Others' perspectives

Your partner

Alcohol and communication with your partner
Help and information for partners 

Alcohol and communication with your partner 

Most people start to worry if their partner’s drinking gets out of hand. This can result in disagreements, arguments and a bad atmosphere at home. Tempers can run high under the influence of alcohol. Sometimes this results in a reduction in contact between partners and feelings of isolation.

Talking non-judgementally about drinking can help. Choose a quiet time of day and discuss things when you haven’t been drinking.

  • Tell your partner what’s bothering you and how you feel. Tell him/her what you’re sorry about and what you’d like to change. 
  • Ask your partner what’s bothering him/her and how he/she feels.
  • Realise that not all problems have to be solved immediately. Understanding each other’s perspective, and acknowledging a difference of opinion, can in itself clear the air. 
  • Don’t make promises you’re not prepared to keep. This will prevent disappointments. In particular, drinking in secret creates mistrust in a relationship. 
  • Be open and honest. Find out what you can do to improve the relationship. 
  • See the healing of the relationship as a process. Restoring trust will take time. You’ll have to show that you’re serious over a long period. 
  • Trustworthiness, openness, and keeping agreements and promises will help you to restore trust.

Show that you’re really willing to invest in the relationship. Your partner can become your ally in your efforts to quit or cut down drinking. 

Help and information for partners

Partners wanting information, tips and advice can seek support via the Alanon organisation. Their website is www.al-anonuk.org.uk There is also a helpline available 10am to 10pm all year round and the number to call is 0207 403 0888.

The National Alcohol Helpline (Drinkline) offers confidential advice and support, on weekdays from 9am to 11pm on 0800 917 8282.