I found a stash of mini bottles, now what?



My fiance has been spiraling lately–we’ve been dealing with some pretty heavy financial stressors, and it’s becoming a lot for him to bear. Lately, he’s been going on 2-day (or more) alcohol binges, rather than just one. We are on day 2 right now, and I just found 6 tiny bottles of alcohol hidden in his car. I was shocked, because even though I’m always keeping an eye out for this stuff, I never really considered what I would do if I found anything. So, I dumped them all and threw them away, and now I’m worried I may have done the wrong thing by just making them disappear. On one hand, I know he will figure out a way to get alcohol no matter how much of it I dump out, and I’m worried that I’ve gone behind his back rather than just opening a conversation? But on the other hand, I knew I couldn’t just leave it there–especially in the car!
What do I do now?


@Blondie, all you can do is have a loving conversation with him. Just tell him what you’ve noticed about his behavior (stick to the facts, not opinions), tell him what you found and what you did with them. The more you can emotionally process this beforehand, the better. You should have the conversation when you’re in a calm headspace. It’s best to avoid judgement and shaming.

Regarding the bottles in the car, there’s not much you can do since it’s his car, unless you contribute to it financially in some way. If you do, you can place a boundary that you won’t accept alcohol in the car, and if it happens again you will stop financially contributing to it, etc.

As much as you can, acknowledge that he is allowed to act however he wants to (within the limits of the law), and you have no control over that. If you do become aware of him driving drunk, it’s up to you to report that. That’s a natural consequence of his actions.

Let him know that you’re here for him and are willing to help him in any way if/when he’s ready to seek help.

But the most important thing to do is care for yourself. :heartbeat:


@Blondie, I don’t know what the right thing to do is, but I’ve been in this situation many times myself and I can tell you what hasn’t been helpful. In my experience throwing them away doesn’t have much effect either way, he’ll buy more if he wants them badly enough. Sometimes he’ll throw them away on his own. I’ve decided to just leave things where they are. My husband hides empties and I used to put them out so he knew I found them, but I’ve stopped. I’m letting the natural consequences kick in and ultimately, I’ve decided that it doesn’t matter if he knows I know. He doesn’t feel like he’s getting away with it, I know there’s still the shame around his drinking so pointing it out isn’t helpful for me. Talking about it when I’m pissed really doesn’t work, so I work on putting space between the situation before addressing it. Any time I see progress, I acknowledge it. This is the hardest thing I’ve ever done and I’ve made a million mistakes. I try to just be gentle with myself and understand that while we can affect positive change, we can’t do it alone. Know that you aren’t alone in this :heart:


@Karilyn and @Tlee22
Thank you for your responses. :sparkling_heart:
The next morning when we woke up, when he was sober and after I’d calmed I told him what I’d found and done. He thanked me for throwing them out, and told me I’d done the right thing. We had a bit of a talk that morning, but I know there is more to come.
It is so helpful to know I’m not alone in this. Thank you. :heart:️:heart:️:heart:️


Love to read the progression of this thread <3

Financial stressors in any relationship can be tough let alone in one where addiction or recovery is in process! It’s something my husband and I face frequently as we get our livelihoods back on track post addiction / break down.

I do think in our case, sharing the burden through dialogue and actions and taking extra care of each other and reinforcing we’re on the same team during these times can be super helpful. How are things going now @Blondie ?

Also, I hate that feeling of finding a stash, though sometimes it can explain a lot! I recently discovered the absence of a bottle and finally understood why my husband and I had got into such a fight the few nights before…because he was DRUNK! It actually made me feel a lot better to know what was behind it. <3


@Jane Things are back to normal this week since that day. I am feeling a bit anxious because I am taking holidays for the next 2 weeks, and he sin’t joining me until a week in. We’ve talked about it, and my anxiety surrounding being apart. I’m trying to tell myself that whatever happens will simply be a part of the whole journey, and regardless will represent a step forward.

I’m curious how you get to that point where it’s a relief to find a stash or bottles because it explains the weird behaviour? I can’t get past feeling the need to hold him accountable for the behaviour, and my anxiety pipes in telling me all is lost when he relapses. I would love to be at a point where I just see it as a step on the path, and not as a total loss.

Thank you for checking in :hearts:


This what I am going through with my wife. I believe I have got her to stop drinking in or at least leaving the mini bottles in the car. It hard to know as she hides her drinking from most of the time. She Never gets belligerent drunk, but I believe she has at least a couple of those little bottles a day. She’ll throw them away and take the kitchen trash out before I get home from work. Yes, I have many times looked in the trash and cut the bag open just to see, and I finally admitted to her that I did that so she would stop lying to my face about it. The first, the worst part of it was that she was lying about it. Along with alcoholism, my wife suffers from depression. I am not sure how much the alcohol affects at this point. I’m willing to blame it. 100%. I have came to notice that days that she’s hard on herself her days that I’ve found bottles. I read a few of these stories on this page today it’s kind of helped out. It is getting harder and harder though. Most the day today she seemed OK like a couple times she seemed upset. usually I’ll get a text or call when somethings going on. Well, a little while before I get off work, we get into an argument. She gone to the store and got a 10 pack of those little bottles and drink them all. She started saying that I’m kicking her out of the house when I didn’t say any such thing. In one of the text she sent me she told me she was going to go to work tomorrow and her earn her own money. I responded just remember you need to help out with the bills with your own money. Somehow, she took that as I was kicking her out and she keeps bleeding with me to give her at least six weeks. I think that alcohol actually makes her lose her mind sometimes. Little backstory I ended up having to get a separate account and then gave her let’s call it an allowance weekly. that way she didn’t have free run of the main saving account, to run to the convenience store and grab the little bottles as she pleased. Anyways, I’m not sure what to get out of this. I’m not sure where I’m going next but I think it’s hopped a little just sending this.


@Blondie I know how you feel and I’ve been there, I think it just takes time and the more sober time there is it builds on itself and we begin to have more memories of the sober time and growing resilience.

Our Group Course teaches skills on the fundamental CRAFT principle of Positive Communication - this is a highly effective skill for these types of situations we navigate and how we communicate in our relationships. You can join by clicking HERE!


FYI, sorry for the broken English. This has been voice text from my cell phone and I didn’t proofread very good.


Hi @Naggoh - thanks for sharing, I’m glad it helped to write out your story and read what others are going g through, as well.

It’s likely the depression causing the drinking, not the other way around. Our loved ones with a substance use disorder are often drinking or using to self medicate - to numb out, avoid the hard feelings, escape and isolate. But the opposite of addiction is connection, and as family members, we do have power to motivate them to change.

Has your wife considered therapy? Or have you thought about couples therapy? There is also the Group Course available through We The Village, which teaches positive communication and other skills needed to improve your relationship and help your loved one into treatment: courses.wethevillage.co. There is a new group starting soon!