“Why should I change? S/he’s the one with the problem! Hrumph!”
Well, no, not really. Most of the time spouses, parents, and sometimes children, see the problem as drinking and the drinker as the one with a problem. Of course the drinker frequently doesn’t see things that way.
That’s because the problems are more complicated and alcohol abuse exists with a context – a context that includes everyone within the drinker’s orbit – family, friends, employers, and so on.
And guess what? As long as these people don’t see a problem there isn’t going to be much motivation to change, and even when you do the drinker will usually decide it’s your problem.
After all, you didn’t object when you married me, hired me, or last year or last month or last week. So what’s the problem now?
Surprise! You’re both right.
With a little reflection it’s possible to understand that eveyone has a problem – not just the active alcohol abuser.
This moves us along to that second quetion we hear all the time:
“How can I make her/him stop drinking?”
And the second answer: “You can’t.”
What you can do is begin to fix your problem – the effects of his/her drinking on you. And no, that doesn’t include passively going to Alanon and whining about your spouse’s or child’s or parent’s drinking – it means actively changing your behavior.
You don’t participate in the drinking. You don’t avert negative consequences when doing so doesn’t also hurt you.
But you also doen’t nag and you don’t make threats you’re not ready to keep.
Interestingly, we’ve shown that one of the most effective things spouses, and sometimes parents, can do is call and schedule 5 days with us to learn how to modify their behavior and address their problem!
You’d be surprised how fast the “problem drinker” signs up to come along when their spouse is going off to get help that may well include leaving the drinker in the dust.
Funny how that works for most things in life. You can’t change another’s behavior, but you can force a change merely by modifying your own.
And those good changes do work both ways – if you’re the drinker, you may well find that life gets a lot better when you quit, learn to be a bit assertive, regain your vote in family decision making, improve you health and mood, and let your spouse’s problems become the new center of attention.
Or you can come see us together and get it all sorted out at once.
Remember! 99% of all treatment programs refuse to include spouses and other family members in any meaningful way because it is, by far, the most effective way to promote success!
What do you want?
That’s what we thought and it’s why you can talk to us – not some slick marketing department salesperson – and get started on the road to a better life than you’ve ever had.
Is it September already?
Almost. Summer’s about over and if vacations and days at the beach didn’t fix your problems then chances are that back-to-school and falling leaves aren’t going to either.
And pretty soon the holidays are going to be looking closer and you’re going to be wondering how you’re going to get through Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years without drinking yourself into a stupor.
Remember what last year was like: at best, disappointing and embarrassing; at worst, a disaster.
Wouldn’t you like this year, finally, to be something different and better?
The time to start is now so that you can prepare and not fall into the cognitive trap of “I can’t stop until after Halloween” then moving on to “I couldn’t possibly stop until after Thanksgiving”; followed almost instantly by “…not until after Christmas”, and, you guessed it, “…until after New Years.”
Then of course there will be Valentines Day, birthdays, anniversaries, and Aunt Millie’s funeral.
Right. We all know the delaying game since we played it in high school to avoid breaking up with one boyfriend or girlfriend until…….
But this time the “boy/girlfriend is alcohol and the delays and postponement can be forever.
So! How about trying something different?
Give us a call and lets go about preparing for holidays that will not only be memorable in posative ways, but which you might actually remember?
Our program description for Couples!
A former client graciously wrote a detailed review of our work with her. Click HERE to read it.
Our Comparison Shopping issue is available here;
An expanded description of our Five Day Full Recovery Program;
Mary Ellen’s Ten Things I Wish I’d Known Before I Sent My Brother Off To Rehab;
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