Find answers to some of the more frequently asked questions on the Forums.

Forums guidelines

Our guidelines keep the Forums a safe place for people to share and learn information.

Announcement Icon
You can win one of three $200 gift cards. Complete our survey by 5pm, 30 June 2024 AEST to enter the draw. Your response will be anonymous so you can't be identified.

Disrespect from loving partner affected by alcohol

Community Member

I have been involved in a relationship for a year, with my first boyfriend from high school, many light years ago.

I recently purchased a house and my partner and his young adult child have moved in with me. Have been here 5 months.

Today was the 3rd time I have been disrespected in a nasty verbal way by my partner. Each time he has been drinking.

On the 1st occasion, I told him to never speak to me again in the same manner as I would not accept such a relationship.

On the 2nd occasion, I told him it was his final warning and any reoccurance would be the end of our relationship.

3rd time.... after spending some time composing myself, I asked him how many drinks he had had today. He refused to answer, was defensive and stormed off. I could clearly count in the fridge what had been drunk, and it was significant, again.

I don't know what to do. I don't want this type of relationship and have been upfront about this. His previous relationship was like this throughout. My last relationship turned violent due to my ex's drinking.

I told him to sleep in the spare room. Any drinks he has affects my sleeping anyway (snoring) and I end up moving to the couch.

He has left the house and gone to his daughters nearby, who is having a birthday party with friends. What better way to continue the night 🤷‍♀️ I only found out he had left the house by his daughter letting me know he was there.

What do I do??? I don't want to go down the same path as previous. I thought he really understood. I feel so let down by someone who claims to love me. Do I follow through?

Do I take a break and have him stay in the spare room until I can think clearly? I don't want apologies, I just need space to think.

His young adult child lives here. Was expected to be here for a few years. What's happens in this scenario? Kick partner out and let his child remain?

I am so wound up, anxious, disappointed, angry, let-down....

To top it off, the house is a pig sty. I'm constantly picking up after the "boys" and any conversations about cleaning, etc seem to go nowhere.

Thinking I should just sell the house and move away. I bought near his old house (where daughter is) and for his and son's work location. I don't know anyone where I am and am thinking I've made a huge mistake.

Any advice?

3 Replies 3

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi Better Living

I really feel for you so much as you face this level of disappointment, anger and frustration. It's a horrible challenge to be facing and it's not fair, especially given what you've been through in the past.

Being married to a drinker, the perspective of my husband is very different to mine when it comes to his drinking. I can imagine you've heard it before when someone who's a drinker says stuff like

  • I don't have a problem with alcohol. You're making a big deal out of this
  • I'm an easygoing guy, everyone loves me except you (aka 'What's wrong with you?')
  • Why don't you just relax and have a drink or You need to learn to relax


As you'd know, when you have to reform yourself/your behaviour to accommodate pleasing a drinker, not triggering them in some way, the drinking's a problem no matter how you look at it. You have to change who you are. They don't have to change at all, which should not be the case. You have to become someone who carefully chooses the right time to have significant discussions, just so they'll actually remember those discussions the next day. You have to be careful not to trigger them out of their happy relaxed vibe. You become the designated driver by default, in a lot of cases. The list goes on when it comes to living with a drinker. I can understand your anger and disappointment. Living with a drinker is angering and disappointing. It's kinda like 'Dude, I'm appointing you to be mature, responsible and easygoing and you give yourself the freedom to dis-appoint yourself from such roles whenever it suits'.

It's such a shame that his drinking is destroying opportunities for yourself and his child. In a Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde scenario, perhaps mentioning 'While I can happily live with Dr Jekyll, I cannot tolerate Mr Hyde. I won't tolerate him and if they come as a package deal, well, I'm sorry but they both have to leave if you choose not to do something about this horrible abusive side'.

It really is tough no matter how you try managing being in a relationship with a drinker. Even if you happily and confidently wake up to the revelation 'I don't have to walk on eggshells, while feeling anxious', this way of managing can leave you feeling alone, as you create distance between the 2 of you in order to no longer have to deal with the eggshells.

Of course, drinking is not a problem unless it creates problems. I wonder how his child feels about the drinking. Sad to think maybe they're used to the disappointment 🙂

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hello Better Living, I am so sorry you're having to go through this again, so basically you have been through this before and know what happened, and the same applies in his previous relationship, where it ended because of his drinking.

I can't tell you what to do, but I can suggest that you don't want to live near his old house, where his daughter lives, and if I knew you, I would say sell the house and move away from the area.

An alcoholic can have any excuse why they drink and if they don't want to stop, then problems will always happen, especially if you don't want this to happen.

His child is his responsibility and you can't allow his son to live with you, this only means he will keep trying to get back with you, that's not what you want, because he may not drink for a day or two, but it will start once again, he has to decide where his son needs to live, but suggest it's not with you.


Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hello Better Living, my reply is waiting for moderators, but just briefly can I suggest you sell and his son is his responsibility where he needs to live.

You have been through this before, just as he has with his previous relationship and know the consequences and it's certainly not going to help.