There are many mixed feelings about alcohol in today’s society. If you or someone you know drinks alcohol on a day-to-day basis, you might have already researched the potential dangers of drinking and the effects it may have on relationships. You may have heard about some benefits that come with drinking, but how do you know if someone you care about has taken it past normal consumption and into an alcohol use disorder? Understanding the warning signs of alcohol use disorders can lead you to recognize when you or your loved one could use some help.
Observing the Signs of Alcohol Use Disorder
There are many signs in a relationship that exhibit an unhealthy relationship with alcohol where someone might be asking for help without actually saying so. Some of the signs of alcohol use disorder include:
- Consuming more than four drinks a day
- Driving under the influence
- Failing to fulfill your responsibilities
- Hiding your drinking
- Experiencing a strong need or compulsion to drink
- Wanting a drink randomly throughout the day
- Undergoing withdrawal symptoms such as nausea, shaking, or sweating when you don't drink
If you or your loved one experience more serious medical complications from drinking, they may be in the deeper stages of an alcohol use disorder and might require medical attention.
Recognizing Concerns in Your Relationship
If you are in a relationship where you are nervous about your partner's alcohol use, it's helpful to recognize that there are times and places where alcohol should always be avoided. These include being pregnant, having certain medical conditions, taking particular prescriptions, or having a history of alcohol use disorder.
Researching alcohol use disorder can help you understand what the symptoms are and how to best request help if you need it. However, if you ignore the signs of your own experience, or if you notice your loved one is ignoring the signs that they need help, it’s important to not jump to conclusions or overreact.
There might be a deeper reason why drinking has started to become a larger part of your or your loved one’s life. When drinking becomes part of daily behavior, though, the best course of action may be to request someone’s professional help before you try to take it on yourself.
The best way you can help your spouse or your loved one to recognize a drinking problem is to first educate yourself on alcohol use disorder. Then, speak to a professional before addressing it with your spouse. The reason for this is that there are so many people in the world that don’t understand the core elements behind substance use and alcohol use disorder. You may even be unintentionally enabling your spouse's use.
There may be a deeper level of why your partner chooses to cope with life with substances or alcohol. You may not understand fully until after speaking with a professional. It’s important to let a professional diagnose a drinking concern and help you learn to set your boundaries. You and your loved one have been through a lot. However, when some comments are made or actions are performed, it can strain or even break your relationship.
If you care about your loved one or you are personally looking to get help, talking to someone who understands the reasons behind alcohol use disorder and the signs of drinking problems can help you more confidently address the situation. Family-focused treatment planning is a collaborative process where you can get help with your relationships and alcohol use disorder simultaneously.
Warning Signs of Alcohol Use Disorder in Relationships
If you are trying to understand the signs of an alcohol use disorder in your relationship, there are a few warning signs to look for. If you feel that the drinking has gone beyond the line of social or casual alcohol use, your spouse may be suffering from an alcohol use disorder. Recognizing the signs early will help you to address the situation, save your relationship, and improve the health of you and your loved one as a whole.
Some signs of your partner experiencing an alcohol use disorder include:
- Expressing a strong urge to drink all the time
- Increasing the amount of alcohol they consume
- Drinking at random times of the day
- Ignoring the negative ramifications of drinking
- Decreasing their participation in activities they once loved
- Making decisions irrationally or aggressively
- Driving after drinking regardless of anyone else’s life
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms like shaking, insomnia, or nausea when the drinking stops
You can find a way to rebuild your relationship in and out of recovery with the professional guidance of a compassionate recovery treatment facility.