How to Spot if Your Partner is a Functioning Alcoholic

How to Spot if Your Partner is a Functioning Alcoholic

Drinking alcohol is socially acceptable in most western cultures, but whilst there is nothing wrong with enjoying a few beers with friends on a Saturday night, a lot of people struggle to control their drinking habits and before long they cross the line into functional alcoholism. So how can you tell if your husband (or wife) has a problem with alcohol?

What is a Functional Alcoholic?

We are all familiar with the notion of an alcoholic, but the truth is that there are many types of alcoholics and functioning alcoholics are very different to the disheveled people who sit on park benches, cradling a bottle of spirits. On the face of it, a functioning alcoholic looks just like you or I. They are the soccer mom doing the school run or the busy executive chairing a meeting, but unlike social drinkers, a functioning alcoholic can’t get through the day without having a few drinks. And because they drink often, they usually appear sober even when they are well over the limit.

Spot the Signs of an Alcoholic

If you are married to a functioning alcoholic, you will probably be aware that they have a problem. Social drinkers don’t care whether they have a drink or not; alcohol is not the point around which their life revolves. It is very different for an alcoholic. They don’t drink for pleasure. Instead they drink because they are addicted to the “buzz” alcohol gives them or because alcohol helps them to cope with life. The only problem is that as time goes on, they need increasingly large amounts of alcohol to achieve the same effect.

Denial is an Alcoholics Best Friend

Most alcoholics refuse to admit that they drink too much. They invariably come up with all kinds of excuses for why they can’t get through an evening without two bottles of wine or several gins. They might say that alcohol helps them to relax, or “it’s perfectly normal to drink in the evening”. They might also claim they can stop whenever they like. However, you both know that’s a lie.

How to Lose Friends

Alcoholics are often the life and soul of the party, but invariably they end up in arguments or causing a scene once they pass a certain level of intoxication. And since an alcoholic can’t “not drink”, this type of behavior becomes commonplace at family gatherings, social occasions and public outings where alcohol is available. So if your partner’s social circle is diminishing or the invites are drying up, drink is negatively affecting their life and yours.

The New Normal

The problem with being an alcoholic is that one drink won’t be enough. One drink invariably turns into three or four, and then more. Alcoholics develop a tolerance for alcohol, so over time they need more and more. Therefore if your partner can down two bottles of wine and appear sober, they probably have a problem.

Alcoholism is a serious illness that wrecks relationships and destroys lives. If your partner is displaying all the signs of being a functioning alcoholic, it’s time to seek help from the


I am a mother of three human babies and six furry babies.

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