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5 Reasons Your Drinking Destroyed Your Relationship

5 Reasons Your Drinking Destroyed Your Relationship

Let’s be blunt for a moment: being broken up with sucks. With each new relationship we get our hopes up that this may finally be the one; unfortunately, that sets us up to be wrong more often than not. While that hope for a bright future with your partner is by no means a bad thing, it’s important to keep a level head and truly consider your compatibility with your lover- otherwise, the end is nearly inevitable.

Sometimes relationships must end for the sake of love; other times it’s incompatibility in personalities or habits. In these cases, it may be beneficial to take a moment for self-reflection- especially if the problem seems to be a reoccurring trend in your love life. So think back: what are the most common reasons your relationships ended in the past? Clinginess? Emotional unavailability? Personal hygiene issues? Drinking?

Wait, what was that last one? Drinking? Well, that’s definitely something to look into: here are 5 reasons your drinking destroyed your relationship.

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You Prioritized Alcohol Over Your Lover

This one might seem pretty obvious- I mean, you would notice if you were neglecting your lover, right?

Right?

Not necessarily. Just as focusing on our careers can sometimes blind us to the other aspects of our lives which are suffering, alcohol abuse makes it hard to see anything else in our lives. Addiction is a disease of the mind for a reason- it completely hijacks your mind, rearranging your priorities. Even the most powerful love can be diminished in the face of feeding the demon of substance abuse.

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Thinking back, does that put things in perspective? Did you ever forget an important date due to your drinking? Or did you cancel your time together because you were nursing a hangover? Can you imagine how one could get the idea that they are not a priority when their significant other would rather drink than spend time with them? Good! Now make sure your next partner doesn’t have to feel that way.

You’re a Different Person When You’re Drunk

What’s the number one reason people enjoy drinking alcohol? For the lack of inhibitions, right? Having alcohol in your system makes it easier to do and say things we wouldn’t do otherwise. For some it’s about being able to relax in social situations which would normally induce anxiety; for others, it makes the party more fun. Everyone responds to alcohol differently- and the way you react to alcohol may be a problem.

Be truthful to yourself: are you an angry or aggressive drunk? Sexually inappropriate? Excessively emotional? If your partners frequently express that your personality changes when drinking are causing conflicts in your relationship, take heed; especially if these personality changes are paired with violence. 80 percent of domestic violence cases include the ingestion of alcohol.

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You Stopped Doing Anything That Didn’t Involve Alcohol

Do you find that you were once much more active and outgoing, but now you don’t have the same drive to get out and see things? You may account it to aging, but if perhaps you should re-examine that stance: could it be your alcohol consumption? Your body’s attempts to purge itself of alcohol after you overindulge can leave you sapped of energy, after all. If you no longer have the energy to enjoy hiking or going to the beach with your partner, but still find time to hit up a bar or liquor store, don’t be surprised when your lover decides to call it quits.

Consistency is the key to maintaining a romance, and if part of your bond is a mutual enjoyment of extroverted activities and you no longer wish to due to being preoccupied with alcohol, they may elect to find someone with a bit more attention to spare.

Your Sex Drive Plummeted

For some people, sex isn’t an important factor in their romantic relationships- but for others, it is very important. Unfortunately for you, your binge drinking and regular blackouts lead to neglecting your partner’s physical needs- there’s just nothing sexy about flopping on the bed like a wet fish.

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In men, too much alcohol can lead to sexual dysfunctions which make sex pretty much a moot point.

Your partner may feel that your sex life is a physical extension of your feelings toward one another; if your drinking is interrupting or causing a complete stop in that mode of expressing your love, they may feel neglected and unwanted. Of course, you are not obligated to provide this intimacy if you are genuinely disinclined, but don’t be too surprised when your partner announces they can no longer tolerate the rift your alcohol-fueled performance issues caused and they are opting out of the relationship.

You Communicate More with the Bottle Than with Your Partner

At the very basis of a functioning, healthy relationship is the ability to communicate openly with your partner about any and everything. That means no secrets or lies, and respecting your partner enough to include them in decisions which will effect both of you and your relationship. A breakdown in communication is a giant red flag that things may be going south.

Of course, you didn’t see those signs; you were too busy communicating with your best friend at the bottom of a bottle. Often, when one has a lover with an alcohol abuse problem, one tends to internalize blame, thinking their shortcomings are the cause of their loved one’s addiction. While of course we know this isn’t true, that thought process leads to heartache, bitterness, and, ultimately, the termination of your relationship.

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Last Updated on May 21, 2019

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

Example 1

You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

Example 2

You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

Example 3

You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

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The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

Example 4

You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

  • Understand your own communication style
  • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
  • Communicate with precision and care
  • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

1. Understand Your Communication Style

To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

2. Learn Others Communication Styles

Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

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If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

“How do you prefer to receive information?”

This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

3. Exercise Precision and Care

A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

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In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

“Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

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It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

The Bottom Line

When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

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Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

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