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GBL Drug Abuse Signs, Side Effects, _Treatment
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Signs You are Dating an Alcoholic & What to Do

You may be dating an alcoholic and not realize it until their habit becomes more detrimental to your relationship. On the other hand, you might be suspicious. You have a feeling that your partner’s drinking has gone a little too far, or they are spending more time drinking or recovering from drinking than sober.

Alcoholism is a progressive disease that can happen to anyone, so if you believe you are dating someone with a drinking problem, do not wait to get help.

Are You Dating an Alcoholic?  

When someone with an alcohol use disorder or alcohol addiction continues to drink, the symptoms may become more obvious and numerous over time until it is finally obvious to everyone around them that they have a severe problem. While there is a stereotypical idea of what an alcoholic looks like or acts like, the truth is that many people are high-functioning alcoholics. These individuals can accomplish their tasks at work and home and do other day-to-day things despite their drinking habits.   However, since alcohol addiction is a progressive disease, it is only a matter of time before the person’s drinking gets worse and becomes more apparent. If you suspect your partner is imbibing a bit too heavily, below are some telltale signs you are dating an alcoholic to look out for:   

Their Social Life Revolves Around Alcohol 

Only attending social events where alcohol is available or only going out to places that sell alcohol are early signs of alcoholism in a partner. Having a friend group that drinks heavily and encourages heavy drinking and shuns sobriety can also indicate an alcohol problem. In other words, you may notice that your partner is more willing to take you to a club with a bar rather than the movies, or they may even go as far as to sneak a drink into places that do not sell alcohol.  

They Drink to Cope With Stress 

Drinking to cope with stress is a major red flag for alcoholism. This person may drink when they are emotionally elevated, in general, including when they are super happy or super sad. They use alcohol to cope with life, whether it brings ups or downs. Alcohol has become a crutch for this person that has to be involved in every important moment or season of their life.  

They Can “Hold Their Liquor” 

Another telltale sign that you are dating an alcoholic man or woman is the ability to “hold their liquor.” This person can have several drinks and not exhibit any signs of intoxication. This physical response is also known as tolerance, which develops because of heavy and frequent alcohol consumption. This also means it takes more alcohol for the individual to feel intoxicated, which can further encourage the dangerous cycle of drinking.  

They are Different When They Drink 

Although your partner may not seem intoxicated, their mood or personality may change the more they drink. They may go from being kind and sweet to aggressive, irritable, and verbally or physically abusive. Or they may change from a quiet, mellow person to a loud and aggressive one. It is also common for people with a drinking problem to become heavily emotional when drinking, whereas they may be calmer when sober.   If your partner becomes verbally or physically abusive when drinking, separate yourself from the situation as quickly as possible and get yourself and get them help. Our Christian drug rehab offers a faith-based family program to help the loved ones of addicts heal from the impact addiction has had on their lives.  

They Are Irritable When They Do Not Drink 

A major red flag that you are dating an alcoholic woman or man is that they get irritable or agitated when they are not drinking, or alcohol is not available. They are fine when they have a drink in their hand, but they are cranky and upset when there is no alcohol around. They might also become upset when they must go somewhere where they will not have access to alcohol for extended periods. At this point, the individual may become angry at the slightest provocation or none at all. 

They Drink Even When They Do Not Plan To  

Your partner may say that they are not going to drink today, only to immediately change their mind when they are around others who are drinking. They may promise you they will only have a few drinks but end up having many more. They may also start the day not drinking and then create a situation that will give them cause to drink, such as starting an argument. 

They Do not Have a Favorite Brand 

Most social drinkers or occasional drinkers will have a particular brand or type of drink they prefer, and they tend to stick to their favorite beverage. For some, if their drink is unavailable, they may not even drink at all. However, people with developing drinking problems or alcoholism will drink anything they can get their hands on. The state of their finances will also determine the kind of drinks they buy.  

They Are Experiencing Hardships Because of Their Drinking 

They may have lost their job over missing work because of drinking or hangovers, or they may have gotten in trouble with the law because they were driving under the influence. They may have also spent most of their finances on alcohol, leading to debt or an inability to pay the bills. Especially if you share a home and family with this individual, all these hardships can have a direct impact on you.  

They Always Find a Way to Get Alcohol   

Unfortunately, the saying “where there’s a will, there’s a way” comes into play here. Another indication that you are dating an alcoholic is that they will always find some way to obtain alcohol. They might either put off other financial obligations to buy alcohol or borrow money from a friend. In some cases, the individual might be desperate enough to steal it.  

They Have a Family History of Alcoholism  

Alcoholism is a family disease, and people with a family history of alcohol abuse are more likely to develop the problem themselves. Therefore, if you are aware that your partner’s close family member(s) battle with alcoholism, then it is important to be on the lookout for these signs.   

 

 

What to Do When You Are Dating an Alcoholic 

If you suspect you are dating an alcoholic, the first thing you should do is get them help. Our Christ-centered addiction treatment incorporates medical detox and evidence-based therapy to help clients recover both physically and mentally from addiction and regain their health and self-control.   However, whether the person is already getting help or if you are in the process of getting them help and still living with them, here are some tips to consider:   

  • Support their sobriety: You can do this in small ways. For instance, instead of going out to a social event where the person might be tempted to drink, go out for a walk, or have a nice picnic outdoors.  
  • Set boundaries: Communicate to your partner that you are going to ensure their safety and commitment to recovery. Be consistent in reinforcing these and any other boundaries you set in place.  
  • Do not blame yourself: Alcoholism is a challenging problem that can happen to anyone. As we mentioned before, many alcoholics are good at hiding the early signs until they reach a point where their habit is too disruptive to hide. Remember, it is not your fault. Also, do not let your partner make you feel bad when you enforce certain boundaries. Recovery is stressful, and they may lash out due to irritability or stress.  
  • Take care of yourself: This means practicing a self-care routine and making sure you do things you love, even if it is as simple as taking a bubble bath. Additionally, if your partner has become abusive, separate yourself from the situation. You can still help them without putting yourself in the line of fire.  

Where can I find additional information and support for dealing with alcoholism and relationship issues?

You can find additional information and support for dealing with alcoholism and relationship issues from various resources. These include books on alcoholism, support groups like Al-Anon and Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), national organizations such as the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, resources on living with an alcoholic, guides on identifying alcoholism, and online therapy options for marriage and couples. These resources offer valuable insights, guidance, and support for individuals dealing with alcoholism and its impact on relationships.

What resources are available for individuals in relationships affected by alcoholism and abuse?

Individuals in relationships affected by alcoholism and abuse have access to various resources that can provide support and assistance. These resources include support groups specifically tailored for individuals dealing with similar situations, group therapy sessions where they can share experiences and learn coping strategies, family therapy that addresses dynamics within the relationship, and individual therapy to help process emotions and develop personal resilience. Additionally, there are helplines, shelters, and advocacy organizations that can offer immediate assistance and guidance in situations of danger. It is important for individuals in such relationships to know that help is available and that they have options to prioritize their safety and well-being.

What should I do if I do not feel safe in a relationship due to domestic violence or abuse?

If you do not feel safe in a relationship due to domestic violence or abuse, it is crucial to prioritize your safety above all else. Leaving the situation and the relationship is essential if you feel threatened or at risk of harm. Seek support from trusted individuals, such as friends, family, or a domestic violence hotline, to help you make a safe exit plan. Remember that your well-being is paramount, and it is okay to seek help in these challenging situations. Your safety is the top priority, and there are resources available to support you in leaving an unsafe or abusive relationship.

How can I recognize signs of alcohol abuse and domestic violence in a relationship?

Recognizing signs of alcohol abuse and domestic violence in a relationship requires a keen understanding of behavioral patterns and their impacts. Individuals who abuse alcohol are more likely to engage in domestic violence, especially when under the influence. If you feel unsafe due to domestic violence, active abuse, or threats of abuse, it is crucial to prioritize your safety and consider leaving the situation and relationship.

Identifying when your partner has progressed from occasional alcohol use to alcohol abuse can be challenging. However, seeking help from a professional if they are diagnosed with alcohol use disorder (AUD) is essential. Consulting with a mental health professional specializing in substance use can provide guidance on how to support someone struggling with alcoholism.

It's important to realize that leaving a relationship may be necessary if your partner exhibits emotional, physical, sexual, or any form of abuse. Recognizing the signs of alcohol abuse and domestic violence is the first step towards protecting yourself and seeking the necessary help and support to address these serious issues.

How can therapy and counseling assist in navigating a relationship with an alcoholic partner?

Therapy and counseling can play a crucial role in navigating a relationship with an alcoholic partner. By engaging with a therapist, individuals can receive individual counseling to address the challenges they face in such a relationship. Therapists can help people process their emotions, develop coping strategies, and explore any underlying mental health issues that may be affecting their well-being.

In addition to individual therapy, couples therapy can be particularly beneficial for couples navigating relationships with alcoholism. Through couples counseling, partners can learn to communicate effectively, express their needs and concerns, and work towards building a healthier and more supportive relationship. Couples therapy can provide a safe space for both partners to explore their feelings about alcohol use, address relationship issues, and develop strategies for fostering understanding and harmony in the relationship. Ultimately, therapy and counseling can assist individuals in navigating the complexities of a relationship with an alcoholic partner by promoting open communication, addressing emotional issues, and fostering personal and relational growth.

What coping skills can you learn to manage stress and negative emotions in a relationship with an alcoholic?

When faced with managing stress and negative emotions in a relationship with an alcoholic, it is crucial to acquire coping skills that promote emotional well-being and peace of mind. By learning how to recognize triggers, acknowledge emotions, and soothe oneself, individuals can enhance their emotional regulation. Effective coping strategies include practicing breathing exercises, engaging in journaling, finding solace in music, and using affirmations to cultivate positivity and resilience in navigating the challenges associated with such relationships.

How can setting boundaries help when in a relationship with an alcoholic?

Setting boundaries in a relationship with an alcoholic can be instrumental in maintaining a healthy dynamic and fostering personal well-being. By clearly outlining expectations and limits, individuals can guard against enabling harmful behavior while prioritizing their safety and emotional health. Expressing boundaries such as "I will not cover up or excuse your drinking" can establish a firm stance on unacceptable behavior while encouraging accountability and respect within the relationship. Though challenging, consistently enforcing these boundaries can ultimately benefit both partners by promoting open communication, protecting personal boundaries, and supporting a path towards recovery and mutual understanding.

What are some communication strategies for addressing concerns about a partner's drinking?

Communication strategies for addressing concerns about a partner's drinking involve open and honest dialogue. It is important to have conversations with your partner about your observations and worries regarding their drinking habits when they are sober. Choose a time when you both can have a calm and structured discussion, allowing your partner to process the information without feeling attacked.

Setting clear boundaries is another key strategy. While it is essential to care for your partner, it is equally important to establish healthy boundaries that prevent enabling and prioritize safety for both individuals. Communicate your expectations clearly, such as stating that you will not cover up or make excuses for their drinking behavior.

Additionally, allowing yourself space to step back and not blame yourself is crucial. It is common for individuals in relationships with those struggling with alcoholism to feel responsible for their partner's actions or get caught up in their problems. Remember that your partner is ultimately responsible for their choices regarding alcohol consumption, and their behavior may be interconnected with mental health issues beyond your control. By maintaining boundaries and not taking on undue responsibility, you can better support both yourself and your partner in addressing their drinking concerns.

How can I support an alcoholic partner while ensuring my own safety?

Support their sobriety: You can do this in small ways. For instance, instead of going out to a social event where the person might be tempted to drink, go out for a walk, or have a nice picnic outdoors.

Set boundaries: Communicate to your partner that you are going to ensure their safety and commitment to recovery. Be consistent in reinforcing these and any other boundaries you set in place.

Do not blame yourself: Alcoholism is a challenging problem that can happen to anyone. As we mentioned before, many alcoholics are good at hiding the early signs until they reach a point where their habit is too disruptive to hide. Remember, it is not your fault. Also, do not let your partner make you feel bad when you enforce certain boundaries. Recovery is stressful, and they may lash out due to irritability or stress.

Take care of yourself: This means practicing a self-care routine and making sure you do things you love, even if it is as simple as taking a bubble bath. Additionally, if your partner has become abusive, separate yourself from the situation. You can still help them without putting yourself in the line of fire." Remember, supporting an alcoholic partner is essential, but your safety is paramount.

It is crucial to establish boundaries and prioritize your well-being. Seek professional guidance and utilize available resources to navigate the challenges of supporting a loved one struggling with alcoholism.

If the situation becomes unsafe or abusive, prioritize your safety and seek help promptly. You are not alone in this journey, and taking care of yourself is key to effectively supporting your partner.

Help Is Available   

Dating an alcoholic can be a difficult and emotionally trying process, but help is available. In addition to our family program, our Florida rehab center offers alcohol addiction treatment and detox to help individuals with this disorder physically and mentally recover. Starting with detox and withdrawal treatment to one-on-one and group therapy sessions, our treatment plans offer comprehensive care.  

For more information about our facility and faith-based recovery programs, call Faith in Recovery today at 888-280-4763   

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