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Socializing without alcohol

If you have randomly read my other posts on other boards, my DH has recently quit drinking and is trying to achieve sobriety. He is trying really hard. At this point in his sobriety (a week and a half now), it is still very new, challenging, difficult, and he is very vulnerable and weak with alcohol temptations. 
It just seems like ANY plans/events either revolve around alcohol or have it included. We don't want our social life with friends to dwindle and fade away. We want friends and to do stuff on the weekends! But, like Superbowl Sunday...we were invited to three different friends' homes, and there will of course be alcohol. What do we do? Try to go and subject him to all of his friends drinking beer after beer? Or at this weak time, just stay home?
Another example...St. Patrick's Day. We will most likely not go to our annual St. Patrick's Day party that our friends plan, because its just bar hopping. 
Any recommendations on how to keep our social life with our friends who like to drink? I know they will understand, but, I just forsee us slowly not being included in certain parties and events. 
My DH is (was) going to be invited to two bachelor parties this summer...we were just talking about how it will literally just be crazy guys boozing all day long. What would you recommend for these parties? Should he go? 
We are of course new to this sober living, and nervous. I just want my DH to be included in things with his friends, and I want us as a couple to be included with our couple-friends. 
Sorry for the rant. Any advice?

Re: Socializing without alcohol

  • Could you approach one of the couples privately (ie have them over for dinner, aside fom any group events, Super Bowl, bachelor parties etc) and cook them dinner etc. then during dinner if they ask why there is no wine etc or if they bring alcohol themselves you can quietly and politely bring up your/his newfound sobriety. You can set the ax ample by saying "I am supporting DH's sobriety therefore, I too am giving up alcohol myself and keeping alcohol out of the house as a show of support and also as a way to reduce temptations to drink. We hope the two of you will understand why there will be certain social events we will need avoid, so instead we've decided to make an effort to spend time with you all doing things that don't involve alcohol because your friendship means so much to us". Try this with a couple you think stands the chance of being most supportive, for example a couple that doesn't drink, or doesn't drink much. I realize there are some circles of friend in which certain people could never be this supportive because too many of their live resvolve around alchol (clue number 1 that they, too, may have a oroblem) and thus they would never offer to give up alcohol while in your presence, but surely there must be a few people or couples you can enlist to help keep your social life alive. Pick one or two friends, or maybe one couple you think would be supportive first and do this. Then maybe a week or so later try something similar with another couple, something such as going to a movie with friends and mentoning it, or some other activity that normally wouldnt involve drinking. Or even call people up one by one and discuss it. This way it's not like you are constantly turning down invites and ecplaining w you cant come by saying "Dave gave up drinking, so we can't come". Instead you can be proactive and seek out ways to be social, make the first move, and sort of set the ground rules for the social event, even if the "event" is literally just 1-2 other people/couples. Another option is to expand your social circle to people who just don't drink. Or finding hobbies that dont revolve around it. This is trickier. I've found, maybe because I live in the Bible Belt, is that in general most of the people who don't drink at all are devout churchgoers, which isn't exactly my cup of tea, but it is an option. Certain denominations don't drink at all.
  • gymbugmj2kgymbugmj2k member
    Fourth Anniversary 100 Comments 5 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited February 2014
    explain to your friends that at least for a little while until he is stronger, that you will have to pass on social engagements that involve alcohol.  does it sound like a wimpy excuse from their end? possibly, but if they're good friends - they'll understand and support him.

    Perhaps you could start hosting small gatherings?  Or suggest outings that don't involve alcohol.

    Over time, slowly introduce yourselves back into the mix of things.  Alcohol exists, so at some point he's going to have to get used to being around it without partaking.  Supportive friends can help him through it (besides, some may cut down on their drinking around him as well!)
  • I was once in your husbands shoes. I would recommend completely avoiding situations with alcohol for awhile. If he is going to AA regularly he will make friends there and most groups have lots of social activities. If he gets really involved and works the program, over time he won't be tempted by alcohol at all but this takes time. He should work with a sponsor in AA and discuss this issue with that person. All sober people have to deal with it at some point, it's difficult to avoid alcohol forever!

    For you, I would highly recommend giving alanon a chance. Alcoholics can be very manipulative - toward themselves and partners. It wouldn't surprise me in the slightest that he has convinced himself he is ready to be around alcohol after such a short period under the guise of 'losing your friends'. That said, alanon is for you and not him and if you don't like one group try another. You need support during this time as well. You probably have more in common with them than you'd think.
  • Little late to the party here...but...we had a friend who didn't drink. He would either bring soda or non alcoholic beer to parties. No one gave him crap. It worked out really well. Good luck!
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