Very often overuse of alcohol by one partner contributes to relationship difficulties and predictable patterns result. The partner who is more able to control their drinking becomes invested in controlling the other ‘overusing’ partner’s drinking behavior. It’s difficult to resist this pattern because intentions are good…. to reduce embarrassing behavior, to promote safety when driving is involved, to prevent the conflict and arguments that occur more often as alcohol impairs judgment and causes over reactivity. Despite these good intentions this attempt to control another is not effective and worse, causes the controlling partner to lose themselves in these fruitless attempts.
To disentangle from this pattern it’s important to fully grasp that it is impossible to control another and that if someone you love has a drinking problem – only they can realize it on their own by the consequences that their drinking causes. When one acts to prevent consequences of another’s over drinking from occurring it slows the self realization necessary to acknowledge and do something about their alcohol use.