Is Alcohol The Real Reason For Your Marriage Problems? – Part 2

In the first part of this series, we touched on how alcohol consumption (especially in excess) can damage your health, both physical and emotional. Most of Part 1 was focused on how alcohol can affect you as an individual. This time around, we want to discuss how can negatively impact your marriage.

Now, the health risks associated with frequent heavy drinking definitely pose some problems for a marriage, from the financial burdens of medical costs to the emotional burdens of seeing a loved one suffer with an illness.

More specifically, however, alcohol can harm one of the most intimate and important components of your marriage: your sex life.

You can't ignore some alcohol related problems.
You can’t ignore some alcohol related problems.

While there is some truth to the idea that alcohol reduces inhibitions and can increase sexual desire, the physical downsides (especially in the long-term) are very serious. Despite a psychological feeling of increased arousal, the physical reality is that alcohol actually reduces arousal response in both men and women, and for men, can lead to long-term problems with sexual performance – because alcohol directly inhibits testosterone production.

When it comes to drinking and sex, there’s also another major risk factor. Because alcohol impairs our decision-making abilities, there’s a huge increase in the risk for infidelity while intoxicated, especially if other problems already exist in the marriage.

Other psychological effects can also harm the bond you share with your spouse. For some people, drinking can lead to depression or anger, and this means more arguments – or if nothing else, a much more difficult time spending happy, quality time together. Over time, alcohol abuse can lead to depression and irritability when a person is not drinking, and this raises another entire set of problems for connecting and sharing good times together.

Intoxication can make people “check out” of reality, and with it, their marriages. This not only hurts their spouses and leads to more fighting, but can actually make the hurt spouse lose respect for their partner entirely. It comes off as a lack of self-control, a lack of responsibility, and makes them feel as though their partner just doesn’t care about the marriage.

As you can see, the impact of alcohol abuse (and even general over-consumption) impacts more than just the individual partaking in the behavior. The problems can ripple out into a marriage, and have lasting effects that go far, far beyond a single instance of being intoxicated. In fact, these problems are usually amplified with frequency.

In the third installment of this series, we’ll talk about how these issues can hurt the rest of your family – a very serious problem of its own.

For more advice on how to strengthen your marriage, check out the StrongMarriageNow System today!
Dr. Dana Fillmore and Amy Barnhart, co-Founders,

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deborah 10 years ago

my marriage used to be great before my husband came back from Iraq. now he just drinks and hardly talks to me. i try to talk to him but everytime i do he just screams at me or leaves. i dont try anymore because i dont want him to drive

chuck d 10 years ago

My wife and I like to go out with friends sometimes. Every time we do, she gets WASTED. It's embarrassing.. How do I bring this up as calmly as possible?

Mike_Olsen_SMN 10 years ago

Deborah, You should definitely read this article, "The Truth About Anger." I think it will help you understand the reason behind your husband's anger issues.

Mike_Olsen_SMN 10 years ago

Chuck, The important thing to do is express your feelings to her. Hopefully she will react positively. If you need some advice on ways to communicate your feelings with her, take a look at this video:

Jim 10 years ago

Deborah - you know from the training that this is common for post deployments. Are you willing to fight for your husband and marriage? We are all alike and VERY simple to motivate, empower, encourage, and change. If you are SERIOUS go to New Spring Church website and find an old sermon in the Adam and Eve Series (I think part 4) titled "what every man wants". In 25 years of wearing the uniform and building strong male friendships this IS the most accurate, powerful, and perfect account of our deepest longings - things we can't say. EVERY man would walk through hell (twice) and fight satan himself if he had a wife that loved him like that. Check out the wed site and change your marriage now! My first post on a site like this - 500 Soldiers and lots of problems, thisisTHEgame changer