The Bottled-up approach is born of a melding of experience and research

It is a very pragmatic and practical approach that aims to put you back in control of your own life.

The Bottled-up approach has 6 main goals which we discuss below.  We hope that, since you are on this website, you share these goals.

The goals are:-

  • to maintain safety – we believe that your safety and survival is of paramount importance.
  • to preserve your relationship – to provide you with tools to that may save your relationship *
  • to reduce problems – we assume that you want to reduce the problems associated with alcohol.
  • to inform/educate/support- we assume you are looking for information and support to address your problems.
  • to empower – we will show you how to have some control over your life and to live a more fulfilled life.
  • to promote dialogue – we provide a means of communicating with your drinker in a productive way.

To do this we have put together a process we call HOPE, a tool called SHARE and a suggested attitude LOVE.

* If as we proceed this feels more and more difficult, don’t despair.  If you do leave the relationship eventually, it will help you to move on with your life at a later point if you know that you really have done what you could.


LOVE is a very realistic approach to living with a problem drinker with the main goal of keeping a relationship alive.  It is designed to minimise the negative feelings that are often prevalent in relationships with a drinker.  This has a short term goal of preventing you feeling the guilt that comes with the negative feelings.  However it has a longer term goal of keeping a relationship alive if your drinker recovers in the future.

LOVE is a way of acting and feeling towards your drinker.  As an attitude it is not an easy one to adopt but we will return to it and explain the rationale for it later.  For the moment it stands for:-

Leave him/her to sort out their own issues

Optimise your time with him/her when they are sober

Value the person that you love(d)

Encourage and praise any attempts at positive change


HOPE is the engine that drives the Bottled-up approach.  It is a process that allows you to take control of your life, to examine the problems in detail and to apply measures to minimise the damage.  As before we will explain HOPE in detail and walk you through step by step.  HOPE stands for:-

Assess the Harm

Survey the Options

Promote change

Evaluate progress


SHARE is the tool that you will use to create these changes.  It represents a way of looking at your life and especially the affect of alcohol on it.  It provides you with the priority list for change and a method of evaluating whether your efforts are having the effect that you hoped for.  Again we will look at SHARE in some detail but for the moment SHARE stands for :






In Summary

The Bottled Up approach has six main aims, discussed above.  It suggests that these aims are best achieved by adopting a particular pragmatic attitude – LOVE and by engaging in a process – HOPE that utilises an unique assessment tool – SHARE.

It perhaps seems confusing at the moment, especially on the first read.  However in Bottled Up we will take you by the hand and guide you through it.  Living with a drinker is confusing enough without us making it more so.  However, as you already know – there are no easy answers!  If there were you would not need us.

The next few pages will explain the various stages.  We suggest that you give yourself plenty of time to read and digest all the material before embarking on change.