Alcoholism destroys people. Everyone involved in the situation feels the effects of the addiction. The alcoholic themselves, the family, friends, co-workers, and often times, strangers.
I invited Jenn Ward on today to share more information about the effects of alcoholism in marriage.
Alcoholism is an addiction to the drinking of alcoholic beverages. An individual suffering from alcoholism will often choose to drink even when required to fulfill certain obligations like work and family matters.
The alcoholic may also experience withdrawal symptoms when they try to quit drinking. They will also often feel as though their body cannot function properly without alcohol.
The effect of alcohol use disorder in marriages can be quite devastating often causing problems that lead to alienation and divorce.
Signs of Alcoholism
- Drinking frequently
- Failing to realize how much alcohol you have consumed
- Drinking too quickly and gulping
- Performing dangerous tasks while drunk for example drink-driving
- Intentionally missing critical social events and activities for drinking.
- Making excuses to continue drinking for instance stress
3 Ways Alcoholism Impacts Marriage
1. The Effects on Health
Alcohol abuse increases the risk of diseases such as ulcers, cancers such as stomach, colon, liver, breast and mouth cancers. It also increases the probability of stomach problems. Alcoholics who have abused alcohol for long may also experience seizures due to changes in the GABA system of their brains.
Alcoholism also leads to diseases such as liver cirrhosis and alcohol-induced hepatitis in the long term. The buildup of fat around the liver may also result in liver failure. In some cases, alcohol abuse leads to constant high blood pressure by damaging the circulatory system.
By causing reduced cognitive function and harming memory, alongside the effects above, alcoholism causes unending stress to the spouse of an alcoholic.
2. Effects on Finances
An alcoholic spouse will divert your family’s money towards buying and consuming alcohol. They will also fail to report to work which will lead to a loss of income for your family because they will lose their jobs.
In the long run, when the health effects of alcoholism begin to affect your spouse, you will spend a lot of money treating them. This strains your marriage financially.
Eventually, all this financial strain will start to stress you and affect your productivity at work. This will further affect your marriage in the economic aspects of it.
3. Domestic Violence and Loss of Trust
Alcoholism causes extreme mood swings and behavior changes which could make your spouse very irritable and prone to spurts of violence. They also will begin to practice deceit in almost every aspect of their lives because they have to cover up their drinking habits.
This will eventually erode the trust between you and your spouse hence negatively impacting your marriage.
Encouragement For Recovery For the Alcoholic
The effects of alcohol abuse on marriage are calamitous. It is thus crucial to deal with addiction as early as you can.
When you identify your partner or yourself as an alcoholic, you have to decide to stop drinking. Recovering from alcoholism is an eventual process so you should not expect immediate results.
Once you have decided to quit abusing alcohol, you may choose to follow one of several treatment programs which include;
- Residential treatment
- Partial hospitalization
- Outpatient programs
- Sober living
It is essential for a recovering alcoholic to form new social networks that will give them the moral support to overcome alcoholism. The unfortunate thing about alcohol addictions is that it leads to other addictions like drugs. According to Amethist, a facility that hosts AA meetings in West Palm Beach, roughly 64,000 people in America died in 2016 from an opioid overdose.
The effects of alcoholism on marriage are hard to ignore. It impacts different unions in different ways, but its results can always be summarized into financial and emotional ones.
Alcohol abuse affects both partners physically and psychologically and extends its effects even to their children. It is therefore essential to identify it and find ways to overcome it as soon as it rears its ugly head.