To answer this question, think about the major arguments you have had with your partner. Can you attribute them to alcohol? Sir Richard Branson was interviewed on a renowned podcast, The Tim Ferriss Show. During this interview, the entrepreneur suggested an important yet simple though experiment. This experiment can help people with a drinking problem to determine whether alcohol is affecting their relationships.
The experiment entails thinking back to some of the major arguments or mistakes a person has had in their marriage. This should be followed by thinking about the frequency of their occurrence when one of the spouses or both of them was under alcohol’s influence.
After performing this experiment, a person can be surprised by their findings. However, psychological researchers and professionals at couples rehab may not be surprised by these findings. That’s because studies have shown that alcohol consumption can affect relationships negatively.
So, does that mean a person surprised by the findings of the experiment should stop drinking to save their marriage? Well, not necessarily. However, it’s crucial to comprehend how alcohol may affect a person and their relationships with others. This understanding can help a person reduce their consumption level thereby lowering the risk of having their relationship’s health degraded by wine, beer, or liquor.
It’s crucial to note that this experiment may not be explicitly about alcoholism. This is a prevalent, serious, and treatable alcohol use disorder. However, if a partner in a relationship feels like they or their loved ones have this disorder, they should seek help and find treatment for drug addicted couples.
3 Reasons Why Alcohol Might be Impacting Your Relationship
It’s easy to assume that alcohol is not a bad wolf. However, alcohol can bite individuals that don’t know how it may affect them, their interactions, and their partners. Here are some of the major reasons why alcohol might be impacting your relationship negatively.
Alcohol is a Drug
Alcohol is defined as a drug. That’s because it alters the emotions, thought process, and perception of a person even when taken in small amounts. Alcohol is a known depressant that lowers inhibitions and mood. Drinking alcohol can potentially make a person quick to fight when in some situations or arguments with a partner.
Psychological Effects of Alcohol Affect Social Interactions Directly
Research has shown that some drinkers say alcohol enhances their emotional and social experiences. Alcohol is known to affect the mood of a person. More specifically, moderate or heavy drinking can lower inhibitions in social places. But, alcohol can also make a person more defensive, aggressive, irrational, and sensitive. Some of these psychological effects of alcohol can persist after alcohol has subsided in the system. They can also alter the brain function, thereby causing long-term effects.
Alcohol Has a Cultural “Pass”
Most cultures accept alcohol. Its negative effects are often downplayed consciously or unconsciously. Alcohol is seen as an almost mandatory aspect of de-stressing and celebrating. It’s not surprising that some people say something bad and later blame it on alcohol. Some people fight after drinking. In some cases, some people can’t celebrate their anniversary without drinking. These are some of the red flags that a person is not recognizing how alcohol can affect them and their partner.
How to Reduce the Impact of Alcohol on a Relationship
So, you have ascertained that alcohol is influencing your relationship negatively. For instance, alcohol might have fueled many arguments, unloving interactions, and nit-picky behaviors. Even if these happened occasionally or slightly, it’s time to act. You know you can seek help from a couples’ drug rehab but how do you start? Well, here are five tips to help you reduce the impact alcohol is having on your relationship.
Exercise Responsible Drinking
Responsible drinking means having a maximum of two alcoholic drinks per for men and one drink per day for women. Be present while enjoying the drink. You can make this a ritual. For instance, you can toast and say something that makes you feel grateful. Always remember not to exceed the recommended limit.
Drink Outside the House Only
You can curb your drinking to avoid the additional expense that comes with priced-up alcohol at a restaurant or alcohol. What’s more, sitting at home drinking can fuel excessive consumption or unnecessary conflicts because the environment is familiar. And, when you drink outside the house, you will be keen to ensure that you get a safe ride home. Thus, you limit your drinking and this can help you avoid ending up in drug rehab for married couples.
Go on Dates without Drinking Alcohol
Couples don’t need alcohol to have fun whenever they go on a date. Instead of alcohol, you can try breakfast, swimming, hiking, or engaging in activities where you won’t miss alcohol.
Designate Some Alcohol-Free Days
If you’re used to drinking alcohol almost every day, set some alcohol-free days apart. The thought of being alcohol-free for a month can sound unpleasant at first. However, it’s possible to go for days without it. You will even feel more inspired to add more alcohol-free days when you start realizing the benefits. You can come up with a catchy phrase that will make it easy to stick to or fun. For instance, you can have a Sober Sunday or a Wine-Free Wednesday.
Avoid Alcohol for a Month Together
Anybody that has tried to reduce alcohol consumption or quit recently has heard about “Dry January”. The popularity of sober months is increasing. Apart from helping a person save money and boosting their mood, research has shown that going for 30 days without drinking can enhance liver function. It can also improve sleep, weight, cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
A person can enjoy alcohol if they can drink responsibly. And, it’s the responsibility of partners to determine how and if alcohol should have a place in their relationship. Luckily, cutting back on alcohol consumption comes with numerous benefits. These benefits should inspire partners in a relationship to deal with alcohol if it’s affecting their relationship despite the challenges they face. If unable to do it on their own, partners can seek help from rehab for couples.