Trust Yourself When It Comes to Your Relationship
Although society’s norms around alcohol vary depending on where you live and the culture that surrounds you, if you have a feeling that your partner is an alcoholic, you are probably right. No one knows your partner better than you and you likely spend a lot of time together, giving you many opportunities to see what your partner is doing. Everyone always wants to think the best about their partners, but if you have a gut feeling that your partner has an alcohol problem, then something has likely happened in your relationship to make you feel that way and your suspicions probably show that your partner needs help.
Why Alcohol Addiction Is Difficult to Recognize
At Cuppls, we know that dealing with something as serious as alcohol addiction is scary, but you do not have to face this challenge alone. Our caring professionals offer individual and couples counseling and we help people facing alcohol addiction get the help they need. We understand that fear is one of the top reasons that people struggle with addiction. The deep sense of embarrassment that the addict feels often makes it impossible to even bring up the topic to his or her partner. As a result of the embarrassment, the addicted partner may hide their addiction or even lie to cover up what is really happening. Even if you and your partner are close, you may not see the signs immediately because addicts become very good at hiding their addiction to avoid confrontation and avoid further shame.
Signs of Alcoholism in Your Partner
Although many signs can signal a partner’s addiction, the most common signs of addiction include:
- Lying about alcohol use.
- Needing to drink to feel normal.
- Drinking to excess often.
- Being unable to stop drinking, despite efforts to stop.
- Developing a tolerance for alcohol and drinking more to compensate.
- Drinking in dangerous situations or in ways that interfere with normal life.
- Experiencing alcohol withdrawal symptoms when not drinking.
- Losing control of his or her life as a result of alcohol use.
The above signs are not an exhaustive list. You may notice other signs of alcoholism in your partner, however, if you see any signs that you believe are symptoms of alcoholism, you should seek professional help to confront your partner and to offer emotional support for you and your partner.
Notice How and When Your Partner Drinks
The main difference between social drinkers and alcoholics is how and when they drink. Whereas a social drinker might have a glass or two of wine with dinner or on a weekend, an alcoholic drinks more often and drinks excessively. An alcoholic cannot stop after a drink or two. A social drinker does not make excuses for drinking because his or her drinking does not interfere with normal function, but an alcoholic usually makes excuses for his or her drinking and reacts angrily if questioned about it.
Being Honest with Yourself About Your Partner’s Alcoholism
One of the greatest relationship challenges occurs when you do not confront your partner’s addiction and instead enable your partner to continue the problematic behavior. If you suspect that your partner is an alcoholic, you probably need to take a step back and look at your relationship honestly and without excuses. If you look at your relationship and realize that your partner is an addict, then the greatest gift you can give him or her is tough love. Of course you want to help your partner by referring him or her to professionals who treat addiction, but you can also help by no longer making excuses for your partner and by taking away the means for your partner to continue to drink. We know that this process of confronting addiction is not easy, but it is worthwhile because addressing your partner’s alcoholism directly will make your relationship happier and healthier.