Drinking or Marital Death? Your Choice

I love my husband but he says he can’t stop drinking and he doesn’t want to. How can I help him? He’s not abusive. I just don’t want him to hurt himself. ~G

Hi G,

I was a bartender in Hollywood for 14 years. During that time I served non drinkers, light drinkers, heavy drinkers and flat out alcoholics.

Over the years I talked with hard core alcoholics who became non drinkers. I asked them how they got sober. They all had the same answer: “I achieved sobriety one day at a time.” A lot of them said they went to AA (Alcoholics Anonymous.)

I asked them, “How do you get an alcoholic to stop drinking?” Because I was their bartender and their friend they gladly told me the truth.

They all said, “Bryan, there is only one way to get someone to stop drinking and that’s when they want to. If they don’t want to stop drinking then there is nothing you can do to help them except walk away. Because if you stick around all they will do is just drag you down with them.”

These men and women who were hard core alcoholics and achieved sobriety all lost their jobs, their families, their husbands and wives, all their friends, all their money and their self respect before they got sober.

They all got their knowledge and PhDs from the greatest university in the world, The School Of Hard Knocks. I will match that expertise against any expert you can find and I will always win because nothing beats real world, first hand personal experience.

They said, “You can take alcohol away from someone. You can force them to go to rehab. You can lock them in a room. But as soon as they get out they’re going to go right back to drinking and there’s nothing you can say or do about it. They will keep on drinking until they have run out of money, as well as family and friends they can abuse and con out of another drink. If you’re involved with an alcoholic the only person you can save from this situation is yourself. The sooner you accept that the easier your life will be.”

I know this isn’t the answer you wanted but it is the truth straight from the mouths of the greatest and most qualified experts on sobriety that ever lived: The men and women who were once alcoholics and gained their sobriety one day at a time.

The exact same advice holds true for drug addicts because over the years I talked with them, too, and they said the exact same thing the alcoholics who gained sobriety said.

You said your husband has no desire to stop drinking. That leaves you with a very difficult choice to make: Walk away from this marriage and save yourself or go down with him. I’m sorry. I wish it was easier but it isn’t.

Don’t let the good things in life rob you of the best things in life.

Bryan Redfield

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