A man and woman get into an argument while she holds a glass of wine

Is My Spouse an Alcoholic?

Most people think if they were married to an alcoholic, the signs would be obvious.

While some people who struggle with an alcohol use disorder make their habit hard to miss, there are a large number of individuals living as functional alcoholics.

This means they’ve become adept at living with their addiction and hiding the symptoms from everyone around them.

Whether your partner or spouse is making their alcohol addiction blatantly obvious or concealing it quite well, watching for telltale signs of an alcohol use disorder is important to both identifying that the problem exists and determining how to best help your loved one overcome their addiction.

What Qualifies You as an Alcoholic?

While the exact definition of an alcoholic can vary from person to person — depending on life experiences, medical conditions, biological predispositions and overall amount of alcohol consumption — there are specifiers that indicate a problem does exist.

A person who tends to fit the definition of an alcoholic typically doesn’t know when or how to stop drinking.

They often spend a lot of time thinking about alcohol, and they can’t control how much they consume, even if it’s causing serious problems at home, at work and financially.

Is My Spouse an Alcoholic?

How can you tell if your spouse is an alcoholic?

If your spouse is truly dealing with an alcohol addiction, their body will actually need alcohol to function.

You see, alcoholism is more than a battle of sheer will. An alcoholic is psychologically addicted to drinking and their body experiences severe withdrawal symptoms if they go without alcohol for an extended amount of time.

Does your spouse need to drink?

One way to find out is to recommend an extended state of sobriety and see how they react to the suggestion.

5 Signs My Partner Is an Alcoholic

  1. They drink to relieve their stress
    Individuals living with an addiction to alcohol turn to drinking for every occasion. They drink when they’re happy and when they’re sad. They drink when they’re celebrating and when they’re depressed. They use alcohol as the primary means to cope with life because alcohol is their crutch; they use it to deal with all their emotions.
  2. They use alcohol as their primary coping mechanism
    If your spouse is using alcohol as a coping mechanism, that’s another sign they’re living with an alcohol use disorder. This means they routinely use alcohol to cope with different situations they encounter on a daily basis.They may drink to forget about their problems and manage pressures of work and family obligations. Using alcohol as a primary coping mechanism means drinking is their go-to method of life management and, without it, they become extremely irritable and even difficult to live with.
  3. Their personality changes when they start drinking
    Although they may not appear intoxicated after a few drinks, your loved one’s mood or personality may change when they drink. They may go from being a kindhearted person to being mean and verbally combative after a couple of drinks.They may change from being shy and quiet to being loud and aggressive. They could even become overly emotional when drinking, whereas when sober, they may rarely express any emotions at all.
  4. They’re difficult to communicate with when sober
    Another sign that your loved one has a drinking problem is that it becomes difficult to communicate with them when they’re sober. They may have difficulty focusing on what you’re telling them or feel irritated and lost in their thoughts when you bring up their drinking.This happens because they actually need alcohol to deal with the emotions. You see, when they’re sober, your loved one isn’t themselves anymore, because they simply can’t cope with everyday challenges without drinking alcohol.
  5. They have an unusually high tolerance
    An early sign of alcohol addiction is an unusually high tolerance. Your loved one may be able to have several drinks and not exhibit any signs of being drunk.

Real, Life-Changing Help for Your Spouse to Achieve Sobriety

Overcoming an alcohol addiction is no small task. It requires the body to heal from excessive, long-term alcohol use, and it pushes the mind and soul to fully restore to achieve sustained sobriety and a genuine state of wellbeing.

That’s why a holistic approach to recovery has been shown to be so effective. It properly addresses addictive impulses, and teaches individuals who abuse alcohol or drugs that overcoming an alcohol use disorder requires one’s whole being to completely heal.

This approach to recovery replaces their addictive impulses with healthy habits and techniques to regain their happiness and personal well-being for the long term.

Discover Life-Changing, Holistic Alcohol Addiction Treatment at Ranch Creek Recovery

Whatever your loved one’s situation, Ranch Creek Recovery will tailor treatment to address their specific needs. We go beyond the normal 12-Step program and deliver comprehensive, holistic inpatient services at our serene rehab center.

Learn more about our life-changing, holistic alcohol addiction treatment program, or contact us today to get your questions answered.