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25 signs that your partner may have a drinking problem

So you think that your partner has a drinking problem. 

You have tried to discuss his drinking with him/her but every time you bring up the issue you end up in an argument. 

S/he denies it and you end up feeling guilty. 

Firstly let us point you to another page where we discuss, does your partner have an alcohol problem? 

However what we have found is that even after reading that page some people still want a more explicit answer.  So we have provided the medical definition of alcohol problems here.  On this page we will give some simple straightforward pointers to answer your question. 

If he is doing some or all of these then probably he has an alcohol problem.  
The more of them he is doing the more likely he has a problem.  

So in no particular order, he probably has an alcohol problem if s/he:-

  • 1.       Smells of alcohol, all or much of the time
  • 2.     Hides drink bottles
  • 3.     Sneaks drinks
  • 4.     Lies about how much s/he drinks
  • 5.     Is drinking more than s/he used to
  • 6.     Is drinking more often
  • 7.     Drinks earlier in the day
  • 8.     Puts drinking before spending time with you
  • 9.     Takes days off work more often
  • 10.   Is hung over in the mornings more often
  • 11.   Has mood swings if s/he is not drinking
  • 12.   Loses interest in sex
  • 13.   Behaves inappropriately at social gatherings
  • 14.   Organises outings around drinking
  • 15.   Tries to downplay the amount and impact of his/her drinking
  • 16.   Sometimes uncharacteristically offers to go shopping
  • 17.   Increases the frequency of meetings with friends in the bar
  • 18.   Frequently comes back later than planned / even skips meals altogether
  • 19.   Shows obvious signs of drinking, slurring speech and unsteady on her/his feet
  • 20.   Forgets appointments
  • 21.   Breaks promises and does not keep commitments
  • 22.   Picks more fights or is more aggressive than before
  • 23.   Is more defensive when alcohol is mentioned
  • 24.   Falls asleep in inappropriate and sometimes dangerous circumstances
  • 25.   Gets drunk a lot
You may be thinking, well nothing new there and you would be absolutely right.  It does not take an eminent psychiatrist to tell if someone has a drink problem.  The signs of a drinking problem/ alcoholism are almost always obvious.  What is more difficult is admitting, even to yourself, that your loved one has a problem with alcohol.  However lets look at a different way of deciding whether or not there is an alcohol problem.

All material copyright Lou Lewis and John McMahon © 2018

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