Many people drink alcohol to feel more comfortable in social situations. While the drug may temporarily boost your confidence, it often ruins your relationships in the long run. Here are seven reasons why.
Alcohol Can Make You Aggressive
Alcohol lowers your inhibitions. That means it makes you less concerned with what others think of you. When you’re drinking, you may feel much more relaxed and outgoing than usual. However, you may also say and do things you later regret.
For example, you might make rude comments to your significant other, family members, or friends. These comments can range from mild insults to full-on emotional abuse. Emotional abuse occurs when you try to control someone by criticizing or shaming them.
Alcohol can also make you more likely to be physically abusive. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), alcohol increases your risk of committing various types of violence, including domestic violence.
Alcohol Can Make You Depressed
Most people drink alcohol to feel calm and happy. Although alcohol may boost your mood at first, it can cause or worsen depression over time. That’s because alcohol is a depressant.
When left untreated, depression hinders your ability to maintain relationships. The disease often causes hopelessness, low self-esteem, exhaustion, and a general loss of interest in activities. These symptoms may cause you to isolate yourself, putting your relationships at risk.
Another common symptom of depression is irritability. You may snap at your loved ones and hurt their feelings. Although it’s not your fault, this symptom can seriously damage your relationships.
Alcohol Can Make You Irresponsible
Poor drinking habits can negatively affect your concentration, memory, and ability to think clearly. Thus, when you drink on a regular basis, you may struggle to keep up with your responsibilities. This can take a serious toll on your relationships.
For instance, you might repeatedly make plans with your friends and then forget about them. Eventually, your friends may simply stop trying to spend time with you.
Similarly, if you fall behind at work, you could lose your job and face financial issues that threaten your marriage.
Heavy drinking can also make it difficult to care for and connect with your children. This not only threatens your relationship with your kids but also puts them at higher risk for mental health issues.
Alcohol Can Make You Dishonest
Alcohol is among the most addictive substances in the world. If your alcohol consumption gets out of control, you might start lying to your loved ones about it because you’re ashamed or afraid of causing an argument. This can be a red flag in many relationships.
For example, you may downplay how much or how often you drink. You may also start sneaking off to bars or secretly spending most of your time with other people who drink heavily. These actions can seriously hurt your friends and family, as healthy relationships require trust.
Alcohol Can Cause Sexual Dysfunction
In the short term, drinking alcohol may boost your sex drive. Over time, though, a drinking problem can have negative effects on your sexual health, including:
- low sex drive
- decreased vaginal lubrication
- erectile dysfunction
- difficulty having an orgasm
In addition, if you struggle with alcohol abuse or addiction, you may spend so much time drinking and recovering from hangovers that you have little or no energy for sex. All of these effects can cause serious issues in romantic relationships.
Alcohol Can Cause Serious Health Problems
Alcohol can contribute to a number of health problems, especially if you drink on a regular basis. These issues include:
- liver disease
- high blood pressure
- heart disease
- weakened immune system
- vitamin deficiencies, particularly Thiamine or VItamin B1
- memory problems
- cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, voice box, breast, liver, colon, and rectum
All of these health problems can cause significant stress for you and those closest to you. If you and your loved ones don’t take steps to manage this stress, it can wreak havoc on your relationships.
Alcohol Can Consume Your Life
If you drink a lot of alcohol on a regular basis, you may develop an alcohol use disorder (also called alcohol addiction). This disease makes you feel unable to stop drinking even if you want to. Common symptoms include:
- intense cravings for alcohol
- tolerance, which means you need increasingly larger or more frequent drinks to feel the desired effects
- physical dependence, which means you experience unpleasant withdrawal symptoms, such as anxiety and shaking, when you don’t drink alcohol
- loss of interest in activities that don’t involve alcohol
These symptoms can make it impossible to maintain healthy relationships. People who experience them should seek professional help for substance abuse.
If you or a loved one struggles with alcohol abuse or addiction, please contact our helpline. We offer a variety of outpatient addiction treatment options to help you lead a fulfilling life, including medication-assisted treatment, behavioral therapies, and support groups.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — Alcohol Use and Your Health
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism — Alcohol Problems in Intimate Relationships: Identification and Intervention
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism — Drinking Levels Defined
United States National Library of Medicine — Alcohol use disorder