Why Alcohol Damages Relationships
Why Alcohol Damages Relationships So Badly
Why Alcohol Damages Relationships? We have a somewhat twisted collective view of alcohol. We prefer to see it as the elixir of sociality and good times. However, when alcoholism takes hold quite the opposite become true.
A drinking problem can cause more harm to your relationships that debt and even infidelity in a lot of case. Why? Because alcohol turns people into liars, compulsive liars.
It can start off innocently enough by slightly underestimating the number of drinks you have had when question by a loved one or partner. However, once you get into the territory of daily drinking the lies can become bigger and more frequent.
Trust Is Everything
Trust in a relationship is perhaps the most vital element to its long-term success. You have to be able to know for sure in your heart that your partner has your happiness and security at the forefront of their minds and in their everyday actions.
We are friends with a couple (let’s call them Mike and Sarah). Sarah has had a drinking problem for at least twenty years. Not that she is yet ready to admit it. Here’s the strange thing, you will never see Sarah drink alcohol.
Even when her husband Mike orders a beer or a glass of wine, Sarah will stick to her well-practiced performance of being able to take or leave a drink. She will order a soft drink or just plain water.
Denial Is A Problem
To the casual observer, you may come to the conclusion that Sarah is a teetotaller. However, even the casual witness to this performance will quickly see through the thin veil. Funny thing is, Sarah appears to need to go the toilet an awful lot more frequently than most people.
Oh, and she will never go when someone else is planning to head to the washroom either. Spend an evening out with Mike and Sarah and you will notice how she slowly starts to slur her words and stumble more and more as the night goes on. This is all due to drinking nothing but water, apparently.
Alcohol Makes Us Lie
Mike and Sarah have nearly separated on more than a dozen occasions, all because of Sarah’s drinking. They have battled on because of Sarah’s assurances that she will cut back. The fact is this couple live without trust. Mike isn’t blind, he knows his wife is lying to him every day. Sarah knows she is hurting her husband but carries on regardless.
It doesn’t matter how much love there is underneath this very sad situation. Mike and Sarah are miserable because their relationship is missing the most vital of elements, trust!
The damage this drug does to healthy, happy relationships is systemic and pervasive. It’s not just the lies but the way it changes people’s behavior and interaction with each other. When one partner is trying to lie and hide a case of alcohol use disorder the whole dynamic of the relationship is badly altered.
For example, a couple who once enjoyed an active and regular sex life, something that is without doubt fundamental to a healthy relationship. May see the passion in their life fade away to virtually nothing. In men, alcohol is often like a reverse Viagra in terms of performance and it’s not much better for women either. Beyond the physical effects of the drug, the partner who is trying to conceal their drinking may start to avoid all forms of physical contact. Covering the smell of alcohol on the breath is very difficult, if not impossible.
Forget that myth that you can’t smell vodka on the breath – you can and for many hours after consumption.
I can tell from experience that I can smell a double vodka on your breath, four hours after you downed it. Even if you brushed your teeth a dozen times.
Secret Drinking Or Affair?
Drinking Hurting Your relationship?
The fact is secret drinking behind your partners back is as bad as an affair in many cases (but only if it is kept hidden). If you are struggling with alcohol do so openly and honestly, if you can. Of course that only works if your partner understands a little about why you drink.
Nobody drinks alcohol for the reason they state when questioned. Alcohol is the master of deception, it creates problems and then appears to offer a solution. If you believe you are drinking to deal with stress, to cope with life, to get to sleep or to deal with social anxiety. All these and a thousand more justifications are examples of people falling for the illusion of alcohol.
Alcohol creates a sensation of stress but appears to cure this uncomfortable problem upon the first sip of the next drink. The logical conclusion is that alcohol helps us deal with stress. Deeper examination reveals the truth, that alcohol is only removing the problem it created in the first place.
Alcohol also steals the real version of you that your partner fell in love with. Many years ago I was in a relationship with a beautiful and intelligent woman (let’s call her Nicola). She was one of the brightest human beings I have ever met. For me, her intelligence was one of the most attractive things about her. The problem is, Nicola liked to binge drink.
Alcohol took this powerfully intelligent woman and turned her into a stupid zombie.
After she had knocked back a bottle of wine or so she would start to talk 100% pure grade gibberish. She would start conversations that went nowhere and forget what she had just said.
Then she would normally get a little frisky but there is perhaps nothing more unattractive than watching a drunk trying to get undressed. She would fall over and bump into anything in her way. Sometimes, getting her clothes off was just too complicated a task and she would fall asleep in her clothes.
It broke my heart to see just how much alcohol stole from this wonderful lady.
Talk About It
If you are the one with the problem or it’s your partner… I encourage you to talk about it. Talking helps me, that’s for sure. I may run a stop drinking program but I am not immune to the occasional lure of the drink.
Perhaps once or twice a year I get an unexpected urge to drink. More than anything it confused me because I understand how illogical drinking poison for fun is.
When I am confused or have something on my mind I tend to go a little quiet. It’s easy for my partner to assume this is because I am unhappy with her or relationship UNLESS I explain to her what is going on in my head.
This actually happened to me last week. I told my wife that I had a sudden and powerful urge to drink and it was upsetting me. We talked about it a little and she concluded the chat with ‘you won’t drink, you are stronger than that’. With those words and a hug, the urge just vanished.
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