Alcohol is a widely available beverage and has been accepted by society as a way to socialize in groups. Drinking alone has never been encouraged, but drinking with friends is seen as normal behavior. For those with an alcohol addiction, any drinking becomes a problem. Many of these people take one drink and cannot say no to two or three or even five more drinks. They are unable to stop themselves until they are drunk. This has a devastating effect on close relationships and marriages.
Being in a relationship with an alcoholic is difficult. They are often untrustworthy because they are generally thinking about getting their next drink. Since they cannot be depended upon, the person they are with must carry the entire load of the relationship. This often leads to hurt feelings and anger. The sober person is burdened with the job of taking care of the alcoholic without receiving any support from their partner. Over time, the hurt and anger can bloom into rage or desperation.
Keeping a job and maintaining a home are often tasks impossible for an alcoholic. Even if they function at work, they seldom function within the home. Whether living together or married, this places an unfair burden on the partner of the alcoholic. They must somehow keep the home functioning, and they often have to work to pay the bills. Alcohol is not cheap and this also takes a toll on the couple's financial health.
Alcoholism is a disease that greatly affects the lifestyle of the alcoholic and their partner over time. Failure to seek treatment will eventually wear down even the strongest marriage or relationship. Once this has happened, it is difficult for the non-alcoholic partner to ever consider reuniting. They often leave the alcoholic behind to seek a better life with a new partner.