Most of us like to a have a social drink or two, it is a big part of our culture. We grow up celebrating special occasions with alcohol being at the centre of our festivities. Or, we have a couple of drinks at the end of a hard week’s work with the intention of relaxing and just chilling out. So, how do we tell when this culturally acceptable pastime has become a problem and how do we best help our partner when this way of life starts causing problems?

Here are the warning signs that alcohol has become a problem in your relationship:

1. Unable to stop or control drinking

When we first notice that drinking is becoming a problem and causing negative consequences, we try to control the situation. We try reasoning with our loved one and they promise to cut back or even stop but they do not.

Are you fed up with the stories and justification?

2. Lying and making excuses about drinking

Once it is realised that the drinking cannot be controlled, the family member will begin to make excuses and lying about their drinking e.g. I didn’t drink that much; I am under a lot of pressure at the moment and I am sorry for what happened, or demand the family support them in the lies and excuses.

Are you confused by the excuses and lies?

3. Mood swings

Did you know alcohol is a depressant, which leads to poor mental and emotional well-being? This poor well-being leads to unpredictable moods, anger, anxiety and irritability, which will eventually impact on the mental and emotional well-being of the whole family.

Are you frightened by the unpredictable moods?

4. Money problems

There never seems to be enough money to pay the bills etc. But there is always money to buy alcohol or enough for a drinking session.

Are you anxious about your financial security?

5. Work problems

Some of the problems created by alcohol include poor work performance, late or missed meetings, missing deadlines and having days off due to hangovers.

Are you worried drinking will lead to unemployment?

6. Legal problems

Excessive drinking can lead to legal issues and trouble with police. There are many different ways drinking can create legal problems e.g. assaults, drinking in public places, drunk and disorderly, damage to property, domestic violence and theft.

Do legal issues overwhelm you?

7. Drink driving

Many drinkers think it is okay to drive.  This is illegal and can lead to loss of licence, car accidents, loss of employment, financial problems and jail. Are you tired of worrying about drink driving?

8. Relationship problems

As the relationship with alcohol becomes a problem, it causes family and friends to withdraw. Invitations to social gatherings become less and the family becomes more isolated and alone in the problem.

Do you feel isolated and alone?

9. Broken promises and drama

As the drinking becomes more and more of an issue in your relationship you may notice that the drinker makes promises that are not kept. The more the drinking escalates, the more drama the family seems to be caught up in.

Are you sick and tired of the drama?

If you would like to make positive change and improve your relational well-being or would like to find out how counselling and psychotherapy can help you then contact me now.

Would you like to find out how Gestalt therapy and counselling can change your life?

Please contact me for a FREE 15-minute phone chat so you can explain your situation and discover how my counselling services can work for you.