I did the same thing when I became a vegan and my family still ate meat.

Actually, now that I think of it, the trick is the words you use. With meat it wasn’t that I “couldn’t” eat meat, it was that I “wouldn’t” eat meat. The same technique can be used for alcohol. When we say “can’t” we are telling ourselves that we are missing out on something. But when we say “won’t” we are in control of it. It is more powerful.

So just keep telling yourself that you WON’T have a drink. :sparkling_heart:


I’m playing that game with myself with cigarettes. I wrapped up a new pack in brown paper and wrote the date I last smoked. I carry it around with me because “I can smoke, but I don’t want to” :wink: It takes away the struggle for me.


What a beautiful message! Thank you so much for this. I needed to hear that!

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Thank you all so much for taking the time to respond to my post with such good advice and observations. I have not been able to check in on this app all weekend because my son is in the hospital. He is coming home today. One day at a time. One hour at a time. I hope you all have a great day! Thank you!


@Wineo_mom here is one thread you may find helpful

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This wish of stopping drinking it is more important than you think. Keep nurturing it. Let us think in drinking like something disgusting and problematic

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Hi there @Fontanamax, I’ve read your question and all the answers with such interest because I’m now on day 1 of my sober journey and also living with a heavy drinking husband! I’d love to know - how did you manage? Did he stop too? Thank you for being such an inspiration

It can be done, but I strongly recommend having a recovery program. I lived with a heroin addict/alcoholic and an alcoholic/pot head for 4 months when I got of a rehab and I didn’t pick up. I really only had one close call and that was Christmas day. I did an intensive outpatient program, had a counselor, had a psych doctor, was on meds and most importantly immersed myself in AA and NA. I was going to 2-3 meetings a day, everyday, for months.

I didn’t ask then to stop. I didn’t expect them to stop. I committed to staying clean no matter what! I did what ever it took.

You should definitely attempt to quit if that’s what you want. Don’t sacrifice your well being because of someone else.
It’s hard because we can’t tell someone else what to do and it wouldn’t work even if we did. All we can do is decide what we can and will or will not tolerate.

Hey Em, There are quite a few threads on here about partner /spouse who still drinks, hopefully you can find and read thru them with the search feature… I know it helped me to see other perspectives and tips on getting sober with a partner who drinks.

I am married 15 years, with my husband for 21. We began our life together bonding over drinking and drugs and spent many many years together drinking and partying. When my sober journey began several years ago I was bent out of shape and blaming him that I couldn’t stop drinking while he was still drinking and there was booze in the house. I was so mad and frustrated with him. Why couldn’t he be more supportive?

It took me a long time to understand that the only person I had control over was me and that I was 100% responsible for whether or not I drank. Once I truly internalized that, I was able to work more productively on my recovery. It also allowed me to see my husband with more love and compassion, as a person who wanted so much to be supportive and help, but was at where he was at with his own issues to deal with.

So my focus was on me. As an addict, that is always a pleasure as we know the world revolves around mememe! (Little recovery humor there). Anyway, it is challenging getting sober with a partner who drinks, but it can be done (I am 504 days sober).

In the early days, I would go to bed early a lot. Leave parties and get togethers early or not go at all. I definitely did not engage in discussions with my husband if he was drinking. I requested that no wine be in the house EVER. Took him a bit to get totally on board as he liked to cook with wine, but I would pour it out and off it goes. Oddly, I can handle liquor in the house despite a love of vodka for many years.

Increasing my knowledge and sober tool box helped me build more sober muscles and move from blaming to owning. It was a long road, lots of stumbles, tears, pain, but eventually I found my footing and strength and what worked for me (exercise, yoga, meditation, research, support, La Croix, sleeping).

I still live with a husband who is a functioning alcoholic. I love him very much and have a lot of empathy for him. We have grown a lot through these past several years.

Only you know the heart of your marriage and your husband. For me, I know my husband is a good, kind, loving person with an alcohol problem. He was very patient and loving during my long hard battle with alcohol and drugs and I was not loveable at all.

Hope this helps a little. Your sobriety is so important, do what you need to do for yourself. Find your way.


Dear @Sassyrocks thank you so much. You’ve made me see that my anger and disappointment I aim at my husband when once again he gives up on quitting booze is actually anger and disappointment at myself because of what I knowbwill happen next i.e. I will give up too. You’ve made me see that I have my choice, he has his. He’s my best friend and soul mate and I utterly adore him, and it’s my job to take care of my own destiny and my own shit and support him any way I can without trying to foist my decision onto him. A million thanks Sassy, you’re a real inspiration!!! As I finish day 4 and you finish day 504, I hope one day to be in your place talking to someone 500 days less sober than me!!! X


You will girl, just take it one day at a time. It is not easy, but it is incredibly worth it…you are worth it.