Signs that your Partner may have a Drinking Problem

When a partner is showing signs of a drinking problem, at first, it’s natural to exhibit self-doubt. It’s truly difficult to come to such terms knowing someone may be an abuser of alcohol.  

Generally, when approaching a loved one about a possible alcohol problem, more times than not, a partner will deny it. Other times, the discussion may escalate, followed by casting blame.

If an argument arises from the topic of alcohol, this may very well be a sign that alcohol is a problem in the family.

Here are some signs which may offer guidance on whether a loved one has an alcohol addiction. Please note that a healthcare professional can and should make the final determination.

These signs are in no particular order - they are tools to help leverage knowledge on alcohol abuse.


In order to avoid a red flag, partners who have an alcohol problem usually minimize how much they drink when discussing this issue.

Examples of this may include:

  • An abuser will hide alcohol around different areas of the home such as the closet, garage, and various cabinets. These hiding areas will not be the norm for storing alcohol.
  • Hiding empty bottles and not placing them in recycle bins. 
  • Sneaking drinks or adding alcohol to a non-alcoholic beverage such as coffee, soda, or club soda.
  • In order to hide the smell of alcohol on their breath, mints or gum will be consumed often. Yet, a hit of an alcohol scent may still linger.
  • They drink to a point where physical and mental impairment is challenged.
  • When asked if they have been drinking, they say “No” and/or become angry with the question.

 Changes In Drinking Habits

There is a noticeable increase in alcohol consumption.

Examples of this may include:

  • They drink more in the evenings or at social gatherings.
  • Drinking for longer stretches of time during the day, evening or weekend.
  • They may start drinking earlier in the day.
  • Frequent morning hangovers (headaches, nausea and/or vomiting).
  • Becomes irritable, but after a drink, is less irritable; and, mood swings are also common.
  • They come home with obvious signs of previously drinking.
  • They are more willing to pick fights.

Other Characteristics To Watch Out For

Other behaviors may manifest from a partner who is beginning to abuse alcohol. They won’t appear all at once, but instead, trickle into their daily life.

  • They would rather have a drink or remain in a “drink setting” rather than spending quality time with their partner.
  • Libido has decreased.
  • They exhibit forgetfulness regarding responsibilities and appointment times.
  • They start to miss work or academic courses; and, their performance declines.
  • They become easily fatigued during the day and want to sleep at odd hours.
  • May frequently show up late for dinner or not show up at all with excuses.
  • May blame their friend or business client who forced them to have a “drink” for their lateness.

If alcohol abuse is suspected, do seek the help of a medical professional for guidance and assistance.  There is enormous support not only for the addict to help them with a drinking problem, but for the whole family.

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