t was easy to sing along with Bruno Mars when he said; “I’ll take one shot for my pain, one drag for my sorrow. Get messed up today. I’ll be okay tomorrow.” Sometimes the pally in a bottle called Ethanol may have proved to be a friend in need during difficult times and the perfect fun time go-to, but could it be the reason you’re picking unnecessary fights with your partner?
Are you more abusive and violent when you’re under the influence of alcohol? Is alcohol more harmful to me than good? These are real questions you should ask yourself. And if your answer is; “yes, alcohol makes me do things I’d rather not do,” then it’s time to cut back on guzzling down more than your system can work with.
Do you need alcohol to function properly?
Hannah, a musician, found out she couldn’t sing in front of a crowd unless she sipped on a little something. While this might sound normal in our generation (where alcohol gets a cultural pass), sadly Hannah may have unconsciously become dependent on alcohol to perform. The same goes for Noel who needed a shot or two before he could have sex with his wife. He claims it helps him perform better in bed. While the occasional glasses of wine could clearly embolden you, making it a habit could lead to alcohol dependency and/or abuse if not nipped in the bud.
If at least two of these reasons resonate with you, then alcohol might be affecting your relationships more than you think…
#1. You tend to argue more
While it majorly depends on an individual’s personality, drinking alcohol excessively might lead to unnecessary arguments. This could be due to the fact that the senses are heightened and a person might become too sensitive. The arguments might originate from your loved ones worrying about your drinking state to other issues. If not controlled, these occasional outbursts are likely to escalate to physical violence.
#2. You start to withdraw
When you realize that alcohol might be affecting your relationships, you start to withdraw from your loved ones. You hide to get another bottle and soon start piling up secrets to cover your tracks. You might cook up excuses to be unavailable, only to head out to a bar. Also, alcohol may reduce sexual performance, causing a person to avoid sex altogether.
#3. It might lead to neglect
Alcohol abuse could limit a person’s cognitive abilities leading to a gap in fulfilling their duties. This affects both work and the home. If a person gets laid off due to constant excessive drinking, the homefront would become a warzone. This is a cycle as it further leads to neglect on a wider scale.
#4. Financial problems
An obvious pointer on how alcohol might be affecting your relationship is with the finances. Just like every other addiction, alcoholism dogs a hole in the pocket either from its purchase or decisions made under the influence. Rita, a recovering alcoholic, shared her story with us. “The day my life turned for the worse or better was on the 2nd of September, 2019. As usual, I was heavily intoxicated but chose to drive anyway. It happened so fast, that I hit a little girl and her mother on the sidewalk. Aside from the lawsuit, which I paid heavily for, the guilt has refused to leave me. We lost a fortune from it and I had to move my family to a smaller apartment. This triggered my divorce. Thank goodness the baby and mother are fine now.”
#5. It leads to mood disorders
We forget that alcohol is a drug and, as such, has its side effects which include depression, anxiety, and outbursts. Society has given the drug a pass and it’s a must-have at events. This downplays the negative effects alcohol may have on individuals. There’s no guess that alcohol might be affecting the relationship when these mood disorders happen frequently. This would inevitably lead to a strain on your relationship with loved ones, acquaintances, and colleagues.
Check out simple ways to reduce the effect of alcohol on your relationships…
#1. Acknowledge the problem
The first step to problem-solving is an acknowledgment of the problem. If an individual remains adamant, the chances are, that they won’t find solutions to this issue. This might lead to alcoholism and/or alcohol abuse. When a person reaches an epiphany and decides to get help, that’s a step in the right direction.
#2. Have a talk with your partner
When alcohol steps in and takes the forefront in a relationship, it leads to dysfunction. Once you commit to getting help, have that talk with your partner. Pick a sober moment to have the conversation. Start with an apology, then let them know your resolve and how they can help. Hopefully, your partner isn’t too emotionally damaged to walk with you through recovery.
Once you are sure that alcohol might be affecting your relationship negatively, it’s time to get help. From a trained therapist to a community, or your partner, being accountable might be the check that pivots you to healing. Start by specifically limiting the amount you drink and make it known to your accountability system. This process works magic once a person is willing.
#4. Encourage non-alcoholic activities
There are various articles that don’t require drinking. Think hiking, swimming, skating, or a light breakfast date. It would be a pleasant discovery when you realize that there are fun non-alcohol dates that encourage bonding.
#5. Challenge yourself
Pick out days in the week and make them alcohol-free, and stick to it. This helps sharpen your will and resistance to ethanol. Share with your accountability system and perhaps, make it a challenge. After which you can reward yourself at the end of each week for a job well done.
Featured Image: yokunen | iStock
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