Tim McGraw Says Faith Hill's Ultimatum Helped Him Get Sober

By David Konow 10/31/19

The country superstar has been sober for 11 years. 

Faith Hill and Tim McGraw
Faith told me, "Partying or family, take your pick." © Featureflash | Dreamstime.com

In a new book hitting stores next month, Country legend Tim McGraw details the moment his wife, Faith Hill, gave him a life-changing ultimatum: keep her or the booze, but not both.

McGraw’s book is a wellness guide called Grit & Grace: Train the Mind, Train the Body, Own Your Life. In it, the singer recalls being in bad shape after losing three important people in his life: his father, his stepfather, and a mentor he had in high school.

As Radar reports, McGraw said it was the “darkest period” of his life, and alcohol was his “crutch” to try and get him through.

“I drank more to dull the discomfort,” he explained.

Sober Up Or You’re Gonna Lose Everything

But then Hill laid down the law. “Getting real like only she can do, Faith told me, ‘Partying or family, take your pick.'” McGraw knew there was “no question” what he was going to choose, and it wasn’t long before he sobered up. 

As McGraw told Men’s Health, “I partied too much. And did other things too much. Chemically. No needles or that kind of stuff, but…use your imagination. When your wife tells you it’s gone too far, that’s a big wake-up call. That, and realizing you’re gonna lose everything you have. Not monetarily, not career-wise, but family-wise.”

Time To Change

McGraw has now been sober for over a decade, and he credits exercise for keeping him clean and sober. He told People, “I felt like I had to change my life. And it wasn’t like I was out doing crazy things, it was just that I was drinking too much. Some people might look at it and say – hey, I drank twice as much as that. But it adversely affected my life and it was time to change it. The ritual now is to run. Me and a few of the guys in the band we take off and run for 4 or 5 miles. It is literally timed so I ran straight into the dressing room, get ready and hit the stage.” 

McGraw and Hill also just celebrated their 23rd wedding anniversary on October 7, proving that McGraw definitely made the right choice in getting sober 11 years ago.

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In addition to contributing for The Fix, David Konow has also written for Esquire, Deadline, LA Weekly, Village Voice, The Wrap, and many other publications and websites. He is also the author of the three decade history of heavy metal, Bang Your Head (Three Rivers Press), and the horror film history Reel Terror (St Martins Press). Find David on LinkedIn and Facebook.