So how can you tell if you are dating someone who’s addicted to alcohol? Entering a new relationship. It can be exciting, but it may also come with challenges you didn’t expect. While it’s normal for relationships to have their ups and downs, it’s important to be aware of potential red flags, especially when it comes to serious issues like alcohol addiction.
If you suspect your partner may be struggling with an alcohol use disorder (AUD), recognizing the signs early on can be crucial for both their well-being and the health of your relationship.
Let’s dig deeper into the signs your partner is addicted to alcohol, and how to approach the situation with care and understanding.
Changes in Behavior
One of the first signs to watch for is noticeable changes in your partner’s behavior. This could include increased secrecy, mood swings, irritability and a shift in priorities. If your partner prioritizes alcohol over activities or hobbies that were once important to them, it may be a sign of a deeper issue.
If you notice your partner consumes more alcohol to achieve the same effect, this could be an indication of tolerance, which often accompanies addiction. Even if your partner doesn’t have an addiction, tolerance can still be a bad thing, as it encourages greater alcohol consumption and contributes to dependence.
Pay attention to whether your partner exhibits withdrawal symptoms when they’re not drinking. These symptoms can include shakiness, nausea, anxiety and sweating. If they seem uncomfortable or show physical signs when they’re not drinking, it could indicate dependence.
Alcohol addiction can lead to a decline in fulfilling responsibilities at work, home or in relationships. If your partner’s performance at work is suffering, they often miss social engagements, or neglecting household duties, it might be a sign of a larger issue.
Defensiveness and Denial
When confronted about their drinking habits, individuals addicted to alcohol often become defensive and may deny they have a problem. This defensiveness can create tension and conflict within the relationship. At this point, some families choose to hold an intervention.
Hiding Drinking Habits
Someone struggling with alcohol addiction might go to great lengths to hide their drinking habits. They may stash alcohol in hidden places, lie about their drinking, or become defensive when questioned about it.
A noticeable decline in personal grooming and hygiene can also be a sign of alcohol addiction. Changes in appearance, such as weight loss, bloodshot eyes and poor hygiene, might become apparent over time.
Approaching the Situation
If you suspect that your partner is struggling with alcohol addiction and could benefit from alcohol treatment, it’s important to approach the situation with empathy and care.
- Choose the Right Time and Place. Find a comfortable and private space to discuss your concerns with your partner.
- Express Concern. Use “I” statements to express your worries. Share how their behavior affects you and your relationship.
- Listen. Allow your partner to share their perspective without judgment. Encourage open communication.
- Offer Support. Let them know that you’re there to support them, and that seeking help is a sign of strength, not weakness.
- Suggest Professional Help. Encourage your partner to seek professional assistance, whether through therapy, counseling or a support group.
Outpatient Alcohol Rehab in Agoura Hills, CA
Addressing alcohol addiction in a relationship can be challenging, but it’s a crucial step towards helping your partner and preserving the health of your partnership. Remember that addiction is a complex issue, and seeking professional guidance can provide the tools and resources you need.
It’s also important to realize that you don’t have control over your partner. If they choose not to seek help, it is not your job to ‘fix’ them. You may have to remove yourself from the relationship until they agree to treatment.
Awakenings Treatment Center provides treatment services to those suffering from alcohol use disorder. We take a holistic approach that addresses the mind, body and spirit for complete healing. Contact our admissions team to learn more about our flexible outpatient program and how it can help your partner in their journey to sobriety.