Here at the DUI Foundation, we’re excited to partner with Carrie Armstrong, with the How To Be A Sober Girl blog. You can check out her blog here. Over the next thirty days, she has committed to a How To Be A Sober Girl 30 Day Kickstart campaign and we’ll be sharing her stories right here.
And without any more time, here’s Day Twenty Two:
This is one of the most common questions I get asked. Well there are several versions of it, so let’s talk our way through them today:
Is my partner going to leave me because I stopped drinking?
No. And the answer to this is still the same even if drinking is the main thing you have in common. Seriously, don’t give it another thought.
It seems like my partner is trying to sabotage my attempt to stop drinking.
They probably are. Just like you probably did on any occasion they seemed to be making a serious attempt to change their drinking habits. Not because they are an Evil Genius, but because we are all afraid of what we don’t know. We are creatures of habit. It doesn’t mean they are a terrible person. It just means they will need to see that things will only change for the better. That you are going to be responsible for your own happiness and don’t expect them to be responsible for it any longer.
Will I want to leave my partner if I keep up this non-drinking?
It is entirely possible that you have become aware in the cold light of day that this relationship is not making you happy. But I would always say don’t take any action on this thought for a considerable amount of time. Put your focus on the outside world instead. It’s something that’s integral to long term successful sobriety anyway, so it can only be of benefit to every area of your life, relationship included. If a relationship is going to end, then let it run it’s course, don’t make your non-drinking the biggest factor. Instead let it be a by-product of your life getting so much bigger that you simply outgrow it. It’s far less scary or painful that way.
We do change as people when our relationship with alcohol changes. Mainly because we finally get to know who we actually are and what we actually like. But our relationship with our significant other is not what our main focus should be, if it is? Then no real progress can be made. And if they feel like they are being ignored? That is something they will have to figure out how to make peace with on their own terms. On the bright side, if you have always felt like the one who puts in all the effort in your relationship? Then this will be a great indicator of how things can change when we stop pandering to someone out of fear they will leave us, (and why the answer to question 1 is such a resounding “no”). A shift in dynamic can be a good thing for both people. At the very least you are being a great example of successful sobriety to your other half-and isn’t that something all of us wish we had had an up-close example if? How nice to be that thing we never had to the person that means so much to us.
So seriously. Stop worrying about it. Focus your energy on nailing the skills that resonate with you most so far. Practice them every day and let the other things take care of themselves…