Link between alcoholism and divorce

woman crying man drunk

There’s no such thing as a perfect marriage. It takes work, patience, compromise and understanding to develop a fulfilling partnership. You can expect tough days, weeks, and sometimes months depending on the hurdles you and your partner face. Ultimately, however, the good should always outweigh the bad in the long run. 

When someone is married to an alcoholic, however, that dynamic can take a drastic change for the worst. As one of the abused substances in America, there are roughly 14.1 million people suffering from alcoholism. If you happen to be married to someone with alcoholism, here’s what you need to know. 

Understanding Alcoholism

Most people aren’t trained to identify an alcoholic, while many others misunderstand where the line between casual drinking and alcoholism ends. When someone reaches alcohol use disorder, or AUD, there are four primary symptoms. 

Someone suffering from AUD experiences intense cravings and a compulsion to drink, often without stress or tragedies triggering that desire. A loss of control is also present, causing an inability to limit alcohol consumption. Without that control, their tolerance rises and they need more alcohol to feel its effects. 

Finally, they develop a physical dependence. They cannot function without a steady stream of alcohol in their system. Withdrawal symptoms become present when the individual stops drinking. Anxiety, nausea, sweating, and shaking all occur when alcohol consumption is stopped. 

The Effect on Marriage

The effects of alcoholism are far reaching, ranging from changes in behavior to serious health conditions. This will undoubtedly have an effect on the relationship, but marriage encompasses all aspects of life. Effects can include:

  • Lying to cover up the dependency or just lying in general
  • Irrational behavior ranging from simply acting unusual to abuse
  • Neglecting their job, your children, and other responsibilities
  • Severe depression, sometimes leading to self-harm
  • Liver, kidney, stomach, heart, and other medical issues
  • Irritability, which can lead to various forms of abuse
  • A lack of care or empathy
  • Lack of good judgement in decision making

Alcoholics may act out in ways they normally wouldn’t. This is where things can become dangerous for themselves and others. They may drive under the influence despite what your warnings, leading to the need for a Boulder lawyer for repeat DUI offenses. Their behavior may also place you and your children in danger with acts of violence. 

Alcohol and Divorce

Partners around the world work to manage a marriage with an alcoholic each day, but many of these marriages end abruptly. Roughly half of all individuals married to an alcoholic inevitably seek divorce. As communication and intimacy decrease while irrational behavior increases, partners simply can’t take it anymore. 

Your Options

Counseling is the first and best option. You’ll need to find a therapist skilled in dealing with alcoholism, and couple’s therapy is often beneficial. Like any addiction, counseling can be an exceptional means in combatting AUD and helping your partner return to normal life. Treatment, such as a recovery program, is also highly advised. 

When those options fail to reach the alcoholic or your living situation has turned violent, then it may be time to end the marriage. You’ll need legal counsel, like this Folsom divorce mediation lawyer, to ensure thew custody of your children as well as a separation with clear boundaries to prevent any further abuse.