It can be hard to determine what the cause of problems in your relationship are. Problems may come from a single source or have multiple contributing variables. So you may be wondering if alcohol creates, contributes to, or intensifies problems in your relationship. Here are some signs that alcohol may be negatively impacting your relationship.
Lying About Alcohol Use
We know that lying harms relationships because it breaks down trust. A relationship without trust is really difficult to maintain. If you find yourself lying about your alcohol use, this may be a sign that alcohol is negatively impacting your relationship. Lying about alcohol use can show up in many ways. Are you lying about the fact that you are drinking alcohol? Are you lying about the amount you are drinking or about how frequently you are drinking alcohol? Attempting to hide your partner’s alcohol use is another way you might be engaging in lying about the alcohol use in your relationship. Do you find yourself isolating from friends and family so that you can avoid talking about the impact that substance abuse is having on you and your relationship? Because there can be negative perceptions of substance abuse, you may feel ashamed or embarrassed to share your own struggle or your partner’s struggle with substance abuse with loved ones. This can leave you feeling isolated and stuck. These are all ways that lying about alcohol use may be impacting your relationship.
Arguments Are About Alcohol
Do you and your partner constantly argue about how much alcohol one or both of you is drinking? Do you feel like you are complaining about your partner’s substance abuse and not seeing any changes? Couples often get stuck in cycles of conflict, which may leave both of you feeling like you are having the same argument over and over again. When there is a cycle of conflict that seems to always revolve around alcohol use, this can be a clear sign that alcohol consumption in your relationship may have a negative impact on you and your partner.
You Are More Likely to Engage in Conflict When Drinking Alcohol
If you and your partner frequently get into an argument when one or both of you are consuming alcohol, this is a key indicator that alcohol negatively impacts your relationship. Alcohol is a mood-altering substance and impacts your ability to regulate your reactions to your emotions and can impair your ability to make healthy and effective decisions.
Intimacy and Quality Time Revolve Around Alcohol
Do most of the things you and your partner do together involve drinking alcohol? Try asking yourself what using alcohol during your hobbies adds or takes away from that experience. Do you use alcohol to “get in the mood” or to enjoy sex? If connecting with your partner only happens when one or both of you is using alcohol, this can take away from how deeply you are able to connect with your partner. It may also take away your ability to be present. Alcohol impacts your memory and might leave gaps in the memories of moments shared with your partner. It may also alter how present you are for them at the times you’re consuming.
If any of these signs sound familiar or have you questioning, it may be an appropriate time to start working with a therapist to figure out how much alcohol is impacting your relationship. A therapist can help you determine what you want your relationship with alcohol to look like moving forward and help to address the impact that substance abuse has had on your relationship.