From the earliest recorded history, alcohol has played a large part in human culture and interactions. As an example of this, the Greco-Roman deity Dionysus, the God of, amongst other things, wine making was worshiped as far back as 1500–1100 BC with art and stories depicting the consumption of wine as part of daily life.
Cut to today and alcohol is very much a staple of our free time. For many it is a way to unwind from the stresses of their day or a way to relax in company, be that a night out, at a dinner party or dozens of other activities. For some though, alcohol becomes a dependency; a private realm to retreat into when things get too much and a way to take the edge off of their reality. It becomes a symptom of deeper problems, problems which are thus ignored and giving birth to a dependency that transcends escapism and becomes a toxic burden upon them.
When does drinking become a problem? Often for those with the alcohol issue it won’t appear to be a problem until it is causing real and tangible damage to them and those around them. Recovering alcoholics will often recount a particular moment when they realised they needed help, be that an accident, an alcohol fueled argument or confrontation with harmful repercussions or other decision made whilst under the influence that has a strong negative impact on them or their loved ones.
As well as the emotional strain on a relationship, alcohol has many well documented effects of our health. Insomnia, weight gain, lethargy and long term damage to the internal organs are associated with excessive alcohol consumption and will all have knock on effects to a person’s well being, their mood and how they interact with others.
Confronting your partner about these concerns is a difficult task. The fact that they are drinking will most likely mean they are using this to mask other issues that they don’t want to confront and this will make them more defensive than usual when engaged on the subject. To admit that you have an issue such as this or another problem is also seem by many to be an admission of failure and many will have long convinced themselves that their drinking is just part of their way to unwind, that they don’t have a problem, that everyone does it…
If this is happening to you, then it is very likely that you feel that you are losing your partner in many subtle ways. You may feel that they are consciously trying to escape you and your concerns, shutting you out where you seek to help. They may appear to be a stranger to you when they have been drinking. Alcohol, as well as being a depressant also lowers our own guards on our behavior and we become more likely to say and do things that we would think better off if sober and in control. An argument with an intoxicated partner who then fails to remember any of the things that were said the night before is just one of the harmful effects that the demon drink can have on a relationship.
For the person drinking, it is often a way to make their worries, their time and their day to day existence disappear and this will include those that they love, their responsibilities towards them and the very real steps that they need to take to recover.
As such, it is a difficult topic to approach without them feeling defensive and their lifestyle scrutinized. And this is where it can be useful to have a third party involved, to offer some objective thinking on the subject and suggest steps to take towards a more healthy relationship with alcohol.
These are conversations we are glad to help you with you at The London Love School, either on their own or as part of a wider range of therapies to help you heal your relationship and find a better understanding between yourself and your partner.
If any of the issues above have effected you in someway, then please get in touch and we would be happy to talk more and see what we can do to help you.