Alcoholism is an addiction, which means that for the alcoholic, alcohol intensifies the demand for itself without satiation but with toxic effect. Alcoholics lie, make excuses, blame others, and continue to drink. Being married to an alcoholic is extremely stressful, and the sober spouse needs to reflect on the pros and cons of saving the marriage. A divorce from an alcoholic spouse can help, but before taking any step the sober spouse needs to consider the options.
In an alcoholic marriage, marital distress is always high. The distress leads to dissatisfaction, and people soon look for ways to escape.
When an alcoholic is under the influence, it becomes impossible for a partner to communicate. Poor communication incubates anger. Without communication, important issues such as family finances, sexual intimacy, and childrearing decisions go unresolved. This can increase the tension in marital life. The warmth and unity of marriage become but memories of another time. The alcoholic becomes irresponsible and loses interest in everyday household tasks and responsibilities. When he or she does not get support, the sober spouse becomes unhappy.
Alcoholic men are more likely to be verbally and physically violent. Alcohol abuse is connected to increased aggression and marital violence that tends to be more severe and even likely to result in injury. When there are small children in a family, parental alcoholism can lead to psychological distress amongst children. There will also be increase in social, emotional, behavioral, and academic problems, which can be harmful for their future.