Senior Living


Health & Spirit

Relationships & Abstinence From Drinking

Doug Mayberry on

Q: My health is getting worse, and I've made the decision to stop drinking. Alcohol has been making me feel awful, and it's no longer worth it. It interacts badly with my medication and makes me feel ill for several days.

I've been seeing a woman in my retirement complex for about a year, and she's a heavy drinker. She doesn't seem to have any problems processing it and doesn't understand my decision.

Spending time with her is getting more awkward, as she always brings out the booze.

How can I change this relationship dynamic?

A: Those who care about you should understand your decision to stop drinking.

Talk to your girlfriend and explain where you're coming from. Our own health is very personal, and not everyone has the same needs. Even if you need to change your habits, she doesn't have the same considerations in mind.


Do you feel like having alcohol around makes you more likely to make poor health decisions for yourself? Or do you feel like she's judging you for your choices? These scenarios pose vastly different outcomes on your relationship, although the first shows more potential for compromise.

Is she willing to help you maintain your health? In relationships, we should choose people who support what's best for us. If she doesn't have your best interests in mind, the relationship isn't worth pursuing. -- Emma, Doug's granddaughter




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