Alcohol is so much a part of the social life of many adults that it can be difficult to see where social drinking can turn into binge drinking and eventually alcoholism. It is not unusual to have a drink or two after work, but the question is whether this becomes routine and if the amount of drinking increases. In addition, a person themselves may deny dependence on alcohol, and it may be difficult to gauge whether someone close to you is dependent on the substance. If you notice a sudden increase in drinking and chronic use, it might be time to think about whether your spouse may be addicted to alcohol.
Difficulties With Identifying a Problem
one of the major difficulties with identifying alcoholism is that alcoholic drinks are part of the way many people socialize. In addition, there are cultural factors which can disguise a drinking problem. In some sectors of society and in some cultures, drinking is more accepted than others. In this case, it is relatively easy for someone to claim that they are simply having a few drinks now and again and this is normal. Denial is another aspect of problem drinking that can make it difficult to identify a problem. Denying alcoholism is also another way in which people with addictions can persist in their behavior without feeling anything is wrong.
Another obstacle to identifying alcoholism is actually a symptom. People develop alcoholism tend to have a high tolerance to alcohol. This tolerance increases as the addiction becomes more severe and as a person continues to drink heavily. However, a person with a drinking problem may point to their high tolerance and talk about how they can hold their liquor or can handle their drinking. Ironically the ability to hold one’s liquor may be a symptom of the problem rather than evidence that one does not have an issue with drinking.
Signs That Someone Close to You Has an Alcohol Problem
you are closer to your spouse than many other people and therefore you may be the first to notice whether your spouse is addicted to alcohol. However, you may also not notice it because you are around your spouse every day and some behavior may seem normal. Signs that alcohol use has gotten out of hand include a person neglecting her responsibilities because of alcohol and drinking in cases where it can be risky or dangerous. If drinking is clearly causing problems in your relationship and yet your spouse continues, that maybe another sign of addiction. In addition, if your spouse is secretive or defensive about his drinking, you may suspect he has a problem but does not want to face it.
Providing Help and Support
it is not uncommon for people with alcohol problems to deny they have any difficulty with drinking when the subject is broached. That is why it is important to think through a strategy before confronting your loved one. Those whose spouses use alcohol may be in denial themselves and could be enabling the behavior by making excuses for their spouse or disposing of empty bottles. It is important to allow your loved one to face the consequences. Invite them to talk openly and their concerns with drinking as well as treatment options to get them back on track.