Alcohol plays a part in the vast majority of relationships. For many, it can be a relatively healthy one, enjoying a glass of wine over dinner, or a toast to celebrate a new job or getting to the end of that stressful week.
However, heavier forms of drinking can also have an extremely negative impact on relationships that can have not just an effect on the two people within that relationship, but children, the wider family and friends too.
For some, it may be a one-sided affair, with a partner living as a functioning alcoholic, that while doesn’t have any abusive impact on the partner, is having a severe financial impact on the household. For others, it could be a problem for both people within the relationship and is creating a much more toxic atmosphere.
Whether functioning or dysfunctioning alcoholics, the toll alcohol can take on relationships can be hugely damaging, completely destroying them and in turn lives…
Alcohol can make people behave differently
Unless you met a person while they were already a functioning alcoholic or suffering badly with alcoholism, it’s likely the person you fell in love with was entirely different to what they are under the influence.
Alcohol consumption has a huge impact on the brain and people are much different to when they are sober. Alcohol will lower inhibitions, take more risks, and could ultimately lead to someone becoming violent.
The alcohol in the person’s system is essentially triggering certain elements of the brain which is then changing that person, and turning them into someone that a partner didn’t necessarily sign up to.
Alcohol takes priority
Making plans and enjoying time together is one of the best parts of a relationship. However, when alcohol begins to take a more prominent position in that relationship, you may find that more time is devoted to that rather than a loved one.
You may find that trips you do go on become centred around bars or pubs, which can make partners miss out on the things they want to do, and mean that other loved ones will simply not want to get involved. That could then have an impact on relationships with other members of the family or friendship groups, and ultimately end up with people drifting apart from you.
Relationships become unsafe
One of the worst things alcohol can do is make the environment you’re in unsafe. While your loved one will undoubtedly love you, that change in the brain can change a person beyond recognition, turning calm and caring partners into violent and abusive ones.
This is perhaps the most common and one of the most destructive ways relationships break down due to alcohol. In fact, a BBC article highlighted that men who are dependent on alcohol are six or seven times more likely to be involved in domestic abuse.
Hiding Becomes Frequent
Secrets and lies can become part and parcel of a relationship when alcohol is involved, which can put real strain on a relationship. It could be something as simple as hiding an addiction, to more catastrophic secrets, such as the financial impact an addiction can have on someone’s life, as well as the risks that abusing alcohol can influence.
For example, a heavy evening of alcohol could have led to gambling, with losses then kept secret, while it’s also led to things such as affairs too.
People behave differently when they are hiding something, and a partner will no doubt notice a change in behaviour. When those lies do eventually come out, it can often be too late to fix it, too.