If the person that you live with wants to stop drinking, you have to help as well. When an alcoholic wants to stop, you have to give up a few things that you may enjoy. The person will need your support when they are trying to stop the drinking and change. This is not easy for the person to do and you have to be the strong one again. You have to offer encouragement and not offer judgment. Judging the alcoholic that is asking for help is not going to work. You have to offer compassion and support. They are not just doing this for themselves. They are doing it for you as well.
Talk with them about what they are doing. This should be done when they are not drinking. You can calmly explain how the drinking is affecting the family. You can tell them how it has affected your children and your own feelings. In most cases, the alcoholic does not even realize what he or she has done to the family. They never take the time to see how their drinking affects anyone. All they know is that they were doing what they wanted to do.
Make sure that the person knows that you will stand by them through this time. This is probably one of the hardest things to do, but if you care about this person, you have to stand by them and offer any support that you can. If they join AA and continue to attend meetings, the 12-step program could bring up some bad memories that you do not want to hear, but you must listen and forgive or at least try. This is the hardest part of the 12-step program. It can bring back some horrible memories that could be very upsetting.
Offer to stop drinking in front of them if you drink. This is important until the alcoholic feels comfortable with what they are accomplishing. If the person is trying to refrain from drinking and attending meetings, you do not want to be drinking in front of him or her. You have to make some changes as well. You cannot sit and drink even a few cocktails in front of them because the urge to drink for them will be strong until they learn how to control those urges. They may have an urge and slip, but you could offer help there as well.
Offer to be with them whenever they feel a need to drink. If they feel the urge to drink coming, you can be there for the person. Make the thoughts and urges go away by offering to go for a walk or to take a ride. If you have never had an addiction, you cannot for a minute understand how the person feels inside. It is hard to control the urge if the person has been drinking for so long. Do something or go to a diner for a few coffees and just talk.
When the person wants to drink, think of something else the two of you could do instead. This is the best thing you could do for someone that wants to quit drinking, but is have problems with it. You have to be strong and offer to listen or just sit and hold their hand. You have to be supportive and do whatever you can to make sure that they have another option to drinking. It is not easy to overcome an addiction, but with your support and the help of a group or treatment, they can succeed.