Two features make alcoholism a uniquely family related issue and concern. First, alcoholism has a strong genetic component associated with it which means it can be passed down from one generation to the next and second, alcoholism affects the family first and then almost always all other relationships. Many times, when dealing with alcoholism we assume that the addict is the only one affected because they’re the ones who are drinking. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Oftentimes the addict will tell themselves this to make themselves feel better. They don’t see the negative affects that they are causing in the lives of those around them, often because otherwise it would interfere with their drinking.
Emotional Hostage Relationships
Most alcoholics are the life of the party when they start to drink but when they drink too much they can get sad and some will become angry and violent. This erratic behavior makes it hard for family members to know how to approach them. Family members are constantly on edge around them. This leads to family members constantly trying to keep the alcoholic happy all the time or suffer the consequences of the angry side coming out. This can be defined as emotional hostage-taking. When the alcoholic figures out they have this control over their family members, they will often start using this power more and more and will become very manipulative.
Alcoholism Causes Stress on Family Structure
When a member of the family is addicted to alcohol it leads to stress for everyone in the household. Alcoholics get good at minimizing the affects that their emotional outbursts have on their families. This doesn’t erase the damage of growing up without a true father or a true spouse and the family lives in a state of alcoholic isolation. To add to that stress, there’s the health and well being of the alcoholic to consider. Many children end up putting blame on themselves for the way their parent acts and the result can be behavioral problems at school. They can also become withdrawn and depressed. The stress that surrounds the alcoholic takes a toll on everyone around them and can lead to problems in school, with relationships and sadly, they are more prone to becoming dependent on substances themselves. Stress can also lead to heart disease and diabetes along with being a risk factor for many other diseases.
Financial Burden of Alcoholism in Marriage & Family Relationships
When you consider how much alcohol costs, you can see how it can lead to financial problems. Alcoholics will run up tabs in bars, restaurants, sporting events, etc. Alcoholics have a hard time keeping their jobs because of erratic behavior, being absent from work and an inability to do their job. If alcoholism leads to problems with the law, there will be legal fees and time in jail are compounded due to lost wages.
Support for Alcoholics & Families in Greater San Jose, California
Alcoholism can ruin the lives of family members. It will cause damage to your life and the lives of those you love the most. If you or a loved one is suffering with an addiction to alcohol, it’s time to get help and start the recovery process. Sign up to be the first to hear when Meehab Addiction Recovery’s app goes live to help get your life back on track.