“Love Without Martinis” a book by Chantal Jauvin


Original article by Michaela Baxter 

In her new novel, “Love Without Martinis,” author Chantal Jauvin shares the joys, obstacles and triumphs of couples finding their way back to each other while confronting and overcoming their struggles with addiction. Through anecdote and introspection, “Love Without Martinis” provides that valuable guidance with a collection of six stories of real couples who worked their way to a better place.  Author Chantal Jauvin writes, “Stories are a powerful medium for self-understanding. They help us find ourselves or remember who we are.” Jauvin and her husband struggled in their marriage largely due to her husband’s addiction to alcohol. Jauvin sought out a solution and eventually developed a framework for counseling and repairing couples in recovery called the ASCENT Approach. This approach entails abiding by healthy practices outlined in the book; despite the many differences in each couples’ stories–their gender, sexuality, and socio-economic background–it is these powerful commonalities on which ASCENT was founded, and Love Without Martinis was written to convey. 

“This new relationship is truly one of the “Promises of Recovery” and it does materialize if you invest yourself in reclaiming and rebuilding the healthy relationship” writes Doug Tieman, President and CEO of Caron Treatment Center, in the foreword. The stories in Love Without Martinis aim to map the progress of those couples who do invest themselves.

Jauvin writes, “Here are the practices of The ASCENT Approach for couples in recovery: Assess your readiness to change. Structure your time. Create your community. Engage in your life. Nurture your spirituality. Treasure your partnership.” The couples’ stories are materializations of how each of these guide-points play out.

“The battle of an addicted person’s partner to either strong-arm a person they love into sobriety, or ignore them until they become sober, often draws a wedge between the partners and the world within us and around us,” Jauvin notes. It is this disconnect and dysfunctional coping mechanisms–as well as old wounds and grievances–that these couples are confronting. =

As a couple’s narrative is propelled forward in the narrative, the changes to their thoughts and behaviors are emphasized to highlight the individual steps each participant must take to mend the relationship.

Endless praise for “Love Without Martinis” includes this commendation from William Heran, CEO and Co-Founder of Providence Treatment Center, “This book should be required reading in every treatment center!” In the tradition of storytelling, the reader follows the couples as they rebuild healthy and loving relationships.

Recovering addict Lea Brovedani writes, “Love Without Martinis shows us what it’s like going through addiction and what it takes to succeed. The ASCENT approach which you’ll learn at the beginning of the book is not only good for couples in recovery but for anyone going through a particularly rough time. I’ll be sharing this with friends who are going through recovery to give them hope and a path forward.”

The author writes in the foreword: “My favorite definition of recovery remains one written by Earnie Larsen, a pioneer in the field of recovery from addictive behaviors: “The core of recovery is becoming a person increasingly capable of functioning in a healthy relationship.” Now, Jauvin has aided so many couples struggling with addiction in achieving this depiction of recovery.