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Signs of a Drinking Problem in Men

signs drinking problem men

Alcohol consumption is both incredibly common and widely accepted. Countless people have a few drinks after work, a drink or two with friends on the weekend, or even a glass of wine with dinner. Sadly, however, for some people, social drinking isn’t a possibility. For these individuals, knowing when to stop drinking is next to impossible.

You might drink until you blackout, or your drinking may become so frequent that it begins to have a negative impact on every corner of your life. If you or a loved one has been struggling with alcohol addiction, the stress of his alcohol use is probably taking an equally significant toll on your life. The good news is once you’ve recognized the signs of addiction, you may be able to help.

Among some of the most common signs of alcoholism in men is an inability to stop drinking or limit alcohol consumption despite an intense, personal desire to do so. You may recognize that your alcohol use is putting their family, finances, and even personal freedom in danger.

Even after getting multiple DUIs, multiple warnings at work, and constant reprimands from loved ones, you invariably return to the same bad choices that have already caused tremendous self-harm. Sometimes, one of the biggest challenges is being able to admit that your husband has a problem.

Just as addicts themselves can face a considerable amount of denial, their spouses are often living in denial as well. The spouse of an addict may even be guilty of enabling their partner’s drinking. Understanding the following signs of a drinking problem in men will help you move past your denial and start taking steps to get the help you need.

Common Signs of a Drinking Problem in Men

When the body is constantly bombarded with alcohol, men often have a hard time thinking clearly. This loss of clarity can lead to poor judgement, diminished inhibitions, and decision-making that isn’t in line with a person’s normal personality. With excessive and prolonged alcohol use, these are symptoms that can persist even when the individual isn’t actually intoxicated. If you have been making choices that are totally out of character, especially if your drinking has increased in recent weeks or months, this may be evidence of a developing addiction.

When sober, men who struggle with addiction frequently revert back to their old selves. This is one reason why their spouses can have such a hard time recognizing their drinking as problematic. However, if you’re seeing a repeated cycle of behavioral changes, and one that’s always followed by an extremely positive disposition, it is time to take action. The sooner that addiction is addressed; the sooner you can look for needs-specific options in treatment.

Problems in Your Relationship – For Wives and Partners

If you believe that you’re the wife of an addict, you’re probably dealing with an overwhelming amount of stress. Alcohol addiction can make men untrustworthy and unreliable. As people become increasingly reliant on alcohol, drinking and finding excuses to drink become top priorities. With alcoholism in men, this can mean being less available to assist with parenting, less able to manage household-related finances, and less able to be a functioning, and emotionally contributing spouse. 

General Loss of Control

If you’re living with an addicted husband, you may be picking up the slack in areas where he’s under-performing or making regular excuses for his behavior. This is known as enabling. Enabling prevents a man with a drinking problem from experiencing the full consequences of his actions and from recognizing his alcohol use as being inherently dangerous to his well-being. Wives of alcoholics frequently:

  • Clean up their physical messes
  • Make excuses about why they can’t come into work or why they’ll be showing up late
  • Attempt to mitigate legal issues such as DUI charges

If your husband has been fired, reprimanded at work, or has quit without reason, these may be signs that his drinking has spiraled out of control. However, with enabling people in their lives, many men can continue drinking and functioning indefinitely. They can maintain their jobs, continue paying most or all of their bills, and continue keeping up appearances in public. This is known as being a functional alcoholic, and it can be just as detrimental to a man’s physical health, emotional health, marriage, and young children as alcoholism without the ability to function.

Broken Promises

You may have confronted your husband about his drinking before. With denial, many men refuse to admit that their drinking is out of control. They may even attempt to shift blame onto others. For instance, your husband may say that he stays out late and drinks because his home life is unhappy, his household responsibilities are overwhelming, or because he feels dissatisfied with his job. These responses to confrontation are manipulative, and they are rooted in a fear of dealing with the disease of alcoholism head-on. Drinking does not minimize responsibilities, improve life qualities, or promote true or lasting happiness.

When confronted, your husband may alternatively make promises to get better. Unsurprisingly, these are rooted in denial as well. Alcoholics are frequently plagued by the belief that they can change their habits and behaviors anytime they want to. If your husband has promised to quit drinking or has promised to limit his drinking multiple times before, this is a sign of alcoholic addiction. A man that has a drinking problem can also deal with mood swings, frustration, and difficulty controlling aggression. Promises to be less aggressive, less physically confrontational, and less moody all-around are invariably broken. The only way for alcoholics to truly change their behaviors is by seeking and accepting professional treatment.

At Recovery Bay Center, we have alcohol recovery programs that have been streamlined specifically for meeting the needs of addicted men. Men who attend our programs have access to comprehensive mental health services, medically assisted detox, residential treatment, outpatient treatment, and more. If you’re tired of living with an addicted spouse and want to get your husband the support he needs, we’re here to help. Get in touch with us now by calling 833-991-2955.