How To Ask An Alcoholic To Not Drink During An occasion

Talking With An Alcoholic

I received permission from Mia to post an email conversation we had about how to ask an alcoholic to not consume alcohol for a day. She has a fashion show scheduled, bought him a ticket already and now wants to ask him to not drink alcohol on the day of the occasion.

Please feel free to share your experience, hope and wisdom at the bottom of this page.

Mia’s Email:
“Thank you JC for the video (this one: Going Through A Difficult Time With An Alcoholic); that was a well timed email. It’s been a long tiring day today with my alcoholic boyfriend who was doing amazingly but this week the alcohol has increased as I’ve been more busy at work and he’s jealous of any time I’m not with him. He doesn’t have friends or family to speak of. He doesn’t go to bars or pubs or anywhere to drink or disappear for days or have drink buddies

I’m am his other addiction I think sometimes.

So my question is: He is needy and I am very independent I don’t make his mood my mood and refuse to meet his demands if they are unreasonable.

He seems to go into a phase of having a plain bad temper overnight . He picks fights and gets very annoyed at others over nothing.

It’s like flipping a switch .

So far this week I’ve risen above it, but I’m very very tired.

I’m a knitwear designer and I have a fashion show this week , a big event with local people to where I live. You know what I’m going to say don’t you, well , lol, I’ll say it anyway… When things were great, he asked to come and I got him a ticket, my mum is staying here and I got here a ticket as well. At the time this seemed like a good chance for her to see him “sobered up.” But ….. Things have slid the last few days and he has been on a one man mission to argue! No regard for my fashion show , he’s no idea, and he used to be a model so it should be right up his street!

Anyway, I’m now feeling very anxious waiting to see if this was a good idea or not?

I’m avoiding a fight. What should I do?

1-Should I wait til the day and see if he’s sobre?

2- Should I tell him now he can only come if he’s sober? This will probably cause the fight I’m avoiding and therefore spoil the event for me.

Feels like either way the event will be spoiled. It’s funny I’m not even considering the possibility of him being sober and enjoying the show.

I’m trying to be live with and understand the disease. I am trying to reward the progress he’s made, but this is not right or fair and could affect my business, not fair to my mum either.

Wish I’d never got that ticket!

I’m not interested in hearing all the angry dump him advice I’m just looking for a graceful serenity and a way to deal with this so I can enjoy MY night and have a peaceful heart

I guess I’m looking for loving ways to say, “you can’t come now.” I want to say that but can’t think of a way of saying it that makes me feel peaceful. I know he will be furious even if I say it nicely, but I’m desperate to find the words that will feel okay.

I’m not worried about him. It’s his fault this has turned around and maybe mine for trusting him too soon.

Can anyone help with suggested mini speech?”


Here’s the way I see it.

I think it’s best to talk to him now, before the event, when
he is sober of course.

Say something like: “I have something that I “feel” is important to share with you. I love you and hope you will not take this personally. Please hear me out on this.The fashion event is very important to me. I’ve been concerned about the possibility of you drinking that day. I’m asking you now if you would please not drink that day?” (More Tips Here: Communicating With An Alcoholic)

That’s it…there’s nothing to discuss. You have expressed the way you feel,
and have asked him to not drink that day.

You have no control over how he reacts to your request.

This is about you being honest with him in order to get
your concerns out of your head and out in the open.

DO NOT argue with him or get into any depth of a discussion
if he tries to push your buttons and upset you.

Use short statements like:

  • I only wanted to ask you to not drink; I don’t care to discuss anything else.
  • I’m sorry you feel that way.
  • That’s your opinion.
  • Let me think about that and I’ll get back with you.
  • You may be right.
  • That’s interesting.
  • I’m not going to argue with you about this

Hope this helps.

Mia’s Response:

“Thank you that’s really good advice thank you! I will do this in the morning when he’s more sober than now at the end of the day. I don’t mind if you add our email conversation to the website . I guess it may help others as we all get into these grey areas.

I’m not sure I’ll read and comment as I’m so tired and feel happy with your advice. Thank you I feel a little more at ease now.

I’m guessing if he promises not to drink and shows up drunk, I just have to say sorry you can’t come. Gosh it’s sad he really wants to come and the silly thing is that it’s put pressure on him to to not drink! I think the pressure of not drinking may make him want even more to drink.

You might also like:
Giving The  Alcoholic An  Ultimatum
How To Handle An Out Of Control Alcoholic

7 comments to How To Ask An Alcoholic To Not Drink During An occasion

  • MMS

    I am a performing artist and my husband uses my shows in clubs as a way to get wasted, generally trying to drink on the band tab which I don’t let happen. But more importantly as a way to steal my thunder by acting outrageous or taking credit for my talent, and horribly on occasion finds it necessary to mark his territory by walking up on the stage when drunk to kiss me on the cheek.

    I no longer permit him at my shows. Its entirely too stressful to deal with him when I am trying to be creative.

    He asks to come and I simply say “no, I can’t be worrying about you when I am trying to be creative. If you were in AA and working a program, you would be welcome to come when you are sober but not until then.”

    That has worked, I refuse to argue or discuss it further. I hope that helps. Doesn’t it always seem that they need mass amounts of attention when the going gets good for us? Interesting game play.

  • C

    MMS: Thank you for sharing – your post is excellent. I cannot believe the destruction done by alcohol. Why is it so available when it is such a health hazard for so many? From what I can tell, it doesn’t take much for most alcoholics to become so dependent on it that their lives are a total waste.

  • MMS

    Thank you, sad to have to write it at all. But, if I can help others who deal with this, then I am happy.

    I would never go to someone’s place of work and disturb the situation, especially someone I claim to love.

  • Bill

    I like what J.C. shared about being direct and not complicating the conversation. My alcoholic is a master at muddling up the subject. We can start talking about one thing and before I know it, she is referring to something that happened two years ago and ridiculing me about something that has nothing to do with what I initiated the conversation to be about.

    I guess, I would just say, stay focused on the purpose of asking him to not drink on the event day. Keep it simple and straight forward. Have a plan of escape and something to do after you discuss this with him. Something that will help keep your mind off of the conversation that you just had.

  • Mia

    Thank you that’s very encouraging . Seems I won’t have to have the conversation as the snow has meant the event has been cancelled ! Thank you god ! They have rearranged date and next time I won’t by the ticket unless he’s working a programme

    Also last night after a difficult few days I sent him a message dying as I was so busy lets meet up at the end of the week . It was light and practical . Within half an hour he showed up saying he supported my work and would let me get on with finishing garments . Then … Oh boy even though I said and did everything kind of by the book it kicked off again. I was clearing up dog mess from my puppy and he wanted his moisturiser ! I told him where it was but he demanded I get it. Sobre he’s great but this was a very non sobre night. He kicked off and while I kept on working finishing a garment he ranted what a selfish cow I was for two solid hours. He ended our relationship and I said ok then .

    This morning he woke up like nothing had happened . Although he wasn’t pleased I wouldn’t give him a ride to work and wasn’t pleased I was not feeling living . I said well you know what ? To have a living morning you needed to go to bed happy . I woke up thinking you’d be gone this morning and here you are making out like all is on.

    I got up and hot on with my day. He hasn’t been in touch, he doesn’t know it’s been cancelled

    I’m just so tired waiting for things to calm down again

    But I’ve learnt my lesson. Don’t trust too soon cos one I’ll be upset he hasn’t cracked it . Two, he will feel bad though wont admit that he’s done this and 3 well anything work related I can’t trust him til he’s really sobre

    Do you guys find they are like two opposite characters ? Drink turns him from the perfect guy to the last one you’d want to be with

    Thanks again


  • JC

    Mia, the event was canceled? I guess this is why we have to try and live in the present. The things we get worked up about when fearing the future sometimes don’t play out the same way as we think the will. Thanks for sharing with us.

  • Mia

    Yes was rather ironic really , thanks jc

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