As the anxiety, frustration, and boredom of lockdown continues, at-home alcohol consumption is on the rise. It’s reported that sales of alcohol grew 55% over the past month, and many are struggling with keeping their drinking in check. But what if your spouse or partner is the one indulging a little too much?
We may all have similar feelings, but our reactions are different, and some are quicker than others to turn to substances to numb the stress. Here are some guidelines on addressing alcohol abuse with your partner:
How & When to Talk About It
If your partner is slipping into bad habits, remain sympathetic and access whether or not you feel they’ll be able to work through the hard time.
“It comes to knowing your spouse and monitoring their behavior patterns” stated LifeStance Health CEO Adam Russo on our latest podcast episode Stress & Substance Abuse . “If you find they’re becoming more irritable and less reliable, you have to call them out on it for the benefit of you and the family.”
If day-to-day life is changing for the worse, talk about it. They may be open to sharing feelings about why they’re turning to alcohol. Also, if applicable, you could talk to them about what you’re doing to keep your consumption in check to get a feel on whether or not they think they have a problem.
What if they disagree?
It’s possible that your partner feels there’s nothing wrong with the amount they drink – and resent the fact that they’ve been challenged.
They may feel they have a legitimate defense. Drinking is sometimes triggered by a change in events, and a specific issue such as losing a job, homeschooling, and worries about the safety of extended family may be taking a toll. Before broaching the topic, you may want to consider if there is a specific reason why they’re drinking a lot. It could be an important part of addressing what’s happening together.
Depending on how strongly they disagree with you, it might be that you’re able to compromise and meet somewhere in the middle, like making sure you’ve got a few evenings each week put aside for you to both enjoy sober.
It’s important to recognize when alcohol habits are teetering on dependency. Signs it’s getting out of hand include finding it hard to stop at two drinks, wanting to drink early in the morning, and being nervous about running out of alcohol. If you notice those signs, it may be time to seek help.
LifeStance Health offers non-judgmental counseling to help you better cope with substance abuse within your family. Our therapists can help you with when to intervene and how to approach your specific situation. Reach out via the link below for a confidential in-person or Telehealth appointment.