When you love someone who is suffering from addiction, is it okay to drink around them?
Sometimes it’s easy to say “No, thank you,” when we’re asked if we would like a glass of wine or a pretty cocktail because we have grown to hate the very substance that’s tearing our family apart.
But other times, we wonder… am I enabling my partner if I drink around him or her? If I’m telling them not to drink, should I avoid drinking too?
These are great questions.
Here’s what I always recommend: try not to drink in front of your loved one.
I did not drink in front of mine for 10 years. It had no effect on his drinking (he still drank and used drugs), but it helped me know that I was not a stumbling block.
If I had a drinking problem – and thank God I don’t – I think it would bother me to be around other people who drink. That’s why a lot of non-drinkers stick together – it takes away the pressure. If they were trying to quit smoking, would we light up a cigarette in front of them? I would hope not.
You’re not going to be able to always avoid social situations where people drink. Yes, your loved one needs to learn how to handle it, but I would, personally, as their partner, support them when you’re at home or out by ordering a Coke, tea or water.
Refraining from drinking in front of an alcoholic is one of the most loving acts of kindness we can do for the ones who struggle with this disease.
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