Drinking Due to Marital Issues: Are Marriage Problems Leading You to Drink?

Disagreements, arguments, and quarrels may sometimes occur in a marriage. However, when you are unable to deal with the stress caused by marital problems, you might start looking for unhealthy and potentially destructive coping mechanisms – such as drinking. Sometimes both spouses drink heavily in these conditions that can lead to a downward spiral and more negative interactions. Serious financial problems in some cases may also be an underlying cause when one partner drinks heavily.

Alcohol dependence, excessive alcohol consumption, or heavy drinking are damaging not just for married couples, but also have an adverse impact on their children, other family members, and even friends. Heavy drinkers may find it challenging to maintain positive interpersonal relationships and there is a greater likelihood of worse outcomes, such as health issues, when a drinking problem gets out of control.

limiting alcohol intake

Common Causes of Marital Troubles

The most common causes of marital problems faced by couples include:

  • Financial stress caused by excessive spending, loss of a job, bad investments, or any other reason.
  • Lack of equitable distribution of household responsibilities.
  • Unrealistic expectations on one spouse’s part about the other spouse.
  • Spouses having different interests and different goals regarding their future.
  • Lack of communication between the spouses due to extremely busy schedules, lack of a social life, and work-related stress.
  • Health problems.
  • Lack of physical intimacy.
  • Stress caused by an unforeseen, traumatic situation.
  • Spouses being jealous of each other’s success.
  • Spouses not being appreciative of each other.
  • Lack of trust.
  • Anger issues.

Alcohol misuse can be a contributing factor to many of the above-listed marriage problems. Quite often, people drink with the confidence that they can maintain self-control. However, they may drink excessively and gradually end up with problem drinking that is beyond their control. Limiting alcohol intake is not only healthy for a marital relationship, it is also vital for bringing up children in a safe and secure home environment.

Drinking and Marital Troubles – What the Data Says

Data shows that approximately 50% of married couples in the country tend to drink regularly. A vast majority of these couples are moderate drinkers or social drinkers. Of these couples, 12% have a husband who drinks heavily, 5% where only the wife is a heavy drinker, and in 4% of couples, both spouses drink heavily.

Among couples where one or both spouses drink heavily, instances of domestic violence are more common compared to couples who drink moderately and couples who do not drink at all. Apart from this, heavy alcohol use by one or both spouses is associated with a wide range of negative outcomes including:

  • Fewer instances of positive interactions between the spouses.
  • Lower marital satisfaction.
  • Psychological abuse.

Why Drinking is Not the Solution to Marital Problems

No matter how bad your marital problems are, drinking is simply not the answer – regardless of other factors. It can not only ruin your physical and mental health in the long term, but can also worsen your marriage problems to the point that you might no longer be able to salvage your marriage.

It does not mean that once you get married, you must stop drinking altogether. Moderate drinking can be enjoyable and can even bring you and your spouse closer together. However, drinking to cope with your marital problems is never a good idea, as it can prevent you from taking steps to resolve your issues and strengthen your marital bond.

Study after study has shown that heavy drinking, can affect marriage in a variety of different ways. Heavy drinking can:

  • Cause you to make poor financial decisions.
  • Result in you neglecting your responsibilities – as a spouse, as a parent, and as an employee.
  • Lead to legal problems, as you might drink and drive, get into fights, behave disorderly in public, or engage in domestic violence.
  • Bring about serious health problems – both in the short term and in the long term.

How to Deal with Marital Problems

First, you need to understand that marital problems are extremely common and that no couple can claim to not have any troubles.

Talk to your spouse, open up about how you feel, and get them to open up about how they feel. Do this though when both of you are sober. If you need to, seek the help of a marriage counselor. Many problems that might seem impossible to tackle can actually be easy to resolve if you are willing to compromise, look at the big picture, and focus on your shared future with your spouse.

With all that said, if your marriage is so toxic that you do not have any hopes of resolving your issues, it might be better to end it rather than drowning your worries in alcohol and ending up with physical dependence on alcohol. 

Drinking Due to Marital Troubles? CheckUp & Choices Can Help You.

CheckUp & Choices offers a science-based, clinically proven program that can help you moderate your drinking habit or quit drinking – depending on your choice. The effectiveness of our program has been established through randomized clinical trials and countless people have benefited from it and can vouch for it.No matter why you started drinking, if you are willing to take charge of your life again, our program can help you. To find out more, browse our plans on our website.