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How He Can Get Sober Without Admitting He's An Alcoholic

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How He Can Get Sober Without Admitting He's An Alcoholic [EXPERT]
Are you worried about his habit?
Does your husband have a drinking problem? Learn how you can help.

How do I get him to admit he's an alcoholic? I hear this question often.The rationale behind it appears to be that if he just admits to being an alcoholic, he will stop drinking.

Unfortunately, getting someone to admit to being an alcoholic is difficult; ask any therapist. Even if they do admit to being an alcoholic, there is no guarantee they will change because of acknowledging the issue.

More from YourTango: Why Do Alcoholics Refuse To Stop Drinking?

The good news is that there is no need for the drinker to confess to being an alcoholic to change the problem. Some years ago, psychologists Bill Miller and Steve Rollnick wrote a book titled Motivational Interviewing. In it, they suggest that the most powerful forcse for change are "motivational statements." For example, "drinking is causing me problems at work" or "it interferes with my home life."

These are clear statements about the specific problems that the alcohol is causing rather than a more general statement about whether or not someone has a full-fledged addiction. This is now a common approach used in alcohol treatment units throughout the world. Facebook Doesn't Ruin Relationships, People Do.

If you want your drinker to change, don't get drawn into an argument about whether the way he drinks qualifies him as an alcoholic or not. The problem is that there are many definitions of an alcoholic; few people agree on a common one. In fact, I often say that most drinkers' definition of an alcoholic is "someone else; not me."

More from YourTango: From Philip Seymour Hoffman To Shawn Pyfrom: Life As An Addict

The best way to get your drinker to change his drinking habits is to talk about the specific problems that his drinking is causing you or your family, not about if he is considered to be an alcoholic or not.

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Article contributed by
Advanced Member

Dr John McMahon & Lou Lewis

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Dr John McMahon & Lou Lewis

Bottled Up

john@247helpyourself.com

Location: Exeter, DEV, United Kingdom
Credentials: BS, PhD
Specialties: Addiction, Drug and Alcohol, Family Support
Other Articles/News by Dr John McMahon & Lou Lewis:

Why Do Alcoholics Refuse To Stop Drinking?

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It seems crazy, booze is making him ill, everyone can see that, her friends don't want to be around her, and she can't see that. Why can't they see what everyone else sees so clearly? Why do they seem incapable of recognizing that that there is a problem at all and that it is destroying them?  With all these signs of a problem, why do ... Read more

From Philip Seymour Hoffman To Shawn Pyfrom: Life As An Addict

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Philip Seymour Hoffman dies of a Heroin overdose and Shawn Pyfrom publicly admits to being an alcoholic and a drug addict on the same day. What a powerful message that addiction is no respecter of gender, age or social status. It can affect people who seem to have everything just as easily as those with nothing. We have no intention of moralising in this ... Read more

How Can He Love Me, But Not Put Down The Drink?

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The infamous relationship question as a partner of a drinker is difficult for you to understand, and rightfully so. If he loves you as much as he says he does, why can't he stop drinking? He says he loves you and even gushes sentiments about how much he loves you, needs you and wants you, yet when you ask him to stop drinking, cut down or not drink for one ... Read more

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