Restorations Therapy Blog

The Effects of Alcoholism on Marriage

by on Wednesday, September 30th, 2020

Alcoholism can be hard to spot in today’s society, as drinking is a common activity at social events. New couples may not have drinking issues at the beginning of a marriage. However, after spending many years together, it is possible for one partner to start coping with stress by consuming more alcohol.

When this occurs, alcohol usage becomes a problem and can begin having a negative impact on a couple’s marriage. Knowing the negative consequences alcohol can have on marriage can help couples avoid it or help them work through problems related to alcoholism.

Detachment & Emotional Unavailability

When alcohol is used in large quantities, it can cause a person to become more detached. This is especially true when alcoholism becomes more unmanageable. Both partners tend to withdraw from each other emotionally as it progresses. Studies show that alcoholic men have more difficulty recognizing emotional cues in verbal language. They also tend to have an issue displaying empathy.

Sex Life

Testosterone is lowered when alcohol is consumed. This can be a problem because testosterone is necessary for sexual arousal and a man’s libido. This can cause the male in the relationship to become less interested in his partner.

In 2016, a study found that alcohol can negatively impact the quality of sex for both men and women.

Fertility Problems

The chances of conception are lower when alcohol is consumed in large amounts. In fact, a 2016 study found that women that have fourteen or more drinks a week are 18% less likely to conceive.

Drinking can also affect the quality of sperm. Even if a woman does conceive, miscarriage is two to three times more likely if the woman was drinking during the week she conceived. Miscarriage is also two to four times more likely if the man drank.


While all cases of infidelity cannot be blamed on alcohol, it is important to understand how alcohol affects decision-making processes in relationships. Studies have shown that drinking problems are related to higher rates of having sex outside of one’s relationship.

This is because of the fact that higher consumption rates of alcohol result in poor decision-making. The deterioration of intimacy in a relationship between partners is understandable if someone is not thinking rationally.

Marriage is full of ups and downs, but alcoholism can be a difficult hurdle to overcome. The negative impact it has on marriage is evident in different ways, from emotional unavailability to a decreased sex life and fertility problems. Understanding how to recognize these consequences of alcoholism on marriage can serve as a building block to discussing the issue and moving forward. Restorations Therapy understands what you are going through and is ready to help you at any time. Contact them today at (720) 446-6585 to see what your next step should be.

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