This title of course is a take on a chapter in the AA ‘Big Book”. 🙂 Everything that we are saying here holds true for any significant other or friend or family of any drinker–male or female.
Here at HAMS we have a saying:”perfectionism is the enemy of the good”
If your husband improves in his drinking habits then you need to support that no matter how small the improvement. It doesn’t matter if he drinks more safely, or cuts back or even quits–every positive change is a positive change and needs to be recognized as such.
If you keep demanding that your husband be perfectly abstinent because that is what he has to do to satisfy you the odds that you will make him actually become abstinent are infinitesimal. It is far more likely that his drinking will become far worse than it ever has before.
Alanon is poison. Demands for perfection almost always backfire and blow up in your face. If you want to see your husband dead in a drunk driving accident then go ahead and throw that Alanon shit and those demands for perfection in his face.
Alanon has probably killed more drinkers and broken up more marriages than any organization since AA itself.
If you really love your husband and want to see him get better then you need to recognize that better IS better and you need to encourage every positive change. Harm reduction may be just the thing that works for your husband.
People like Miller and Rollnick who invented Motivational Interviewing have taught us that the way to get people to change is not to nag them. It is to give them a chance to examine what they really want and to support them in making positive changes.
The life you save may be your husband’s.
Copyright © 2009, The HAMS Harm Reduction Network