Is Alcohol The Real Reason For Your Problems? – Part 1

There’s no disputing that alcohol has a prevalent role in our society. From widespread availability to being a staple at many social events, alcoholic drinks are never very far away, but could they be the root cause of larger problems in our lives?

In this ongoing series, we’ll take a look at how alcohol can impact your life, your health, and ultimately, your marriage.

Excessive drinking can become a habit in many ways. For some, it’s simply an unchecked social behavior that gets out of hand – what starts as relatively harmless, casual drinking can become more and more frequent, and because of a growing tolerance, more and more alcohol is consumed to achieve the same effect. This kind of social drinking can be particularly problematic because it’s generally reinforced by peers, and pushed aside as “not a big deal.”

Is alcohol causing problems in your marriage?
Is alcohol causing problems in your marriage?

For others, alcohol can be a way of escaping or self-medicating. It can be used to avoid thinking about something painful, a way of neglecting responsibility, or just a method of escaping fears or frustrations. The largest problem here is that it can be impulsive and self-destructive, and sets a precedent for abusing alcohol as a coping mechanism.

Now, the “reasons” for excessive alcohol consumption can be very broad, and regardless of the motivation, the negative effects eventually catch up with heavy drinkers of all kinds. But what are these downsides?

First, drinking has an effect on your moods and thought processes, even when you’re not intoxicated. Drinking can make you tired and irritable, shorten your temper, and make it difficult to concentrate. While under the influence, some people experience wild mood swings or make irrational decisions.

When decision-making is impaired, people engage in much riskier behavior – which can lead to drunk driving, criminal charges, or personal injury. Such risks endanger lives, and could lead to job loss, jail time, and tremendous financial burden.

Even beyond all of these potential problems, drinking increases the risk of heart disease, causes people to gain weight, and damages the immune system. Long-term heavy drinking leads to all kinds of gastrointestinal problems as well, including liver failure and pancreatitis.

Studies show that cancer risk is increased with large amounts of alcohol consumption, and the physical damage alcohol abuse does to the brain can lead to psychiatric problems like depression and anxiety.

Unfortunately, almost all of this information is pretty common knowledge, and the people at risk just assume that it won’t happen to them (or fail to recognize when it’s already happening).

We urge you to examine your own habits, as well as the habits of those around you, and look for some tell tale signs that maybe you (or people you care about) are drinking too much. You can also evaluate the stress factors in your day-to-day life, and see if alcohol is playing a role in the problems you deal with regularly – you just might be surprised!

Next time, we’ll look directly at how alcohol use and abuse can affect relationships, and the damage it can cause in a marriage.

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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Sharlyn 10 years ago

I just can't win. I don't want my husband to drink anymore. If I get him only a little bit of beer, he gets mad because I didn't get enough. If I get him a lot, he turns into a jerk because he's way too drunk. Help? :(

Jonhat34 10 years ago

This has been the crux of my issues for years and the threat of divoirce was really the only thing that actually made me see the light and the dammage I was causing both my marriage and myself through my drinking. I isolated, was always standoffish and irratable botha t home and at work. It is only the beginning of the recovery process for me but 47 days without a drink and I now not only want to participate in the day to day things at home I always took for granted but I feel as though I need to and should have always been. Making positive changes for yourself not jsut your partner are extremely important and it at the very elast shows you are willing to work at making things right. If I stayed on my previous path I would no doubt be living somewhere else right now... or worse, and eventhough we have a long and trying road ahead of us I feel as though I have checked back into life. I now just hope my wife is willing to look beyond my previous issues and see that I want to be a part of this marriage again instead of just being along for the ride.

katlyn 10 years ago

been married 25 years... my husband's gut has grown with his drinking problem. hes so mean when i say something about it too. i just want him to be healthy

Rose 10 years ago

Same problem with me, but Dr. Dana has only one story to tell in her video and relate it with all marital problems, which does not make a sense. I am disappointed with her.

Mercy 10 years ago

I have been dealing with this problem for too long and finally my husband decided To go into an inpt rehab a week ago so I just pray for the best. There are so many friends with that same problem but like the article says they don't think it can happen to them.

Mike_Olsen_SMN 10 years ago

Sharlyn, Is your husband aware that you do not approve of his drinking habits? Please view this video if you think his drinking has a negative impact on your marriage:

Mike_Olsen_SMN 10 years ago

Jonhat34, Congratulations on being 47 days sober! If you are willing to continue making positive changes I am sure you wife will notice and appreciate the effort you are making. Remember to stay positive!

Mike_Olsen_SMN 10 years ago

Katlyn, If you think his health issues are harming your marriage, please take a look at this video:

Mike_Olsen_SMN 10 years ago

Mercy, It is good to hear that your husband recognized that he has a problem. I hope the two of you are able to work through this difficult time.

Jonhat34 10 years ago

Thanks for the positive comments, having been through this before but never actually working "the program" this time feels different and has from the first day I decided I was really powerless over this problem. Unfortunately no person could have made me quit but the tramatic event of my wife handing me divorce papers was enough to show me how much I really needed to change my life. I was miserable and hated myself and you cannot love anyone when you do not love yourself first. rehab is a great start, but alcoholism is a permanent disease so while afterward there may be a change, it takes constant work to maintain sobriety. I really never want to go back to the place I was, but it takes work to stay in the right frame of mind. One day at a time.

Karlie 10 years ago

Absolutely a problem. My husband combined alcohol with strip bars,thereby the brain associate the two feelings together. This became frequentl . I did not know. He left as trip bar with his dad, hit a city bus and went to jail. Went to jail again when drunk and knocked on the wrong front door. Then during 6 1/2 Mo part week room rental, watched t The Voice each week while drinking wine. On the last night of the rental ( he was moving back to new and full time worm in our city) he got drunk with the landlord and stuff happened which caused a lot of damage. She called me, my children, a d his work, which caused him embarrassment.

Mike_Olsen_SMN 10 years ago

You absolutely right that the change starts with you. Congratulations on making that choice!

Mike_Olsen_SMN 10 years ago

That's sounds really difficult, Karlie. I hope you are able to find support in this situation. I'd recommend watching to try to get him checked back in to your marriage.

Adriana 8 years ago

Yes, as soon as my husband stopped drinking our relationship, and ALL his relationships, in fact, improved. He was taking us to ruin both emotionally and financially. It was on my insistence and with the threat of kicking him out...but he loves me and our family and he is now clean 2 yes an 3 months.

Adriana 8 years ago

Yes, as soon as my husband stopped drinking our relationship, and ALL his relationships, in fact, improved. He was taking us to ruin both emotionally and financially. It was on my insistence and with the threat of kicking him out...but he loves me and our family and he is now clean 2 yes an 3 months.