Alcoholics are not known for their great relationship skills. In fact, it is very common for family to be the only people who ultimately keep an alcoholic closer than arms length. This is because alcoholism is an inherent dysfunction, and relationships with alcoholics are more or less always dysfunctional, to some degree. A number of people try to make relationships with alcoholics and eventually give up because of how broken their lifestyle is. Many others see their relationships with alcoholics through, but not without immense difficulty.
One enormous challenge of having a relationship with an alcoholic is their self focused behavior. This is characteristic of any addict. Addiction, by nature, consumes a person’s thoughts and behaviors. They prioritize their addiction and the pleasure they take from it over everything else in their life, including their relationships. This becomes very trying to those who are close to them. It is human nature to want to feel appropriately valued, and achieving this security is nearly impossible from an alcoholic.
In the same vein, alcoholics are also largely unavailable to the people in their lives. Not only are all of their personal resources going toward their drinking habit, but they also spend a great deal of time intoxicated, which makes them largely useless to the people in their lives.
It is needless to say that an alcoholic is dysfunctional. Merely qualifying as an alcoholic makes a person dysfunctional. However, many people do not realize how deeply psychological the problem of addiction is. It always has roots in underlying causes which are often tied to adversity and stress in the person’s young life. These root causes of alcoholism are complex and often require the help of a mental health professional to unravel.
And lastly, the irresponsible tendencies of an alcoholic are clear to see. Living as an alcoholic is a clear indication that physical and mental health are not a priority to the individual. But there are many other irresponsible tendencies that an alcoholic exhibits, such as financial, reputation, work and school problems.