How Can Alcohol Abuse Destroy Romantic Relationships?

Alcohol use disorder, or alcohol dependence, is among the most common addiction that people have trouble with. Not only will alcoholism wreak havoc on one’s personal life, it will also significantly impact every relationship they’re part of. Maybe the most detrimental and significant effects come at the level of marriage, partnership, and intimacy. Alcohol ruins a lot of romantic relationships, causes estranged marriages, and leads to major discord between family members.

From mistrust, intimacy problems, abuse, lack of communication, and lack of emotional availability to financial burden as well as the adverse impact on young kids; alcohol abuse in romantic relationships may have serious effects on both marital partners, their kids, and other members of the family.

Intimacy and alcohol

The impact of alcoholism on intimacy and relationships is widespread and will touch on several different areas of intimate affairs. The effect of heavy drinking on a relationship may be very harmful. Usually, the first area that’s impacted is intimacy. Aspects of an intimate relationship that may be impacted by the effects of alcoholic behavior are:

  • Respect
  • Shared values
  • Commitment
  • Expectations
  • Affection
  • Stability
  • Trust

Alcoholism is connected to codependency in relationships, in addition to abusive behavior both physically and verbally. Deterioration in unmarried or married couples oftentimes comes from financial troubles, arguments, acts of infidelity, or even worse, domestic violence. Also, alcoholism reduces sex drive, which may bring even more issues into an already stressed relationship and may ultimately lead to divorce.

Mistrust and Alcohol

Alcohol abuse disorder substantially changes a person’s personality, and as a consequence, may make them unrecognizable from the individual they were prior to becoming an alcoholic. People with alcohol use disorder become increasingly secretive, oftentimes out of guilt, shame, or fear. They start hiding things from their loved ones like where they are, whom they’re spending time with, and what they did in their day.

Hiding the truth from your loved one might begin as an innocent defense mechanism, yet ultimately, it’ll more than likely lead to mistrust and blatant lies. As the alcohol abuse grows worse, the lies a person tells to cover the addiction become more elaborate over a period of time. For their significant other, it may feel like all they’re hearing is excuse upon excuse, for disappearing, for being late, for the missing money, the mood swings, for the concealed bottles in the bathroom, etc.

Trust is critical to a functioning and healthy relationship, and when it’s damaged, it may be challenging to repair. It may frequently lead to feelings of jealousy and fear. Because correct communication isn’t possible without honesty, both individuals might start to feel isolated and alone, increasing feelings of resentment and sadness.

Are You Seeing Any Signs of the Above Developments?

Bring your concerns to your significant other’s attention. If repeated cycles continue and conflicts escalate and aren’t being resolved, it may be better to walk away from the relationship and recognize that it’s no longer serving you.

However, if you make the choice to stand by your significant other as they start addressing and overcoming these problems, it is possible to visit a therapist or join up with a support group such as Al-Anon (a group of recovery for spouses, friends, and family members of those who have a substance use disorder).

Do not hesitate to address your concerns. If you think drinking is negatively affecting your relationship or causing your significant other to become dishonest, argumentative, or angry, there is a problem. Plus, if you’re feeling as if alcohol is no longer serving you, maybe it is time to re-evaluate your own drinking.

Even if your significant other has a different position, they ought to be willing to work through any changes you are looking to make.

Getting Help

Most outcomes from alcoholism can be negative, and ruined relationships are a typical byproduct of alcoholism. Anyone who’s having trouble with an alcohol abuse disorder is recommended to get professional help to receive the right tools and coping skills to beat this addiction.

The majority of addiction therapists will highly advise relationship counseling, in addition to support groups for their partner, since alcohol impacts every aspect of a relationship. It’s important for the partner to hold their significant other accountable, as well as support them in their recovery without attempting to step in and play the part of a therapist. Families and partners are a part of the path, whether or not they want it, and deserve assistance in getting back to normal.

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