How Alcohol Affects Relationships

While there is some violence by women toward men, it is mainly reported that there is violence by men toward women. The person who struggles with an alcohol addiction may rely on others to provide for them, cover for them or meet their routine obligations. Individuals in the relationship who have codependent tendencies may also put aside their own needs to help the person with the addiction. Intimacy is created when you can feel vulnerable expressing yourself safely around someone else. When someone hides aspects of their life or personality, intimacy becomes difficult to achieve. People who struggle with alcohol addiction may also push people away to protect them from witnessing their self-destruction.

Instead of it being a safe-haven, where each member can get emotional support, it becomes the source of the problem. The study extends past research by showing that alcohol use can have both positive and negative effects, and documents the circumstances in which these effects are more likely to occur. In a spate of articles and talk show banter over the past few years, actor Brad Pitt has blamed his alcohol use for the demise of his marriage to Angelina Jolie. It seems there was a defining incident on a private plane when Brad was inappropriately rough with one of his children. A drink too many; the inexplicable surge of annoyance and anger; the sloppy, domestic squabble; and the lack of parental finesse.


Your husband may pick fights with you when he drinks or you’re no longer as intimate as you were before. You may feel like alcohol has ruined your relationship or is the cause of your divorce. Regardless of whether the person is high-functioning, alcohol addiction is a severe disease. Getting professional help is the best way to combat addiction’s mental, emotional, physical and social problems. It’s essential to avoid becoming codependent if you feel you’re in a relationship impacted by alcohol addiction. As stated above, keeping a distance is necessary to avoid enabling and ensure you don’t become emotionally dependent on helping them.

  • But, when the whole world is watching and it comes on the heels of a big confession like, “My drinking is the reason for the divorce,” it takes grit.
  • However, addiction tends to exacerbate codependent dysfunction in relationships.
  • According to the American Addictions Center, some common mental changes due to alcohol use include the following.
  • This can lead to reckless and unpredictable behavior, which is harmful to relationships.
  • Keeping the truth from a significant other may start as an innocent defense mechanism, but eventually, it will most likely lead to blatant lies and mistrust.

Alcohol use disorder severely impacts an individual’s personality and, as a result, can make them unrecognizable from the person they were before they started drinking. People with alcohol addiction often become secretive over how alcoholism affects relationships time to hide their dependence out of fear, shame or guilt. If you or someone you love is battling an alcohol use disorder, there is help available. Children with an alcoholic parent or caretaker are also heavily impacted.

#4 Drinking is More Important Than Your Relationship

You may also schedule an Alcohol & Other Drugs consult with a member of our AOD team. In order to regain a foothold in the relationship, and in a shared life, one needs to confront the issues that have come up. Our Recovery Advocates are ready to answer your questions about addiction treatment and help you start your recovery. But, when the whole world is watching and it comes on the heels of a big confession like, “My drinking is the reason for the divorce,” it takes grit.

alcohol and relationships

The result is that a partnership can begin to suffer as excitement and enjoyment fade. For this reason, psychological therapy can help to address concerns around alcohol and relationships as they pertain to co-occurring disorders. Research from 2019 explored the relationship between alcohol and violence.

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Alcohol abuse affects the body and the mind, and the person suffering is often the last to realize the extent of the damage being done. Consuming alcohol does not always lead to the development of alcohol use disorder, and many people can drink moderately and without incident. Anyone drinking alcohol heavily or frequently is liable to find most close relationships impacted in various ways. Often, when a drinking problem continues, this can even rip relationships apart completely, from marriages and friendships to business relationships. Previously, reviews of alcohol interventions have focused exclusively on the individual or relationship level – in other words – an individual or couple treatment for alcohol dependency.

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