Is Alcohol Affecting Your Relationships?

Drinking too much can have a damaging effect on the relationships which matter most – whether it’s your family, friends, partner or colleagues.

Alcohol can alter your behaviour. Drinking heavily can have a negative effect on your behaviour – and some people find that they become more likely to argue with their partner after drinking. Experts believe that the reason this happens is due to the way alcohol affects the brain. Alcohol lowers your inhibitions, which may make you feel more confident and less anxious. But those lower inhibitions can also make you accidentally say or do something that you may come to regret.

The majority of people who drink are never violent, and even those who do become aggressive won’t be so all the time. However, if you often drink to excess, you could find your night ruined by an argument that neither of you really want. Late-night disagreements can grow into relationship-threatening resentments.

Domestic violence covers a vast spectrum of behaviour – including emotional, psychological and financial harm. Many people can be domestically abusive without drinking alcohol at all. Nonetheless, experts have observed a correlation between alcohol and domestic violence. In England and Wales, drinking alcohol before assaulting a partner was found to be a common factor in 32% of reported cases. (“Alcohol’s Harm to Others”, report by the Institute of Alcohol Studies, March 2016). If you do find that drinking heavily causes you to have more arguments or become aggressive towards your partner, it could be time to start thinking about ways to cut back on alcohol.

Don’t let alcohol ruin your relationship!

Try these simple tips to stop alcohol taking control over your relations with loved ones:

  • Go alcohol-free for an event. The best nights out don’t have to involve alcohol.
  • Stay within the unit guidelines. Be sensible, with no more than 14 units consumed per week.
  • Snack smarter. If you choose to drink, eat regularly before and during drinking.
  • Talk it out sober. If something is worrying you, don’t wait until you’ve had too much to drink to talk about it.

Alcohol misuse affects children

In October 2017, a report by the Institute of Alcohol Studies (IAS) found that:

  • — 18% of children surveyed felt embarrassed by their parent’s drinking habits
  • — 7% of children surveyed thought that their parents argued with them more than usual under the influence of alcohol
  • — 12% of children surveyed felt that their parents paid them less attention after drinking

For more information on how alcohol affects family life, click here.