Many people who are addicted to alcohol try to convince themselves that their disease is not affecting those around them. Anyone who has lived with an alcoholic knows this is not true; alcoholism affects the whole family and it ruins marriages.
Study on Alcoholism and Marriage
The Indiana University School of Education conducted a 30 year study on the effects of alcoholism on marriage. The results were published in the April 2011 issue of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research. Researchers found that individuals who were problem drinkers were more likely to marry at a later age. These individuals were also more likely to get divorced sooner.
The results of this study are not surprising. Someone who is preoccupied with alcohol will have a harder time finding a partner who will stick with them in the first place. Those alcoholics who do get married will bring dysfunction and disorder to the relationship, which often causes the spouse to leave the marriage after a short time.
Some spouses of alcoholics continue to stay in the relationship, and this is not healthy either. Many spouses of alcoholics suffer from codependency: a psychological condition in which a person is controlled or manipulated by another who is affected with a pathological condition. These individuals constantly enable the alcoholic, make excuses for them, and allow them to continue with their drinking. They may threaten to leave the relationship, but time after time they get back together with the alcoholic, because they are not psychologically strong enough to stand on their own.
Alcoholism causes turmoil in relationships. Anyone suffering through a marriage with an alcoholic is encouraged to get help both for their spouse and for themselves. A professional can help couples work through their issues, treat the alcoholism, and begin rebuilding their marriage.