Is My Partner an Alcoholic?

Is My Partner an Alcoholic?

Around 800,000 citizens of the United States have been married to an alcoholic. At times when life feels empty, dark, and alone, it is important to remember that you are not alone. It’s possible to experience these intense emotions and make it out okay

In a relationship, it's important to be able to recognize the signs and symptoms of alcoholism in order to address the issue and seek help. In this comprehensive guide, one can explore the key indicators that may suggest the answer to the question is my partner an alcoholic? as well as provide insights into the impact of alcohol addiction on relationships.

Understanding Alcohol Addiction

Alcohol addiction, also known as alcohol use disorder (AUD), is a serious condition that affects individuals and their loved ones. It is characterized by a problematic pattern of alcohol use that leads to significant impairment or distress. To determine if my partner drinks too much, it's crucial to familiarize oneself with the signs and symptoms associated with this condition.

The Prevalence of Alcohol Use

Alcohol consumption is widespread in the United States, with a significant percentage of the population reporting drinking alcohol at some point in their lives. Binge drinking, defined as consuming four or more drinks for women and five or more drinks for men within a few hours, is also a concerning issue. It is estimated that nearly 27% of American adults engage in binge drinking each month.

Signs of Alcohol Addiction: My Partner is an Alcoholic

Spotting that my partner is an alcoholic requires observation and an understanding of the behavioral changes often associated with this condition. While not every individual will display all of these signs, several key indicators may suggest a problem with alcohol:

  1. Changes in Behavior: Alcohol addiction can lead to mood swings, uncharacteristic behavior, and bursts of energy followed by crashes. One’s partner may seem different from day to day or hour to hour, depending on their alcohol consumption.
  2. Increased Tolerance: Those struggling with alcohol addiction often need to consume more alcohol to achieve the desired effects. If my partner drinks too much without appearing intoxicated, it may be a sign of alcohol tolerance.
  3. Neglecting Responsibilities: Alcohol addiction can interfere with personal and professional responsibilities. A partner may start missing work, neglect household duties, or experience a decline in performance due to their alcohol consumption.
  4. Drinking in Risky Situations: Individuals with alcohol addiction may engage in risky behaviors while under the influence. They may drink and drive, operate machinery, or participate in other activities that pose a danger to themselves and others.
  5. Secrecy and Concealment: Hiding alcohol or empty bottles, lying about the amount consumed, and exhibiting secretive behavior are common signs of alcohol addiction. A partner may go to great lengths to hide their drinking habits.
  6. Withdrawal Symptoms: If a partner experiences physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms when attempting to stop drinking or when alcohol is not available, it may indicate a dependency on alcohol.
  7. Relationship Strain: Alcohol addiction can strain relationships, leading to conflicts, arguments, and a breakdown in trust. A partner may become defensive or hostile when confronted about their drinking habits. Those reactions can attest to the statement, my partner drinks too much.
  8. Neglecting Personal Appearance: Those struggling with alcohol addiction may prioritize drinking over personal hygiene and appearance. They may exhibit a decline in self-care and neglect their physical appearance.
  9. Financial and Legal Issues: Alcohol addiction can lead to financial problems, such as spending excessive amounts on alcohol or neglecting financial obligations. A partner may also face legal issues if their drinking behavior leads to accidents or legal repercussions.
  10. Health Problems: Excessive alcohol consumption can have a detrimental impact on physical and mental health. A partner may experience weight loss, frequent illnesses, liver damage, and other alcohol-related health issues.

Seeking Professional Help

If the significant other suspects and asks the question, is my partner an alcoholic, it is crucial to encourage them to seek professional help. Alcohol addiction is a serious condition that requires professional intervention and support. Treatment options such as detoxification, inpatient or outpatient rehabilitation programs, therapy, and support groups can provide the necessary tools and guidance for recovery.


Is My Partner an Alcoholic? What to do After Answering

Living with a partner who is struggling with alcohol addiction can be emotionally challenging. It's important to prioritize one’s own well-being and seek support for oneself as well. Here are some coping strategies that may help:

Educate Oneself

Take the time to educate oneself about alcohol addiction and its effects. Understanding the nature of the condition can help to approach the partner with empathy and compassion.

Set Boundaries

Establish clear boundaries regarding acceptable behavior and consequences related to alcohol consumption. Communicate these boundaries to the partner and be prepared to enforce them if necessary.

Encourage Treatment

Gently encourage the partner to seek professional help for their alcohol addiction. Offer to assist them in finding suitable treatment options and provide emotional support throughout the process.

Seek Support

Reach out to support groups, such as Al-Anon, that are specifically designed for the loved ones of individuals struggling with alcohol addiction. These groups can provide guidance, understanding, and a safe space to share experiences.

Practice Self-Care

Taking care of one’s own well-being is essential when dealing with the challenges of living with an alcoholic partner. Make sure to prioritize self-care activities that promote physical, emotional, and mental health.

Communicate Effectively

Maintain open and honest communication with the partner about their alcohol addiction. Express concerns, feelings, and observations in a non-confrontational manner, emphasizing the support and willingness to help.

Avoid Enabling Behavior

It's important to avoid enabling a partner's alcohol addiction. Refrain from covering up their actions, making excuses for them, or taking on responsibilities that belong to them. Encourage personal accountability and responsibility.

Take Care of Safety

If the partner's alcohol addiction poses a risk to their safety or the safety of others, it may be necessary to take appropriate measures to ensure everyone's well-being. This may involve seeking professional advice or involving relevant authorities if necessary.

Stay Positive

Maintain a positive outlook and believe in the possibility of recovery for the partner. Celebrate small victories along the way and offer encouragement and support throughout their journey.

Seek Couples Therapy

Consider seeking couples therapy as a way to address the impact of alcohol addiction on the relationship. A qualified therapist can help facilitate open communication, rebuild trust, and navigate the challenges that arise.

Remember, supporting a partner with alcohol addiction can be emotionally draining, and it's important to prioritize one’s own well-being throughout the process. Seek professional help, engage in self-care practices, and lean on support networks to navigate this challenging journey.


Recognizing the signs that my partner is an alcoholic is the first step towards addressing the issue and seeking help. By being vigilant and observant, one can play a crucial role in encouraging the partner to seek treatment and embark on a path to recovery. With the right support and resources, there is hope for a healthier and happier future.


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There is help available to you if you or a loved one has a physical dependence or psychological dependence on alcohol. These urges and compulsive behaviors can control your life, but you can take back control. Relay's addiction recovery program provides a comprehensive, outpatient approach to behavioral change - at home, at your own pace. To each new program member, we provide a personalized recovery plan, a peer support group, progress tracking, journaling, and intelligent insights about your behavior patterns, all within a simple and secure mobile app Our proven approach helps program members achieve the best chance at long-term recovery without the time or expense of rehab or therapy. Try the Relay program for free here; if you need help as you get set up, contact us now at

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