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Dear Father-In-Law: Stop Offering Me Alcohol

When I got sober, my parents were stoked. My mom cried. My dad drove an hour into the big city just to take me to dinner, give me some daily devotional books and help me find a meeting. They have been 100% behind me on this choice. Not surprising, given how my dad’s alcoholism helped tear our family apart.

My husband’s family is a different story. I don’t really remember their reaction. I didn’t drink very much in front of them—I preferred to do my drunken debauchery in front of friends and strangers and preserve the good-girl image with possible future in-laws.

So maybe they didn’t think my drinking was as bad a problem as it really was. But even with that, you think it would sink in that I don’t drink.

Well, apparently it hasn’t. Ever since getting sober almost seven years ago, my father-in-law has offered me an alcoholic beverage at about 98% of the meals we’ve shared. The most recent time being a few months ago.

What. The. Fuck.

They’ve now known me sober longer than as a drinker and he still offers me a damn beer with dinner?

Because I don’t like to make people feel uncomfortable, I usually just say no. If I’m feeling a little annoyed, I’ll say, “No, I don’t drink.” This is what I’d really like to say:

Listen, asshole, I don’t fucking drink. I chose not to drink alcohol because I really fuck my life up when I’m drunk. If I took that stupid glass of wine you’re holding, it would lead to me draining the rest of the bottles in this house, stumbling down to the corner dive bar, throwing back shots of Jack, getting flirty with greasy potential rapists, getting belligerent when someone calls me on my behavior, trying to run away at 3 AM, blacking out at 4 AM, waking up at 9 AM (still drunk), puking and with no recollection of what I’d done the night before. So if you want me to fuck up my life, your stepson’s life, and your grandson’s life, go ahead and keep offering me alcohol. If you want to finally show that you respect my decision to not drink alcohol, then never fucking offer me another alcoholic drink. Or so help me God, I will set you on fire.

I’m sick of lip-service support. It’s easy to do the, oh yeah it’s great you don’t drink, yada yada yada BS. But when it’s followed up with an offer of alcohol, it says you either don’t respect my sobriety, or you don’t care enough to remember one very important detail about me. It hurts, and it makes me feel unloved.

If someone in your life tells you they’re an alcoholic, please make it a point to never offer them an alcoholic beverage again. Sounds simple, but apparently it’s hard to do.

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  1. Very well said, sorry your in-laws are so taxing on you, but keep it up!

  2. My husband and I got sober together but only when he was in end stage alcoholism and was close to death. Detox nearly finished him off. He started his recovery completely invalid and handicapped. He spoke like a stroke victim. He was unable to walk or feed himself or get himself to the bathroom. I had to changed his diapers and feed him. He couldn’t take a drimk if he wanted to. He wasn’t physically able to even get himself a glass of water. He was given little hope of a full recovery. After witnessing this, almost becoming a widow and taking care of him the last thing on my mind is ever drinking again.
    By the grace of God, my husband has made a full recovery physically and mentally. We still work on our sobriety every day. We have been sober coming up on 6 years. We live a full, functional, blessed sober life.
    Our family, including our alcoholic parents witnessed the whole thing. I remember they invited us to dinner to celebrate our 6 month sobriety and toasted to our success with alcohol in their glasses!
    We have family who say they they support us, say they don’t want to be a stumbling block and will never drink infront of us as a sign of solidarity only to pull the booze out on Christmas and have one after the other right in front of us. Once my brother handed me a dessert type drink and said, “taste this, this is delicious” ! I had it in my hand and smelled alcohol. I got pissed and asked him what he was thinking. He said, “a taste wouldn’t kill you”. What a clueless fucking idiot.
    Our sobriety is strong enough to be around drinking at family dinner parties. Often times it cant be avoided. But I will agree their ignorance and inconsiderate behavior does get very tiresome. Sobriety is a matter of life or death. And they JUST DON’T FUCKING GET IT!!!

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