Alcohol can negatively impact a relationship to the point of breakup or divorce. Alcohol can affect relationships in various ways, and this can look different for each person. Alcohol can have a huge impact on the way you interact with others and the quality of your closest relationships. When you increasingly choose to drink rather than doing previously enjoyed activities with your significant other or friends, you may need to examine your motives for these choices. Partners and friend groups should have activities they enjoy doing together. Even if your partner has a different stance, they should be willing to work through the changes you want to make.

Alcohol and drug use can often lead to emotional volatility, such as losing one’s temper easily or suffering from mood swings. Lashing out is more likely when someone feels constantly anxious or like they are being threatened at some level. It’s especially common when someone feels like a loved one stands in the way of their alcohol or drug use.

You Have Stopped Doing Certain Things in Favor of Drinking

This can happen for a variety of reasons, including overspending at the bar or grocery store, spending money on hangover cures and cab fares, and making irresponsible financial decisions when under the influence. Drinking can lead to even more serious financial consequences if an individual loses their job, or gets into legal trouble due to their drinking. When alcoholism is a secret to the individual partaking in it, it can feel like just one more secret once infidelity starts. Some people already feel so much shame for their alcoholism, they tend to begin rationalizing their other morally detrimental decisions. Although socially acceptable, alcohol destroys relationships in many ways when it is abused. If you feel like alcohol has been affecting your relationships, consider reaching out for help so that you can be your best self for the people around you.

Analyses are based on the drinking configuration each couple represented at the time of screening. At baseline, alcohol frequency was measured with a question about the number of days participants had drunk one or more alcoholic beverages in the past 30 days. Alcohol quantity was measured with a question about the number of drinks that had been consumed on drinking days alcohol and relationships in the past 30 days. The alcohol frequency options were never, monthly or less, 2–4 times a month, 2–3 times a week, and 4 or more times a week. The alcohol-quantity response options (number of drinks) were 1 or 2; 3 or 4; 5 or 6; 7, 8, or 9; 10 or more. Participants who declined to respond (54 [3%] for frequency and 63 [4%] for quantity) were coded as missing.

Exploring Your Relationship With Alcohol

Spouses and children of heavy drinkers may face family violence; children may suffer physical and sexual abuse and neglect and develop psychological problems. Women who drink during pregnancy run a serious risk of damaging their fetuses. Relatives, friends and strangers can be injured or killed in alcohol-related accidents and assaults. Problem drinking has multiple causes, with genetic, physiological, psychological,and social factors all playing a role. For some alcohol abusers, psychological traits such as impulsiveness, low self-esteem and a need for approval prompt inappropriate drinking.

Social and cultural perceptions of alcohol can also play a role where the acceptance and tolerance of alcohol-related misbehavior – including violence – can influence drinkers’ expectations about their behavior while drinking alcohol. Taking the first step helps both parties acknowledge the problem and its symptoms and can start the healing process. The mental and physical health of both people in the relationship is at stake, and with surrender, determination, and commitment, recovery from alcohol addiction can offer a happier life for you and your spouse or partner.