Do Only Couples Who Drink Together, Stay Together?


women drinking and kissing partner
Do you and your partner have different drinking philosophies? Here's how to manage it.

"How much drinking/non-drinking impacts on the relationship depends on the reasons for not drinking," McMahon says. "The attitude may differ according to whether the partner was the one who endured the alcoholic's drinking and is still there in sobriety or whether this is a new partner met during recovery."

Living with a difference in drinking philosophies? Here are a few dos and don'ts as advised by Dr. McMahon.


Do talk about it!
McMahon says that you should sit down as a couple and discuss both of your expectations and preferences regarding drinking, like how often and how much you drink is acceptable. Two glasses of wine to your partner, may be one too many to you.

Do respect your drinking (or non-drinking) stances.
"Do respect each other’s position about not-drinking," McMahon says. "Try to avoid guilt trips."Don't take your partner for granted. As a former alcoholic himself, McMahon says that "if you are the alcoholic remember that your family supported you despite the problems, cherish them."

Don't blame your partner for your drinking.
In line with openly discussing your viewpoints about drinking, you should never impose yourself on your partner, especially as a recovering alcoholic. "Alcoholics, remember that you had the problem — not your family," McMahon says. "Do not impose change (eg. 12-step philosophy) on them."

What do you think of the study? Are you in a relationship where you differ on drinking viewpoints? How do you manage to not make it an issue?