couple sitting on couch talks about how alcohol addiction affects relationships

Alcoholism Facts: The Impact on Marriage and Relationships

Alcohol abuse can slowly destroy relationships. It can erode even the most committed love, scar children, and impact families for generations. If you suspect a problem with your spouse, it is important to know how alcohol addiction affects relationships—and how an alcohol addiction treatment program can help.

Understanding Alcohol Addiction

There’s always a reason why people abuse alcohol, and the individual struggling with alcohol addiction may even be aware of the driving factors. Some of the most common underlying causes include:

Attachment Disorder

When people are born into unstable environments or have one or more primary caregivers who are unable to fulfill their needs, they experience a disruption in development. It can contribute to low self-esteem and problems forming healthy relationships.

Unresolved Childhood Trauma

Early trauma of any kind—emotional, physical, and sexual abuse or neglect—can lead people to drink in an effort to self-soothe and bury the pain.

Family History of Addiction

Addiction has a genetic predisposition. The impulsivity can come through genes. When someone grows up with a parent who struggles with addiction, it does not guarantee they too will succumb to the disease, but alcoholism facts tell us that genetics, along with situation and environment, make a person more susceptible.

Mental Health Conditions

People often use alcohol or other drugs as a way to cope with the symptoms of mental health conditions such as bipolar disorder, depression, or anxiety, so it is important to assess emotional health. Alcohol abuse can also be a contributing factor for depression and other issues.

How Alcohol Addiction Impacts Your Relationships

Here are common patterns and telltale signs that a relationship is being harmed by alcohol abuse:

  • Increase in arguments about one’s drinking and things related to drinking
  • Missing family events, neglecting childcare responsibilities, staying out late, and avoiding responsibilities
  • Shutting down emotionally, not communicating, and detaching from the relationship or marriage
  • Personality changes that make the loved ones seem like “a different person”
  • If both partners drink, it becomes the only thing that bonds them

If you’ve noticed any (or all) of these signs in your relationship, it’s important to seek help. Seeking the assistance of a qualified alcohol addiction treatment program can help break the cycle and begin restoring healthy relationships.

Steps Toward Healing for the Non-Drinking Partner

One of the hardest tasks is to stop enabling harmful behavior. That means letting go of denial and all that comes with it, like making excuses to family, friends, and employers about their behavior or absence. For example, if your partner stays out drinking, comes home sick, and cannot get out of bed, and you cover for them by calling their boss to say he or she has the flu, that is enabling.

Making up lies to cover is codependent behavior that will keep you trapped and allow your loved one to fall deeper into the disease. The first steps toward healing include:

  1. Acknowledge a problem exists in your relationship.
  2. Admit behaviors are out of control. Drama and chaos in the relationship are a sign that things are veering into an unhealthy direction.
  3. Ask for assistance. If an addicted partner has hit bottom and wants help, you can help guide them toward recovery, but you cannot treat them. Reach out for professional help. The problem requires supervised detox.
  4. Create a support network and do emotional and therapeutic work on your own life.
  5. Encourage your partner to develop healthy relationships outside their relationship with you and your family. 12-step meetings and being in sober community support are important to help with sobriety and attachment disorder. They have to learn to reconnect with others in healthy ways and find new ways to become emotionally regulated.

Contact Promises Behavioral Health

If you’re struggling with addiction or have a loved one who is in need of drug and alcohol treatment, contact Promises Behavioral Health today. Our network of professionally trained clinicians offers individualized treatment plans that can help you or your loved one build new skills to address the underlying issues causing them to use substances and learn how to cope without drugs or alcohol. Call 844.875.5609 today to get started.

Scroll to Top