I am afraid of my boyfriend when he's drunk...

When my boyfriend drinks too much, he quickly becomes a different person. He becomes more aggressive, irrational, and completely unpredictable. Surprisingly, he has never cheated on me, so apparently he managed to obtain some control, but not enough control for me to feel comfortable around him when he's drinking.

Anyway, I've avoided going to social events with him for a while now and he's starting to catch on. I've explained that it's because I feel uncomfortable around him when he's drunk, but the doesn't seem to understand exactly HOW uncomfortable I am. Trust that I am not a "prude" or "wet blanket" by any standards, and being around drunk people in general doesn't bother me, but my boyfriend's much different than the average drunk person.

...nothing abusive, although he does tend to randomly get angry with me for no reason, and once, when I turned to leave he pushed me. (Not hard enough to even throw me off balance, but enough to cause me to become very upset with him.)

His 21st birthday is coming up in a few days, and I simply cannot get out of going to his "power hour" with him. I have been a nervous wreck about this for weeks now! I want this to be a fun event, but I am afraid he'll pick a fight with somebody (or me) and embarrass himself. I am afraid that his behavior on his birthday night will damage our relationship.

What can I do or say to make this situation better? Is there any way to help him understand how I am feeling? I would be SO happy if he were to have SOME control over his drinking - at least when I'm around - but I just don't see that happening as it is his 21st.



Most Helpful Girl

  • My father was an alcoholic and my mother went through the whole thing with being embarassed to take him to social activities. They were high school sweethearts and this is something she always had to deal with. Throughout there marriage he continued this behavior, and like your boyfriend was a completley different person when he drank.

    See, the thing with drinking is that the drinkers behavior will not change until THEY realize and accept that there behavior is unacceptable. He doesn't understand exactly HOW uncomfortable you are because to him his behavior is okay. Within the next few days you have to sit him down and have a very long talk. You have to tell him EXACTLY how you feel and how threatened you feel when he does drink. The fact that he did push you shows there is that streak in him, and drinking can def make that side of him flare up in a matter of seconds. He will most likely get defensive and say that your going to ruin his good time by nagging him about his drinking. When you talk to him don't just speak about his birthday make this in general.

    Because it is his 21st, he's not going to want to stop drinking once he gets a buzz.. My honest opinion is that if you were to go out, you should leave once that buzz starts. Let him no that your not going out with him all night, you'll attend his "power hour" and that's all. The crucial thing to do is leave BEFORE he's drunk. If you leave when he's already there, that's when the argument will start.

    Overall, his behavior is not going to change unless he realizes what he is doing is unacceptable. You should think about stressing that you may end the relationship if you continue to feel threatened because it is unfair to you to stay in a relationship feeling this way. Good luck!

    • Thanks for your advice! You understand my situation entirely.

      I spoke with him about this last night actually, and he completely understands. He's afraid, though, that his friends who will also be there for his birthday will pressure him to drink more than he'd prefer to. That's another thing - the influence his "friends" have on him. (He's in a Fraternity.)

      Ugh, what a HORRIBLE situation, lol. Anyway, thanks...

    • If he brought up the whole friends thing I would say. "Whats more important to you, your girlfriend who actaully does care about you, or a bunch of fraternity guys who are only out to have a good time?" You have to put a little fire under his butt to get him to straigten up, I'm sure you will notice SOME sort of difference then. Thanks for the best answer!

    • Good answer. Let him know that you love him when he's not wasted, but you can't stand the person he becomes when he drinks too much.

      If he makes real efforts to change, be supportive and see if you can help him find therapy/counseling/friends/family/whatever to help.

      If you give him a chance and he just keeps acting like he did before, make it extremely clear that you will dump him if he doesn't get his act together. Don't bluff. If it doesn't work, dump him.

Have an opinion?

What Guys Said 10

  • There's nothing you can do to make this situation better. Not a thing.

    Here's my advice:


    Run away as soon as possible, cut off all contact. He's dead to you.

    You're in a chaotic relationship with a seriously addicted alcoholic. This relationship has innumerable disadvantages, and no advantages. This relationship may destroy your life. I'm not exaggerating in the slightest.

    I'm the only lifelong sober person from a family of alcoholics. Some of my immediate and extended family are almost exactly what you describe. And those people are bad, bad, bad news. They've destroyed themselves and every person they can drag down with them.

    I got cold chills reading your question.

    There's nothing to discuss with him. Heart to heart talks are useless. Therapy won't help, except for perhaps Al-Anon or a similar program for families of alcoholics to help you understand why you've selected a man like this.

    His shoving you is worrisome, especially since you described it as arbitrary. (I presume you mean that you didn't shove him first, weren't yelling in his face or the like).

    You're living in fear. You sound like an abused person, because you are an abused person. His unpredictable outbursts leave you terrified, wondering what triggered him, how you can change, yet afraid to talk to anyone about it. Sounds like me when I was 7 years old. Depending on how long you've endured his outbursts, you might have a mild form of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

    I might sound like an alarmist. But I've seen first-hand the devastation of alcoholism. The only difference between you and me is that you're an adult. You have a choice of who you associate with. I didn't have that choice.

    My suggestion is that you bail out on him without explanation or conversation. Mail a letter that says it's over, you're sorry if it hurts him, but it's finished and you can't be in contact with him. Call a local Al-Anon chapter beforehand, though, because they're specifically intended to help people in your situation.

    Good luck.

    • I totally agree with him PLEASE HUN .U are a smart beautiful girl .even though he treats you good now .you feel it! the storm coming .its always calm befour a stom comes. so trust yourself and the fear you feel .leave him its for the best

    • I truly appreciate your help. But to truly get the most out of this advice, I'd like to clarify a few things that I didn't before:

      We have had a compassionate, functional, and very healthy, loving relationship for three years now. He rarely drinks, and even in those events, he rarely drinks "too much" - but it DOES happen occassionally, and I know it will happen on his birthday. When the positives greatly outweigh the negatives, is it still really necessary to up and call him dead to me?

    • The positives only outweigh the negatives because its early alcoholism but it will progress and get worse. please go to al-anon!!!!!!!!

      good luck=)

  • Usually I will give someone more advice but with a situation like this all I can say is Dump Him. You should never fear someone you are dating, if you are scared if he is drunk that is bad. There is nothing stopping him from hitting you, or do anything other thing, I hope you can figure all this out so it works the best for you.


  • You have got to make him understand your uneasiness.

    Let me tell you a story. When the communist regime collapsed in Russia, anarchy sort of took over. I know this fellow who used to do all kinds of shady things over there right around the time when the Berlin wall came down. Taking advantage of the lawlessness, I guess. Anyway, currently he lives a decent honest life in the new world and apparently vowed to never ever touch alcohol. While I never know the story, after observing the way that he and his wife are, I know that somehow, out of love for her, he changed his ways up to including giving up alcohol because, I suspected, alcohol will turn him into someone who she is not comfortable with.

    So, if he loves you enough, he will change his way. I know I would. I have made a significant change in myself for a girl I love with all my heart.

    • I don't agree at all. please listen to misterfluffy, he is talking sense. take everything he has to say on board.

  • If he really cared about you, you'd be able to tell him just how much his behavior unnerves you. Ask him to tone down the drinking a bit for the party, try to offer an incentive for him to not get drunk like a really cool gift he might have been eying. Anything to redirect his attention away from getting drunk. If he's resistant than he has a problem that's eventually doing to destroy the relationship and at that point you'll wish you had ended it earlier on your own terms.

  • yep, I agree with the others.. you can't control him, and he isn't likely to change to keep you. This is not the life you want to live for the next sixty years, so let it go now and find your true love.

    Good Luck,


  • You can't control an alcoholic or an alcoholic-in-the-making. Nothing you do or say, will make him change his drinking habits. The first step to recovery is to admit you have a problem.

    Best is to cut your losses and/or submit him to rehab.

    Or wait until he beats you to a bloody pulp in on one of his drunken black outs and then become one of those women who keep saying "But he says he loves me", proudly wearing her black eyes and bruises.

    He may not be violent now, but there's never any telling what someone will do when under the influence.

  • Wait... This is a different situation... what you can do to aviod this is to have him have his party without you in it... let him be and if you don't want this in ur face when his around you drunk and acting like a fool then don't follow ur heart... women are good with this and do it smoothly... so just enjoy yourself have your fun and let him have his...This is ur life and if ur not happy then do something about it and control ur emotions no one controls ur emotions..so party with ur girls and let him do his thing...u only live once and once you get old you wouldn't wanna say I wish I done this and that...don't let life pass you by...alot of guys would be with any girl that has a heart and loves a man's attention...Damn I'm getting to deep with this...maybe I had a blast this SAT I love CALI parties...so go have fun... let the happy come out...I know I did last night I dance with all the ladies and made the party fun...I love to dance but yeah that's one example of how many diff men that are out there that could make you happy...

  • Your boyfriend is having an affair with the bottle, drunks are very self centered, controlling and only care about drinking. you need to learn as much as possible, all your doubts will be answered if you check out Al-Anon, read a few books about the disease (Hazelden.com) you are in a relationship with an alcoholic, you are in for a lot of pain and suffering, don't argue with him and learn to detach with love, the best advise I can give you is to learn and read, because once you know everything about alcoholism, The stages, The symthoms, The cause... you will have the power, and he will not be able to manipulate you. he will probably trade you for the bottle at some point, just be prepared and expect anything from this drunk, Al-Anon will provide the answer for you.

    Good luck!

  • "3 months ago"

    I hope you dumped and replaced him...

  • I would just talk to him alone. Do not make him feel bad or embarrassed about drinking or drinking too much. Maybe let him know that drinking changes him a lot, because maybe he just doesn't feel the same way or even notice it himself.


What Girls Said 9

  • Tell your boyfriend he has to stop drinking or it's over. Seriously. I know you don't want to leave him and think you can save him but he has to show that he wants to be saved. You cannot be with someone that you are afraid of at any point.

    I know he's a different person sober and tell him you love that person dearly (if you indeed do) but the drunk him is not something that you are willing to put up with just to be with him. You are young and have many, many years ahead of you.

    Even if he hasn't hit you, it's still acting abusive and abusive behavior often leads to abusive actions like shoving (which he already did), hitting, punching, throwing around, and murder in extreme cases.

    Just don't put yourself through this. Tell him to join AA or you are gone. You cannot change someone and someone cannot change who doesn't want to be. He is NOT worth your time if he doesn't feel you are worth the time to clean himself up.

  • Your boyfriend will not seek help until he see's he has a drinking problem. I know you love him and that's beautiful, but I have been there and I wish someone had told me to love myself enough to be with someone who cared enough about me to listen when I was in pain, and make adjustments to better the situation.

    He pushed you...That is ABUSIVE... I can only tell you what I would do, I would end the relationsip and find somone who better suited my personality. I never just drop people but I have put distance between myself and an ex until I had control over my emotions and could face him and not feel desire.

    His birthday is the day he will live it up, he's proven this by his behavior. If he falls into bad hands because of his drinking, he's a grown Man, let him get himself out of it.

    I hope I did not make you feel bad, I just want you to be careful, he sounds like a volcano about to erupt.

    Love yourself enough to demand respect, if he does not honor your request, you have a decision to make.

    Good Luck

  • my ex was the same way. I loved him but every time he drank he was a different person. I was with him for 9 years. after 3 years he started hitting me when he got drunk. I kept thinking he was going to change that's why I stood with him. he would tell me the next day he was sorry and that he loved me and he would never do anything to hurt me. but when he drank he couldn't control himself. unfortunately he continued to drink & be abusive until I finally woke up and realized he wasn't going to change and I left him. so I say try to talk some sense to him but if he ever hits you run cause it doesn't matter how much he loves you he will never change.

  • I think that since you already tried to explain to him how it makes you uncomfortable that's all you can really do. If he doesn't understand, you can't really make him. Maybe if you told one of his guy friends, and he understood, he could talk to him for you? sometimes guys understand it better when its coming from another guy.

    Plus he's so young right now, and he just turned 21 so I don't see him getting any control anytime soon, sorry. It sucks that you are stressing about this. Your relationship should be positive and you should always feel comfortable around the person you are with, even when they are drunk.

    It sounds like you already know what's going to happen on his birthday night, or any other time he gets drunk. If you don't like that, and if its a big part of who he is right now, you might want to consider not having him in your life.

    • I'm gonna say he's like this until he's 22ish. At least my timeliness was similar.

  • tell him how scared it makes you feel. That when he's drunk, he's a totally different person. and it makes you not want to be around him. tell him past experiences of what he has done while he was drunk-probably doesn't remember a thing!

  • My father was an alcoholic too so I know how horrible it is. And how much they humiliate you when they're drunk. It took him over 20 years to get sober so believe me, you're wasting your time. We used to (as a family) hide his alcohol, pour it down the sink, get him to only drink beer etc etc but its a complete waste of time. Alcoholism is a disease-an alcoholic has a compulsion to drink. Your boyfriend may not want to drink at this party but if he is a true alcoholic he will rationalise it and say "oh well its only the one". But one drink is all alcoholics need. They can't control their compulsion or obsession to drink once they get started so he will keep going regardless of what you say. It is like trying to knock down a brick wall with only your bare hands-any attempts you make to make him stop drinking will eventually result in you being called a "nag", or he'll just tell you what you want to hear which is that he won't drink, he'll behave etc. Alcoholics will say/do anything to drink, just like a drug addict will. They're not bad people but when they're drinking, they have little/no conscience and will do anything to get a drink. He will only stop drinking when HE wants to, not when you want. And that could take YEARS. If he's only in his twenties, he'll prob just say its the "college lifestyle" and be able to kid himself for at least another few years especially if he's in a fraternity.

    But I learnt that you can't "fix" him, you can't change anyone but yourself. You have already told him you don't like him drinking but he is intent on doing it anyway. To be honest, he is displaying alcoholic symptoms from what you've said. Just concentrate on yourself and forget about this guy. I would end the relationship if I were you because alcoholics will drag you down. I have no tolerance of it because I have been taken advantage of so many times and that's what will happen to you if you don't get out of this relationship now.

    Someone's drinking has a huge impact on you: link PLEASE focus exclusively on yourself. Don't try to save him. You don't need to be the hero. It is braver to admit defeat and walk away in the long run. Focus on you! You have a bright future ahead of you-without him

    I know this is not what you want to hear but I know what I'm talking about-I've had a lifetime of experience of it so alcoholism is not something that can just be "fixed" by a partner. It will hurt now but this is only going to get worse, not better unless you go.

  • Sorry babe. You are sol. I'm hard to handle when I'm drunk too and if my man didn't like it I'd tell him to take a hike. I get very aggressive. But I love drinking and I'm okay with it. If he wasn't we wouldn't work out.

    I'm not saying he's being fair to you. He sounds like he's being totally sh*tty. You deserve better. I'm just saying I don't think he's going to change his behavior. You are better off breaking up with him to see if he might stop then..

    Good luck hon.

    It's never okay to push a chick.

  • I kind of know what you're talking about. This is how my moms boyfriend is... or was. At first it wasn't so bad but after awhile it only got worse and eventually got abusive and controlling over every one.

    Tell him how you feel before it is really to late.

  • How much can he drink or does he turn that way just by one beer or ? You should tell him how his behavior is when he is drunk and around people, tell him that this really bothers u..

    My ex boyfriend did the same, also pushed me once and he would also say mean things to me just to hurt me or we would fight. The next day he would say he didn't remember worst thing is he wasent even sorry or didn't say sorry. At times when we were at a party I would just take his drinks.. ask him if I could get a sip and I would just throw it away ! And he would be drunk enough to not notice.

    If he was so drunk that he wasent able to walk he would still continue to drink

    1st step is for you to confront him about it and if he doesn't want to do anything about it then there's not much you can do about it.

    And this was one of the reasons why I left my ex boyfriend.. I really tried to help but he didn't realize untill I was gone. Its 9 months ago now and he still wants me back. Its just immature behavior!

    Good luck wish you all the best...