Become a member of Allies in Recovery and we’ll teach you how to intervene, communicate and guide your loved one toward treatment.Become a member of Allies in Recovery today.

I Want to Handle Vacation Differently This Time

cocktail beach

RecklessLove wonders how to handle and upcoming beach vacation—her husband usually drinks more than usual at such occasions.

"I am trying to figure out how to use this approach at an upcoming preplanned and prepaid vacation to the beach. It will be just me and my husband at the beach. If the past repeats itself, his alcohol use will be even more excessive at the beach than it is at home. How do I handle this? I want to enjoy the beach and our vacation and I do not want to fight with him. In the past my behaviors were not good and I would simmer over the use until I would finally blow up and we would end up fighting on our vacation. I want to handle things differently this time. Removing myself from him while he is drinking like I do at home will be challenging in the small condo we rented. How should I handle this? Thanks!"

The CRAFT approach is a set of principles you can try to adopt every day, regardless of where you are. So, while the condo is small, and your husband is likely to drink more since he is on vacation, you would choose little CRAFT strategies you can do that don’t take too much away from you and the vacation you need to have.

You can tell him your fears about the vacation and that you are working a program to help yourself stay calm and not fight.

“I know in the past we’ve fought during vacation. I don’t want this to happen. I am going to watch my reactions to your drinking. I am going to try to step away when you (start drinking to get drunk – or whatever line you want to draw). I need this time off to be good between us. I look forward to times when you stick to (beer??? If hard liquor sends him to plastered typically). When you do need to “over” drink, I will find a hammock or café to hang out in. I hope that’s okay.”

So look now for yoga classes, painting classes, some things you can do on your own, that would be for you, without him. I know it’s not the point of a vacation together, but this isn’t forever. You are working CRAFT so that your relationship improves and you can better talk to your husband about treatment. We look for 8 to 12 weeks of adjusting your response and reactions so that talking treatment and getting a yes from your Loved One is 70% more likely.

The goal is for your husband to get help. You are adjusting your behavior because this is what can change now. Changing the dynamic between you softens your communication and makes you much more likely to find the right opening to talk about treatment with him and makes a "yes" from him more likely as well.

Thank you for writing in. Vacations are tough on families. I hope it goes better than before.



In your comments, please show respect for each other and do not give advice. Please consider that your choice of words has the power to reduce stigma and change opinions (ie, "person struggling with substance use" vs. "addict", "use" vs. "abuse"...)