How Alcoholism Affects Marriage

How Alcoholism Affects Marriage

a couple experiencing how alcoholism affects marriage

Table of Contents

A University of Michigan study shows that nearly half of active alcoholics or those who were active alcoholics in the past are divorced. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism concurs, saying that marriages where one spouse drinks heavily end in divorce 50 percent of the time. If you are experiencing this issue with your loved one, there are ways to help them. Learn more about how alcoholism affects marriage and how alcohol can put a strain on your relationships.

How Alcoholism Affects Relationships

It is easy to see why alcoholism affects relationships. Alcoholism and other addictions can wreak havoc on a marriage. Some alcoholic spouses are verbally or physically abusive. However, even non-violent alcoholics can damage their marriages in other ways, often beyond repair. It is difficult to be a responsible partner in a relationship when you are obsessed about where and when you are going to get your next drink. Alcoholism prevents you from being a good partner and can cause difficulties in relationships. This is because alcoholics can, and do, lie, cheat, manipulate, blame and steal to maintain their habit. None of those things are on anyone’s list of what they seek in a partner.

If you recognize that alcoholism is ruining your relationships, seek help from Liberty Bay Recovery Center. We are here to get you the help you need and provide you with the treatment and tools that can get you through recovery.

Alcoholism Makes It Difficult to Perform Daily Responsibilities

For example, take a married couple where the wife is an alcoholic and her husband is not. Maybe she has run up the family’s credit card balance to keep herself in stock. Perhaps she loses her job due to too many absences or poor performance. Or, maybe she forgot about that parent-teacher conference or showed up at it after a few drinks. The non-alcoholic spouse quickly learns that they cannot trust the alcoholic spouse in a myriad of ways. They will become unable to perform their daily responsibilities such as:

  • Contributing to the family finances
  • Making sure the kids have lunch
  • Locking the doors before bed

Trust erodes quickly and often devastatingly in relationships when one partner is unable to contribute due to a problem with alcohol. There are a few ways that the partner will respond, but either way, alcoholism will negatively affect your relationship.

Spouses Take on Added Responsibilities

Some spouses of alcoholics take on the added responsibilities that come from being married. Maybe they do this because this is necessary for their relationship, family, or children. It is important to remember that while they could be doing this out of love, they might also do this with deep resentment. It is up to them how long they will shoulder the burden. Others quickly know that they do not want that burden and seek a fast exit. This can lead to a quick end to your relationship.

However, the threat of divorce is not enough for many alcoholics to seek treatment and get into recovery. The disease of alcohol is cunning, baffling and powerful. It will tell the addicted person that they are not sick. In fact, it is often nearly impossible for an alcoholic to imagine a life without booze. It does not matter if this means losing the people they love. Their addiction will be too strong and they believe they cannot survive without alcohol.

Facing alcoholism through a 12-step recovery program like A.A., or Al-Anon for the non-alcoholic spouse is the first right move towards determining whether the marriage can itself recover. Contact Liberty Bay Recovery Center at [Direct] for more information about our programs and how we can help you or a loved one improve your relationship.

-Amy Canfield, Liberty Bay Staff