Does My Spouse Have A Drinking Problem?

Signs That Your Partner May Be Abusing Alcohol


Drinking is so normalized in today’s culture that it can be difficult to tell when even the people closest to us are abusing alcohol. Not only is it hard to tell when someone we love has an alcohol problem, but it can be tough for us to admit it to ourselves and approach them about the issue. While we may not want to believe that someone we love would abuse alcohol, alcoholism is a complex and serious disease that can affect even the happiest and healthiest of people. It can impact those that we least expect, even the person we choose to spend our lives with.

When your spouse has a drinking problem, it’s natural for some behaviors to go unnoticed or unacknowledged for a while. You may see them with a beer in their hand every night at dinner and think nothing of it. Or maybe you notice that they go out and spend lots of money on alcohol but assume they bought a round for their friends. But if action is not taken in the early stages of alcoholism, the negative effects can grow exponentially over time. That’s why it is extremely important to understand the signs of alcohol abuse. By knowing what to look for, you can get a step closer to figuring out whether or not your partner has an alcohol problem.


Being In A Relationship With An Alcoholic

Being married to or in a relationship with someone who abuses alcohol can come with lots of emotional ups and downs, especially considering that alcoholism is a progressive disease. When an alcoholic continues to drink, their existing symptoms will get more intense and additional ones will begin to appear. When someone experiences these effects, chances are that their spouse and other loved ones will be at the other end of their decisions.

Alcoholism has the potential to shatter the foundation of romantic partnerships. This is mainly because drinking heavily comes with behaviors that are usually considered unhealthy when it comes to relationships. These behaviors may include lying, hiding things, having financial issues, violence, getting in trouble with the law, missing out on commitments, always being late, and being unfaithful or untrustworthy. However, not everyone who is dependent on alcohol will display all of these behaviors. Some people can be battling year-long addictions while they maintain happy marriages. But this does not mean that people who are married to alcoholics should be okay with their partners drinking heavily as long as they’re faithful or financially stable. If left untreated, alcoholism can greatly impact an individual’s mental and physical well-being.


How To Know If Your Spouse Is Abusing Alcohol

Even though alcoholism is not very recognizable in the early stages, living with someone gives you the opportunity to examine their actions and behaviors at varying times of day. Here are some signs that your spouse or partner may be misusing or abusing alcohol:

  • They drink to relieve stress and cope with emotions
  • They drink with the goal of getting drunk every time
  • They have changes in appetite or sleeping habits
  • They can “hold their liquor” and don’t seem intoxicated easily
  • They aren’t spending as much time with friends and family
  • Their tolerance has greatly increased over the years
  • Their mood and personality changes when they drink
  • They get irritable if they don’t drink
  • They drink even when they don’t plan to
  • They drink in spite of problems it’s caused
  • They display symptoms of withdrawal if they don’t drink
  • You’ve noticed lack of money or money disappearing
  • They will always find a way to buy alcohol
  • You find alcohol that has been hidden at home

Of course, not everyone who has alcoholism will experience all of these symptoms. But if evidence points to your spouse having a drinking problem, it may be time to take next steps.


What To Do If Your Partner Has Alcoholism

If you believe that your partner has a problem with alcohol, the first thing you should do is research alcoholism. Do your best to understand the disorder and what it is doing to your spouse. After you’ve done your research, you can try to talk to them about it. It is best to approach the situation in a serious, yet non-confrontational way. Tell them that you love them and are genuinely worried about their health. If a person with an addiction feels completely supported by their loved ones, they are more likely to seek out and receive the help they need.

In addition to supporting your spouse throughout the recovery process, it is important to take care of yourself as well. If your partner struggles with alcoholism, consider getting one-on-one therapy or participating in support groups on your own. This can help you better take care of yourself and your loved one along the journey.

If your spouse is suffering from alcoholism, it may be time for them to start receiving substance abuse treatment. Fortunately, there are many treatment centers that offer programs for individuals with partners, families, and busy lives at home. In rehab, your partner will develop the tools they need to stop drinking and cope with life’s curveballs in more beneficial ways. During this time, you may be invited to participate in counseling and therapy sessions to discuss any obstacles that may have gotten in the way of your relationship due to alcoholism.

To learn more about what to do if you think your spouse is abusing alcohol, reach out to our team of addiction treatment representatives for additional information. Contact us by giving us a call at 866-345-2147.