Author: James Anderson

6 Signs Alcohol Is Hurting Your Relationship

how does alcohol affect relationships

For instance, a worried husband may voice his concerns when he sees his wife pouring wine after work every day. And when this dynamic is present in your relationship, it can lead to frequent, full-blown arguments about alcohol use. Or do you feel like you can’t seem to have a single good day anymore, no matter how hard you try?

  1. People who are clinically alcohol dependent can die if they suddenly, completely stop drinking.
  2. Alcoholism is a family disease and can drastically affect the lives of everyone around you.
  3. Too much drinking can lead to less time spent together—and the time you do spend together can feel less meaningful.
  4. You might act inappropriately in public or appear irritable due to alcohol withdrawal.
  5. Alcohol consumption is a common factor in situations where domestic violence (DV) has occurred.

Strong relationships are built on honesty and trust — secrecy is a red flag. While every person’s response to alcohol is different, your reaction may make your partner uncomfortable. You might act inappropriately in public or appear irritable due to alcohol withdrawal. When you’re in a relationship with someone who drinks too much, their behavior can be hard to cope with.

How to Prevent or Manage Problems With Alcohol in Your Relationship

All of these factors make it much more likely you’ll engage in activities that cause conflict within relationships. The reason drinking can become a problem is because of how alcohol affects the brain. Take our short alcohol quiz to learn where you fall on the drinking spectrum and if you might benefit from quitting or cutting back on alcohol. This codependency can quickly become toxic, leading to harmful ups and downs for both people involved. The most important thing you should avoid doing is blaming yourself and taking negative reactions personally.

how does alcohol affect relationships

While shielding your partner from the truth may seem an innocent defense mechanism, it can eventually lead to consistent lies and more and more mistrust in the relationship. April Eldemire, LMFT, is a psychotherapist who specializes in marriage and couples issues, new-parenthood transitions and blended family dynamics. Your ability to enjoy alcohol is ultimately predicated on how well you can do so responsibly. And it’s up to you and your partner to decide if and how alcohol can maintain a place in your relationship. The good news is that cutting back on your consumption offers far more benefits than the challenges it may present .

Things You Should Avoid

If you experience the above warning signs or people in your life express concern about your drinking and its effects on your relationships, it’s time to seek help. Alcohol consumption is a common factor in situations where domestic violence (DV) has occurred. When a person is intoxicated, their emotions, judgment, and decision-making are impaired. This contributes to the strong correlation between heavy drinking and DV. Support groups can help people with alcohol addiction and those who are codependent on someone with alcohol use disorder. A 12-step support group can often help people recover from a codependent relationship.

how does alcohol affect relationships

Talk to a GP or your local community alcohol service who will be able to get help for you to reduce your drinking safely. Unfortunately, studies consistently demonstrate that, regardless of the sex of the partner with AUD, if at least one person in the relationship has an AUD, the risk of DV is high. These groups allow members to speak in a safe environment about the impact alcohol has on their lives. Peers can provide advice and comfort to help one another through tough times.

Join a Support Group

When your drinking causes blackouts, memory loss or sickness, it can significantly impact intimate activities. Drinking can take away the time and desire for sex and even lead to sexual dysfunction. Most people know that drinking too much can harm your mental and physical health. But alcohol abuse can also hurt the relationships you hold dearest to you—especially the connection between you and your romantic partner. If your relationship involves heavy drinking and your sex life is suffering, alcohol may be to blame.

How Alcohol Can Negatively Affect Relationships

How much you drink, and your overall drinking habits, may be a source of conflict with some people in your life. Alcohol misuse can affect relationships with partners, family members, co-workers, and others. Get professional help from an online addiction and mental health counselor from BetterHelp. Alcohol use has the potential to affect any close relationships in your life, including those with romantic partners, as those in relationships are inextricably linked. Since many people with substance use disorder believe they’re healthy, an intervention can help.

The impact of alcohol on relationships is widespread and can affect every single relationship a person is a part of. People in relationships often share homes and short- and long-term goals, engage with one another daily, provide emotional, mental, and financial support, and care for one another. When your partner struggles with an alcohol use disorder (AUD), it impacts the entire family unit as well as the day-to-day functioning of the household.

People who consume alcohol regularly can develop an alcohol use disorder (AUD). AUD is the inability to control one’s drinking despite negative consequences. Alcohol can affect our relationships in all sorts of ways and can have a negative impact on our own health and wellbeing and that of those we love. Alcohol is often a contributing factor in intimate partner violence, child abuse, and child neglect (3).