Should I serve wine at dinner when an alcoholic friend is present?

Your Life
Dr. Gelasia Marquez
September, 2014

My friend’s husband just acknowledged his alcoholism. When they come over for dinner, should we skip serving the wine we usually have on hand? Or is it up to him to control his own drinking?

It is true that there are some people who quit drinking for a period of time, perhaps even join Alcoholics Anonymous, but later find they can return to drinking moderately. Chances are, these drinkers may not have been alcoholics in the first place, but merely alcohol abusers or binge drinkers. For those who are truly alcoholics, however, trying to return to moderate drinking rarely is successful.

On the other hand, as Christians, we know that eating together is important; the sharing of food implies coming together and oneness. With these words in mind, you should begin the planning of a dinner with your friend and her husband with a conversation with your friend to discuss what will be the best plan for her husband regarding the serving of wine. She will be your best adviser – and most likely will appreciate your consideration. 


Dr. Gelasia Marquez is a psychologist and family counselor.