^^^^ If you can maintain and have the discipline to drink responsibly then more power to you! Trial and a great deal of error has to proven to me that that is not an option, personally, but everybody is different. Sucks for your friend but at least your wakeup call came from observation and not lived experience.
For me the biggest obstacle to sobriety is complacency. I've relapsed (hate that term, but it is what it is) four times, and each time was bc I allowed myself to believe that since I had maintained for X amount of time that things were okay and what the hell, a couple beers won't hurt. It's amazing how quickly those couple beers turn into a four day bender and there I am right back where I started, hating life and hating myself and spiraling down the drain, again.
Support is a big part of fighting that complacency. Having people to pick you up when you're down, stand with you when you're up, and call you on your shit when necessary is a powerful tool. And yes, posting online counts, it doesn't have to come in the form of baring your soul to a bunch of addicts in a church basement (unless that's what works for you, YMMV).
I would also caution against relying on your spouse or SO for that. IMO that's too much to ask. All I ask of my wife (in terms of sobriety) is to support my decision to not drink, THAT'S IT. I've put her through enough to then ask her to do that kind of emotional heavy-lifting. If -she- wants to talk about it, great, I'm happy to do it but my sobriety is not her reaponsibility.
I'll wrap this screed up by saying if you are struggling, "One day at a time" is more than than just a catchphrase. 'Im never going to drink again' is a daunting proposition, 'Im not going to drink today' is much more manageable. Rinse and repeat as often as necessary. If I can commit to brushing my teeth every day I can sure as shit commit to not cracking a beer on a daily basis.
you mentioned CBD/THC as a possible alternative. Now I can't recommend using ILLEGAL DRUGS as a cessation method but I could imagine if I were to hypothetically smoke a bowl from time to time it could certainly, hypothetically, calm that 'gotta catch a buzz' itch. You also mentioned that your wife was sober, so certainly don't put her sobriety in jeopardy and if she's not cool with it then you should respect that. If that's the case, CBD is totally non-psychoactive so maybe she would feel better about that and I did find in the early stages when I was having regular cravings that CBD helped to calm that and I still take it as I've found it does help even me out. Now whether or not it's snake oil and it's all in my head I can't say for sure, but I spend as much for a months-worth of CBD what I would spend in a few days on booze so even if it is just a jedi mind trick, fuck it, that's good enough for me. And again that's just my experience, YMMV.