Nobody wants to acknowledge that they might have a problem.
And when talking about the potential signs of alcoholism with our spouses, this is most definitely the case.
There are so many connotations that come with the term and none of them are positive.
Meanwhile, those suffering might have absolutely no idea that they have, well a problem.
Even so, the tell-tale signs are out there for those who might be going down the path – and most of them are directly related to your mental and physical health.
By acknowledging your spouse’s health issues now, you can help nip some bad habits in the bud before their drinking snowballs out of control.
Whether you’re looking into helpful resources such as Al-Anon or are starting to wonder if your significant other’s drinking is abnormal, your head’s in the right place.
Below are six signs to watch out for regarding physical and mental health as it pertains to their drinking habits.
1. Their Drinking is Far from “Average”
For starters, there’s a lot of misinformation and misunderstanding out there in regard to what’s considered to be “normal” drinking behavior. This ultimately leads to alcoholics not realizing that their habits are anything but typical.
And although figures on drinking averages aren’t everything, they’re certainly insightful for the public at large.
In the United States, the “average” person drinks less than 10 drinks per week. However, combine that with the conventional wisdom that roughly one-third of Americans don’t drink alcohol at all (if not very, very rarely). In this sense, the 10-per-week average figure, correct or ballpark, is likely skewed by those with alcoholic tendencies.
2. Their Friends Are Going Quiet
When your spouse’s drinking buddies are your only buddies, you know that something is amiss. Isolating those around you is a definite byproduct of alcoholism.
And on the flip side, having a large social circle doesn’t necessarily mean that everything’s peachy, either.
Friends and acquaintances may not be actively avoiding your spouse, but ask yourself: are the bulk of their social activities centered around alcohol? What else are you doing as a couple?
If you’ve noticed friends going quiet or realize that drinking is out one of the only things getting you two out of the house, it’s time to reassess your situation.
3. They’re Having a Tough Time at Work
Habits at home shouldn’t have a negative impact on what happens in the office. For alcoholics, however, this is rarely the case.
Tardiness or slipping performance in at work is yet another classic sign that your spouse needs to seek professional help. These issues will likely worsen slowly rather than happen all at once. if you’ve noticed your spouse complaining about work or getting reprimanded, there might be a correlation with their drinking at home.
Whether it’s in the form of lost productivity or potentially losing their job altogether, there’s no excuse for alcohol to potentially endanger your spouse’s livelihood or your own.
4. Their Bank Balance is Lower Than Usual
On a related note, signs of compulsive spending are common among people who begin to prioritize alcohol over other essential expenses.
Spending a few more bucks on drinks here and there might not seem like a big deal, but allocating any significant portion of one’s budget can add up quickly. If they’re constantly complaining about being short on cash, it’s time to figure out why.
If nothing else, compulsive spending is undoubtedly unhealthy. For example, what happens when your spouse start sacrificing luxuries such as their gym membership or even bills in lieu of alcohol? It doesn’t take a doctor to see that such behavior is a bad sign for their health.
5. Sudden Weight Gain
Speaking of which, many people are totally in the dark when it comes to calories in alcoholic beverages.
A seemingly innocuous beer “here or there” or “just a few drinks” can take a heavy toll on one’s waistline. Assuming the “average” beer is roughly 150 calories and the “average” person drinks roughly 10 drinks per week, we’re talking about an excess of 1,500 calories per week.
Without additional exercise or caloric restriction, that could translate into some serious weight gain in a mere matter of weeks. This can translate into a whole myriad of additional health problems if left untreated. Sudden changes in your spouse’s appearance is yet another signal that it’s time to take action.
6. Their Sleep Quality is Suffering
Spouse can’t sleep through the night? Notice that they’re getting eight hours and still complain about feeling exhausted?
Unfortunately, that’s no surprise: a common side effect of both alcoholism and weight gain is poor sleep quality.
And if you can’t get your spouse can’t get proper rest, you can’t expect themt o effectively function. Beyond general discomfort, the long-term effects of sleep deprivation such as heart disease is rather telling.
Combined with the aforementioned issues, it’s clear to see the common thread here: alcoholism impacts just about every facet of one’s life once it has taken hold.
The reality remains that alcoholics and those developing drinking problems oftentimes have no idea how much their damaging their health long-term because of their habits.
If any of these situations are impacting your spouse or yourself, it’s perhaps time to seek personal help as well as professional medical advice.
There’s no shame in doing so: not only will your spouse thank you, but so will those around you.