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.

Living with an alcoholic partner

Community Member

Hi, this is my first post.

My partner is an alcoholic. While she’s always had issues with drinking, they’ve become overwhelming and all pervasive in the last four or five years. She drinks to get drunk every day and I’m just devastated.

When she drinks we can’t communicate at all. The only thing that matters to her is making sure she has enough alcohol. It makes her depressed, angry and argumentative, and I’m the one who wears it, night after night.

She only rarely hides her drinking from me, but she does hide it from everyone else. I’ve confided to a close friend, but other than that I don’t think anybody knows - maybe her workplace has guessed, but it hasn’t been raised with her. It makes me feel so alone and isolated. This is the main reason I’ve come to this forum - I don’t want to be the only one carrying this knowledge and stress.

My other purpose is to seek advice. She doesn’t want to stop and is currently at the stage of believing it gives her an escape from a life she is dissatisfied with. I feel like I’ve tried everything to help her but she doesn’t want to stop.

The burden on me is huge. We both work full time, but after work she just sits around drinking and getting more and more depressed and angry, while I do everything else for the household - cooking, dishes, walking the dog, laundry etc etc.

I guess I’m just at a loss for what to do. My mental health is starting to suffer now too. I love her as much as ever, but I’m also angry and frustrated.

I’d love to hear from people in similar situations. How do you cope? How do you look after your loved one, while still looking after yourself?

28 Replies 28

Community Member
I am the same Annie803. I only work part-time and cannot afford to rent or pay the mortgage on my own so I stay. Living in my car with 6 cats is not an option. After being raised by an alcoholic father I wish somebody had told me that not all men were drunks and I would have run years ago when houses were still cheap and I did not have children. One thing I did get right was too make sure my daughters knew this was not normal marriage and that there are good men around who don't drink. My 26 year old has decided to spend her life single which is a bit sad but at least she is her own woman

Community Member
Hello Haurice, I came back to see how you are going and if you did get some help. I hope life is better. Please let us know how you are

Community Member

Hi all,

I'm in a similar situation to many of you. My wife is an amazing woman. Incredibly successful, amazing work ethic, loving mother, but every night she drinks at least a bottle and a half of red wine (it's getting more and more over time) and she just stares at her phone. If I try to broach her drinking she gets angry, blames me for it, and drinks more, and we have a fight.

So, now I just try and survive each night not getting into a fight or hoping she will only drink one bottle. But that's rare nowadays. She claims she doesn't get hangovers, she says she's "piss-fit", but she never sleeps that well, is always tired and stressed out from her work, and then explodes if I haven't cleaned the house as good as she expects.

I'm so tired and drained, and I have no-one to talk to about it (that's what I'm here!)

I've looked into Al Anon etc, but all there meetings are at night, and there's no way I could leave the house then as that's when I'm cooking dinner/putting kids to bed.

I love her. But I'm so worried about the damage she's doing to herself, and the example she's setting for the kids. My wife's dad was an alcoholic and she doesn't speak to him because of that.

She used to be addicted to pot. Then it was cigarettes. Then it was party drugs like e and coke. Now, she's completely addicted to work and alcohol. I just am completely lost.

Because of COVID, she's home most of the time, and starts drinking at lunchtime every day.

I feel completely trapped and scared. I cry all the time. I do exercise, breathing exercises and all sorts of things, but I have a history of mental illness so I really struggle to cope. My coping mechanism when I'm upset is to bottle up my feelings and think about suicide. It's really not good.

I just feel drained.

From the outside, I probably look really successful. But I feel like everything I project to the world is a lie and not what is really going on in my life.

I just want to cry.

Hi tired and scared,

Thank you for sharing some of what you're going through in support of others in our valued online forums community. Giving support to receive support is what these forums are all about. Welcome to the community.

We just wanted to check in to say if you find yourself struggling with troublesome thoughts please do not hestitate to reach out to our Support Service on 1300 22 4636. They're available 24/7 with support, brief counselling and referrals.


The only comfort I can provide is to say this is common. My ex partner did similar and was an aggressive even violent drunk.

I had my kids for a weekend and she was about to hit my 13yo daughter after a belly full of red wine. I had to physically stop her and separate them. We both ended up in our bedroom where she slapped me. My daughter heard it and unbeknown to me at the time believed I slapped her. That caused a 2 year period of no contact as she refused to talk to me. See the harm alcohol can do?

We then had an agreement- 2 glasses max per night. That lasted one week.

Oh, and everything was my fault and "you caused me to drink heavily" she'd claim.

My only advice is to gather evidence of her drinking. In the future you might need it to protect your children in any custody battle. Diaries, receipts and eventually statements if legal action commences.

I'm sorry I cannot help further


Community Member

All these posts mimic my situation except my partner denies point blank that she's is drinking. She fills plastic water bottles with Vodkz and hides them,not well, in her bedroom.

She works night duty but never drinks on her work days but almost constantly on off days but she will swear black and blue that she is not drunk.

When affected she is aggressive and abusive and will obsess on one topic,usually something ive said,,or something she claims ive said. She will call people , usually her family and friends, and claim I have done things I havent so now they think im the bad guy.

I have confided in very few people and im honestly near the end of my rope. Frankly our older dog is the onlly real thing keeping me here.

Thanks for giving me an outlet to vent at least

Community Member

I am writing from an opposite view. As I feel I have a problem with alcohol. This is hard to voice out loud.

I feel all these posts are what my husband would say. Except I am not violent. I used to be happy when I'd drink, now I'm depressed and sad all the time. I don't drink every day but most days, at least a bottle of wine, usually 2.

I felt sad reading all these posts from the points of views of family. I feel my husband looks at me, like there she goes again. Like tonight. I am booking a psychologist appointment next week 5o discuss.

I have no advice. Just expressing my thoughts.

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hello Ausmo and LJpd81, thanks so much for posting your stories as many of these are kept private between people only because they feel a guilt, somewhere along the line, but when I was drinking I did it to self medicate and was told many times by doctors etc that I need to give up.

Now I haven't drunk for 2 1/2 years and before that greatly reduced what I did drink, so I applaud you for participating.

I was never abusive in any way but someone who is intoxicated will vow that they aren't drunk but will definitely keep mentioning someone they have a grudge with that can cause arguments or disruption to the family, while others have alcohol hidden in a shed or in some other inconspicuous situation, like plastic water bottles with Vodka.

When you do reach for another drink it begins with, 'oh no not another one' but won't stop someone from drinking or they leave and go to their hiding place.

Some psych's may say that they won't counsel you if you have been drinking, and has happened with me, but they miss the point and that's that the person needs help because of their drinking and misinterpret the situation which is not fair for the person.


Community Member

Hi Haurice

I am new to the forum and would love to know if you have had success in communicating with your partner and getting through this situation

My husband is an alcoholic.

He drinks every day, on weekends he cracks a beer the moment he gets up and doesn’t stop. On work days he buys beer and starts drinking on the way home, he gets in & drinks more, he goes without food but downs a couple of six packs every night often until he is physically ill.
He is angry all the time and to ‘calm down’ says he needs to drink more plus he plays music really loud so I can’t relax. I retreat to bed but he thinks that I am doing that to spite him and then he yells and swears at me.

Sometimes I try to get him to stop drinking and to come to bed but this always ends up in him drinking more and staying up late.

He spends hundreds of dollars on beer and opts for high alcohol percentage options so that he can ‘feel it’.

He has to get up early for work and feels sick and even more angry so I get up to help him but when I beg him to calm down and drive safe he says that I am nagging. Usually he calms down and calls me as he is near work and says sorry

This morning he drank before going into work because he is depressed as he thinks he failed a drug and alcohol screening his work did. We knew this was coming but he couldn’t stop even for a day.

I am scared that he will eventually hurt himself or someone else due to his drinking.

He is never violent to me but he has damaged things in his rage, I get upset but that upsets him.

He went to one AA meeting once, he got drunk before walking in and was angry at the format, we are not religious and he couldn’t stand the references to a higher power. He vowed never to go back. He refused to go see a counsellor.

I am so tired and exhausted trying to work through this. I can’t talk to family or friends about it. I wish I could break through his barriers and stop the cycle.

I love him. I don’t want to leave. I feel embarrassed about the issues we are having.
I feel like I can’t go to a support meeting as this would upset him, he gets paranoid that I am going to leave him.

Just typing this very long post has helped me today. I am hoping that there are some ways that people have found help to defuse the arguments and tips for communicating better.