couple not talking due to relationship problemsMarriage and dating are hard enough, but when you are in a relationship with an alcoholic, your day-to-day can be even more complicated.

How to Tell if You’re Dating an Alcoholic

Alcohol misuse falls on a wide spectrum of severity. You could be dating a functioning alcoholic or you may be married to a drunk whose condition is blatantly obvious. While the latter is easier to detect, it can be harder to recognize a high-functioning alcoholic.

Some potential signs you are dating an alcoholic include if your partner…

  • Drinks alone
  • Drinks at all hours of the day
  • Engages regularly in heavy and frequent drinking
  • Drinks to the point that it interferes with other areas of their life
  • Has gotten in trouble because of their drinking

The Effects of Dating an Alcoholic

Alcoholism doesn’t just impact the person who is drinking. All too often, partners are dragged along for the ride, and alcohol ruins relationships. One of the reasons being married to or dating an alcoholic is so hard is because of all the secondary problems associated with alcohol abuse.


Some of the potential negative effects of being in a relationship with an alcoholic include:

  • Financial Problems– The alcoholic partner may not be able to hold down a job or spends all their money on alcohol.
  • Uneven Distribution of Responsibilities– Many alcoholics prioritize drinking over everything else. As a result, they may neglect their responsibilities.
  • Infidelity- People who are intoxicated have a poor judgment which could lead to cheating on their partner.
  • Legal Troubles– People who drink are more likely to engage in risky behaviors like drunk driving that could result in legal consequences.
  • Poor Mental Health– Being in a relationship with an alcoholic can take a serious toll on your mental health.
  • Divorce– Some of the problems created by alcohol in a relationship may not be able to be overcome and could lead to divorce.

Dealing with Alcoholism in a Relationship

Being in a relationship with an alcoholic isn’t easy, and it can be hard to know what to do with an alcoholic partner. Especially if you want to stick it out, it’s important that you take steps to help your loved one and yourself.

Set Boundaries

Some alcoholics can be manipulative and will take advantage of their partners. Do not let this happen to you. It is important to set boundaries when dating an alcoholic to not only protect yourself but also to stop enabling your partner.

Do Not Hide It

While you may not be ready to share your partner’s drinking habits with the world, you shouldn’t try to hide it either. If you are in denial or making excuses for their drinking, you are only enabling them and their drinking will continue.

Don’t Blame Yourself

You may want to blame yourself, but it is not your fault. Addiction is a disease and alcohol abuse is often tied to poor mental health that goes untreated. Your partner needs professional alcohol addiction help. It is not something you did.

Share Your Concerns

Confronting an addict isn’t easy, but It is important to be open and honest with your partner about your concerns. Stay calm, be clear, and do not use accusatory language. There is a chance they will react negatively, but you may also open their eyes.

Try to Get them Help

Long-term alcohol abuse can have serious implications for your loved one and your relationship. Your partner needs help, but quitting drinking cold turkey is not only challenging but may also be deadly. Medical detox is often recommended and follow-up treatment, like alcohol counseling, helps to make sobriety last. Try to point your alcoholic partner in the right direction and give them the resources they need to get started. You can also contact our care team at Vertava Health Texas if you need help.

Do What is Best for You

While it is natural to be concerned for your alcoholic partner’s well-being, don’t ignore your own needs. Whether that is walking away, getting therapy, or making more time for self-care, make sure you take care of yourself. While ending a relationship with an alcoholic may be hard, it might be what is best for you and your partner.


Can You Have a Healthy Relationship with an Alcoholic?

The sad truth is that because of all the secondary effects that can accompany alcohol abuse, it can be difficult to have a relationship with an alcoholic that isn’t toxic or unhealthy to some degree.

The only way to have a healthy relationship with an alcoholic may be for them to get sober. Unfortunately, this process is a long journey that comes with several bumps along the way. Your partner needs to be ready and willing to take this step, but even if they do find lasting sobriety, there is no guarantee that your relationship will survive. Broken trust can be hard to rebuild and too much damage may have already been done to salvage your relationship.

We understand that you want what is best for your partner, but you don’t have to go through this alone. When you contact us, you can speak confidentially with our care team about your options and the next steps for getting your loved one help.