Alcoholism affects people across all spectrums of the population. Rich, poor, male, female, straight, gay, young, old… No matter the person, you have likely been touched by alcoholism in one way or another. Whether your experience be with a parent, a friend, a child, or a spouse— we have all had our brush with this disease, and it can be extremely difficult to witness. However, sometimes it can be difficult to diagnose. Especially when you are extremely close to the person affected, it can be hard to recognize alcoholic behaviors. When you’re in a relationship with someone, alcoholism can be damaging to those connections in both the short and the long run. So, what can we do to make ourselves aware of potential warning signs? It starts with understanding alcoholic behaviors.
Alcoholic Behaviors in Relationships: The Effect
Before we understand alcoholic behaviors in relationships, you must first understand alcoholism. Alcoholism is a disease that affects both mental and physical health. When you’re facing alcoholism, it can often be difficult to consider the collateral damage. In many cases, that collateral damage will be the relationships that they once held close to them. If you suspect alcoholism in someone close to you, it can lead to your thinking critically, and questioning, certain behaviors.
Trust is the foundation of all intimate relationships. If there is no trust, it can be difficult to form a healthy relationship— as well as to know when your partner is being honest with you. When your partner is struggling with alcoholism, or has before, it can be difficult to trust when you see patterns arise. They’re late getting home, you haven’t heard from them in hours, they got into an argument at a gathering, or they’re sleeping in all day. Alcoholic behaviors are slightly different to every person who encounters them, and we know the people close to us better than anyone.
One of the largest telltale signs of alcoholism is the financial impact. Alcoholic behaviors often encourage spending money, either on alcohol or impulse. In fact, it ins’t uncommon that someone struggling with alcoholism will steal money to support their habit. In doing so, you might find that you’re struggling to pay bills, and financial support things that were once easy to manage.
Parenting is no small job. Furthermore, when you’re facing alcoholism, it is common to put your disease over your job as a parent. There are many instances where you’ll see a child falling to the wayside in exchange for their parent’s disease. It is not purposeful, or meant to hurt the child. However, it is an inevitable result. As the partner of someone exhibiting alcoholic behaviors, and struggling to defeat them— it can be difficult to witness the effect it has on your children.
When facing alcoholic behaviors in a spouse or loved one, you might be wondering what you can do to help them. However, your options are limited. Draw attention to the issue, express your concern, and offer to take them to a meeting, rehabilitation center, or a counselor. Ultimately, the rest is up to them and their want to make a change. We offer our condolences for this difficult time and encourage you to offer a hand. Sometimes recovery starts with support.