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Alcohol affects a third of relationships

Friday, February 12th, 2010 Alcohol affects a third of relationships

A third of relationships in Scotland are affected by alcohol according to a new study by alcohol awareness charity Drinkaware.

Thirty per cent of adults have argued with a partner because of alcohol and 17 per cent have expressed concern about the effect that alcohol is having on their relationship.

The study found that whether people were staying in watching the TV, going out to the local pub or spending time with friends, drinking an excessive amount of alcohol can lead to unnecessary arguments and can encourage irrational and unpredictable behaviour.

Drinkaware also found that 8 per cent of adults in Scotland witnessed either their current or previous partners flirting with other people, whilst 14 per cent admitted to feeling embarrassed when a current or past partner had drunk too much.

Jonathan Chick, a consultant psychiatrist and a member of Drinkaware’s medical advisory panel, said: “Lots of things influence our relationships and alcohol is no exception.

“While many couples enjoy a drink together, for some alcohol can spoil the evening. You don’t have to be an alcoholic for alcohol to damage your love life.

“People in Scotland should think about the role alcohol plays in their relationship - they might see that it’s causing more tension than tenderness.”

He added: “Alcohol can make us impulsive or uninhibited and this can unintentionally hurt our relationships. People who get drunk may behave inappropriately, say something upsetting that they don’t really mean, or become argumentative.

“These situations often get worse when both partners are drinking and when you go to bed with bad feelings, altercations can carry over into the next day.”

Additional research suggests that marriages are twice as likely to end in divorce when one partner has a problem with alcohol and that drink was a factor in 73% of domestic abuse cases.

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