Like oil and water that do not mix together, so do marriage and alcoholism. The effects of being addicted to alcohol are so destructive to any relationship, especially in a marital relationship. Author Margaret Moschak found out the truth about this the hard way. She shares her experience in her book, My Alcoholic, My Love: My Love and Loss of an Alcoholic Husband, living with an alcoholic and abusive husband. Margaret recounts her hardships and struggles to live under the same roof with an alcoholic husband and how she found redemption and a new life for herself and her children. Living with an alcoholic family member is never easy, especially if the husband or wife has an alcohol use disorder problem.
Marriage and Alcoholism
The author talks about how her husband attacked her during one of his alcoholic bouts. Same in reality. Alcoholism’s effect on marriage goes beyond just frequent physical rows between spouses. The impact of alcohol addiction on any relationship is so expansive that it ultimately affects even third parties outside of any relationship. Below are some of the ramifications of alcoholism on marriage:
Neglect of Duties
One of the glaring effects alcoholism has on any marriage is that the alcoholic partner often does not perform their duties and obligations. If a person has taken one too many glasses of beer, the effect is almost similar to tired and sluggish in nature. The chemical stimulant that alcohol has on a person’s central nervous system makes them feel temporarily relaxed, if not too over relaxed. But that’s not something good at all. Alcohol works as a sedative. Once taken or injected, Sedatives produce a calming or soothing effect on the nerves or muscles. If a person becomes addicted to the calming influence of alcohol, they tend to long and become obsessed with it, hence, the addiction. When a person is too relaxed, they tend to do almost nothing at all. Or nothing comprehensible at all. The long-term effect is that alcohol impairs the person’s mental and rational functions and physical capability. By the time the product settles in, the alcoholic spouse forgets or neglects their duty to their other half or even to their children.
Domestic Violence or Abuse
Once a person’s cognitive function is impaired, they lose their ability to think clearly. With the loss of their rational or logical thinking comes unthought-of actions. They’d get into arguments without a clear line of opinion and often would act on impulse. The alcohol’s effect would also give them a temporary boost of confidence, making the drinker feel superior to anyone they come across with. Or, it could be the exact opposite, making them wallow in their insecurities, making them feel like the world is against them. At any rate, they become aggressive with anyone they come across with. When it comes to their spouses, physical violence ensues in the middle of the fight. When it is alcohol addiction, physical altercation becomes a regular occurrence.
All of those mentioned above have legal consequences. Neglect in duties is akin to abandonment or inability to perform as a spouse or father. All the more with domestic abuse leading to physical injuries. An alcoholic also tends to get into fights in public, fighting with strangers. There’s also the DUI or driving under the Influence infraction if the alcoholic is caught driving a car while drunk. And then there’s the public display of disorderly conduct if the alcoholic is creating a raucous or becomes too rough and noisy in public.
Margaret Moschak shared that it is not easy living with an alcoholic spouse. But, the author gave her readers hope. Hope always comes with a choice; the choice to be safe, healthy, and happy. To save the marriage from alcoholism needs a lot of help and intervention from family, friends, and the community. The author bravely chooses a new life and successfully does so at the end, where she finds a new and satisfying life for her and her kids. But hope is not lost for those who remained in marriage. It’s a matter of knowing where and how to look for help. Help always comes to those who ask for it.
Read more about the author’s story in “My Alcoholic, My Love: My Love and Loss of an Alcoholic Husband.” Grab a copy now on Amazon, or head over to the author’s website.