Should I let my alcoholic husband have a beer when we go out to dinner?



My husband and I had a huge fight over his drinking in July of this year. He told me he feels “left out” and lonely and why won’t I have a drink with him when we go out to dinner? I agreed to do so. Since then I have read 2 books on CRAFT. So, now I don’t know what to do. Should I tell him I have changed my mind on having a drink with him? Should I tell him that I will go out to dinner with him but only if he does not drink?


@Steph CRAFT works based on the principal that we shape behavior of those around us by reinforcing what we want to see more of and withholding rewards when behavior occurs that we don’t want to see more of.

A couple factors to consider in this:

  • Ideally we would only reward/reinforce sober behavior so we can build consistency around the expectation of reward for sobriety.
    *Practically: However, if they are ALWAYS using, then perhaps we need to start smaller like - less drinks = positive reinforcement

What do you think about that?

How open is your communication been around the drinking to date? That can help me consider how you might speak about it with him.

(P.S. I’m so glad you’re trying out CRAFT, have you checked out our Group Program?

@Tlee22 love to hear your thoughts here too :slight_smile:


Hi Jane, Our communication has gotten much better since I started using the CRAFT principals. I have looked at your course options and am deciding which one to choose.


Great to hear the communication is getting better! It’s the first major step towards healthy change.

Is there an acknowledgement between you two about your concern surrounding his usage? If there is, then I might say something like “I love you and I’d like to explore other ways of deepening our connection outside of drinking, whether I drink with you or not is not a reflection of my care for you. Actually if anything, it shows I care about you, because I’m concerned about the negative outcomes of drinking (you can be specific here…work/health troubles**) I don’t feel good about promoting your drinking and I don’t feel much like drinking myself!”

**CRAFT principle - it is often much easier to get alignment that we can both agree on and find common ground to work from in the negative impacts of the usage (eg. not enjoying life, sleeping through work, not able to keep commitments with friends or you) versus attacking the usage, which can cause defensiveness.

What do you think about that? I know I don’t know all the details so I may not be 100% on the nose with this! But hope the framing might help a little for you to come up with ideas that are most appropriate and relevant to your situation and relationship.

Then the other thing I’ll caveat, CRAFT is a process of experimentation and refinement, so if you try something and it doesn’t work (such as it causes an argument) stop and take time to reflect and brainstorm new options within the framework to try.

Amazing, that you’re deciding which course option to choose! We have a new group cycle starting next week so now is a great time to start and I’d highly recommend signing up for that option asap if it works for you :slight_smile: if you have any questions about the options you can always send me a message directly too!


Thank you Jane! That answer was great!


Good, I’m so glad! And excited you signed up for the Group Program :slight_smile: :sunny: more goodness to come!