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Your Partner’s Drinking Problem Could Rub Off on You

Having a Partner With an Addiction

Being in a relationship can influence you to pick up your partner’s bad habits, like eating fast food for example. A new study suggests you could also pick up a much more serious problem — alcoholism.

The Study

In the study, sociologists explored how relationships affect individuals’ drinking habits. The study analyzed data from a survey taken by 5,305 men and women at different stages in their marriages. Some participants had never been married while others were married or had been divorced. The results surrounding the way people drink inside a marriage were shocking. In all of the cases, the men drank more than the women. But, it was found married women actually drank more than single or divorced women. Apparently, married women were influenced by their husband’s drinking and therefore used alcohol much more often.

Alcoholism and Relationships

In light of these results, it is very important for those suffering from alcoholism and their spouses to understand the importance of seeking treatment. If you are in a relationship with someone who has an alcohol problem, it is likely their problem will affect you. It is possible you may even develop your own dependence on alcohol. An alcoholic’s loved ones are usually the most affected by their addiction. A partner or spouse is exposed to the influence of alcohol as well as the stress from coping with their partner’s drinking problem. This can become a vicious cycle that leads to more drinking from both parties. Stop the Cycle If you struggle with alcohol, you should consider seeking help with your condition before it affects your loved ones. Never encourage your spouse to drink with you for the risk of them developing their own addiction. Alternatively, if you are in relationship with someone who suffers from alcoholism, strive to help them fight their addiction rather than joining in. You may feel drinking is the only way you can bond with them or spend time together, but you will only be enabling their addiction and putting yourself at risk. Photo: Michael N. Patterson

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