Alcoholism And Marriage: 3 Signs of an Alcoholic Spouse

By
Kim Vytell
Medically Reviewed by
Dr. Jefferey A. Berman MD, DFASAM
Last Updated
June 28, 2023

Part of the complete guide to understanding addiction

Table of Contents
  1. Hiding Alcohol from Spouse
  2. Losing Control of Responsibilities
  3. Can’t Stop After One Drink
  4. Summary and Next Steps

While most of us know what alcoholism is, it’s hard to pick it out in our daily lives, especially if it’s affecting someone close to us. It’s not easy to see if someone’s drinking habits are normal or part of a bigger issue. This article pinpoints three signs of an alcoholic spouse, to give you a clearer picture of your spouse’s relationship with alcohol and whether they may have a drinking problem..

Those with a healthy relationship with alcohol, don’t drink often or excessively enough to the point where it’s unhealthy. Alcoholics on the other hand, are physically and psychologically dependent on the substance and have a hard time stopping once they start.

It’s important for you to know that anyone, happy or otherwise, can fall into addiction. That’s why it’s especially crucial for you to be aware of the telltale signs of alcohol abuse in someone you love. Then, you can provide the support and care that they need to recover successfully

Identifying the Signs of an Alcoholic Spouse

Are you struggling with the question is my spouse an alcoholic? Another common question people deal with is my partner is hiding alcohol, what does this mean? An alcoholic can create dysfunctional family dynamics that wreak havoc on family members’ lives. Here are three identifying signs to look out for:

Back to top

1. Hiding Alcohol from a Spouse

A spouse being dishonest about the frequency and amount of their drinking indicates a bigger problem and could worsen. Watch for a husband or wife hiding alcohol throughout the home, late nights at “work” that result in drunken behavior, and vodka being the drink of choice for its odorless scent. Try talking to your partner about these dishonest actions. Tell them your concerns and discuss how you can both handle this issue together.

Back to top

2. Losing Control of Responsibilities

Alcoholics have difficulty managing their responsibilities at work, home, and school. Spouses might have multiple DUIs, lose their jobs, have trouble in school, isolate family and friends, and have unexplainable injuries [1]. If your spouse is usually on top of their schedule and then suddenly isn’t, this may be one of the signs of an alcoholic spouse.

Back to top


Contact us or call now!
1- 888-683-0333
  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • By submitting this form. I am providing express written consent to contact me by SMS at the phone number provided.

3. Can’t Stop After One Drink

Alcoholics drink with the goal of getting drunk every time.  Constantly drinking to inebriation, without showing a sense of care for their behavior, is a sign of alcohol addiction. A lot of times, those with a dependency will drink before attending drinking events to get ahead. This might be a way to reduce some social anxiety related to the event [2]. Talk to your partner about their excessive drinking and the impact it’s having on your lives.

Found Signs of Alcoholism in a Spouse? Next Steps:

Alcoholism remains a very sensitive and complicated disease. Because this addiction thrives in secret, it is important to proceed with caution if you find your husband/wife hiding alcohol or suspect alcoholic behavior in your marriage. It could be something minor that you pick up on, such as an alcoholic breath smell or body odor, but hasty action or reaction can make things worse. Don’t immediately demand answers and force your partner to admit themselves to treatment. The wrong approach could have your spouse turning to even more drinking, causing more harm and damage. Support, sensitivity and acceptance will go a long way towards helping your partner to face their addiction and enter treatment for it.

Remember, you are never to blame for your partner’s addiction. Their alcohol addiction issues have nothing to do with you. It’s ultimately your partner’s decision to drink, and it will be their decision to seek help and treatment. 

However, there are many experts out there who would be able to help and guide you yourself through this, in dealing with alcoholic behavior in marriage and a spouse with a drinking problem. Contact us now at Avenues Recovery for further guidance and professional advice on dealing with an alcoholic spouse or call 888-683-0333.

To learn more about alcoholism, including why alcoholics smell bad, read the informative resources on our website.

Back to top

Sources

[1] www.encyclopedia.com

[2] adaa.org

Get help now

Call 24/7 888-683-0333

Enter your information below and one of our outreach coordinators will contact you immediately.

  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • By submitting this form. I am providing express written consent to contact me by SMS at the phone number provided.

I'm standing by
ready to help you

Brooke Abner,

Motivational Coach