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Why is he so different when he drinks?


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Hey, so I am in a long term relationship with my partner. We had a lot of drama (mostly because of exes) when we first got together but we got through it all and are in a good place. Most of the time.

We don’t live together. We’re in the same county but live about an hours drive away. So between work, life and studies (I’m doing my masters) we see each other when we can. Usually it’s once or twice a week, or if we have time off work we spend all our days off and holidays together, but a good portion of our relationship is over the phone. And because he spends a lot of time with his mom and family he doesn’t really like talking on the phone as he doesn’t want them to listen to conversations, so we text a lot or send pictures and videos on snapchat throughout our day to check in with each other.

We get on like a house on fire when we are together. When we are apart smaller, silly arguments can happen, usually because texts get misread or whatever. BUT, of a weekend, when he’s out with friends, at the pub, watching football, etc, he just turns into another person.

His whole tone changes, the way he talks to me, the amount of time he talks to me. His texts may as well not be sent as he sends a few words every hour or whatever. He becomes quite aggressive sometimes. If I say hey what you up to, are you home or out, are you seeing friends- you know just checking in, making conversation. If he’s with friends and drinking he becomes super defensive and says that I am bombarding him, questioning him, don’t want him to see his friends etc. I don’t know where it comes from and I don’t understand why it happens. This ONLY happens when he’s drinking with friends and I just don’t get it.

If I’m out with my friends he will text me as normal and I reply when I can and everything is fine. When he’s with his friends he acts like I’m such a nuisance and just getting in the way if I was to text him.

Why is he like this?

I’m sick of dreading every weekend or every other weekend when he’s out with his friends because I know he will act this way. I shouldn’t have to feel like this. I don’t know what to do.

 

I try my best to make him happy and keep our “long distance” relationship going and making it work. But honestly, sometimes, he makes it impossible :(

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Sorry to hear this. How old is he. You're trying to hard. Never "try to make it work". He's out drinking with his friend every/every other weekend? Do not communicate with him at all when he is out drinking.

In the long run you need to decide if you are willing to put up with this level of disrespect and being second to booze and pals.

I’m sick of dreading every weekend or every other weekend when he’s out with his friends because I know he will act this way. I shouldn’t have to feel like this.

I try my best to make him happy and keep our “long distance” relationship going and making it work. But honestly, sometimes, he makes it impossible :(

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Sorry to hear of this.

 

Well certainly drinking can lead to behaviour changes, many times worse behaviour changes.

Long distance relationships can be challenging in the best of times.

 

If I am reading between the lines correctly, does he truly want to maintain this LDR, or do you think the distance is becoming a problem.

I may be incorrect with this, but defensiveness (sometimes, not always) can mean there is someone else and the defensiveness manifests as guilt on his part.

Again, I don't want to have you dwell on the thought that there is someone else, but it's possible.

Give it some more time to making this work, but protect your heart from hurt in case it doesnt

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He’s 30, I’m 27.

We alternate visiting each other on a weekend. When he comes here he stays for 2 nights but when I go there I o my stay one night as I am guardian to my younger brother since our mom passed away last year. So I don’t like to go for more than a night really. So that week he will be out with his friends the night before I go there. And there is usually some sort of argument/ “discussion” when he’s out so there is always a question mark over whether I am going to go visit him or not. Because he makes me feel like I don’t want to put the effort in to see him.

 

But you’re right. It does feel like I come second to booze and pals a lot of the time. When we drink together, which isn’t that often as I’m not a big drinker, we are fine and never argue. It’s only when he’s with others. It’s so frustrating at times

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Sorry to hear of this.

 

Well certainly drinking can lead to behaviour changes, many times worse behaviour changes.

Long distance relationships can be challenging in the best of times.

 

If I am reading between the lines correctly, does he truly want to maintain this LDR, or do you think the distance is becoming a problem.

I may be incorrect with this, but defensiveness (sometimes, not always) can mean there is someone else and the defensiveness manifests as guilt on his part.

Again, I don't want to have you dwell on the thought that there is someone else, but it's possible.

Give it some more time to making this work, but protect your heart from hurt in case it doesnt

 

I think the distance is fine because we make time at least once or twice a week, every week, to see each other. Like last week for example he was with me for the whole week as he didn’t have to work. So we spend as much time together as we can. He also plans to move to my city once he can get work here. Obviously the COVID situation has put a pause on this as there’s not much work going around at the moment. So I don’t think there’s any issues there.

 

I did wonder if there could be someone else but honestly I know where he is and who he is with pretty much all the time. He works nights. Comes home and sleeps. He will text me when he wakes up and usually that is followed by a picture on snapchat of him looking sleepy in his bed. And then he gets himself up and dressed and goes to his moms house for dinner and from there he goes back to work. He honestly just doesn’t have the time.

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I think he views you as a pest or a nag if you keep texting him when he's out with his buddies and drinking. What if you stopped texting when he's out with friends and see how he reacts to that?

 

Maybe so. Yet why does he text me constantly when I’m with my friends and that’s totally ok? I guess it’s because I don’t mind splitting my attention.

 

He caused a small argument tonight- because he’s out with friends. And I told him to leave me alone, I can’t be bothered with the aggro. And he’s text me over and over again saying he’s sorry and asking if I’m ok and saying he’s worried about me. All I could do was laugh at him. He’s so annoying. He causes these arguments and then tries to act like everything is ok. He swears at me and cussed me out one minute and then the next he’s sorry and he’s worried? I just don’t understand what the need is.

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Sorry to hear about your mother. You seem much too level headed and mature for him.

 

Thank you. It’s been really hard. And he has helped me through a lot of it. But he’s also caused a lot of stress on top of it too which I could do without.

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Back off texting him when you know he's drinking with his friends. He doesn't wish to be bothered by you.

 

I agree, it's unfair that you are accommodating by texting him whenever he texts you when you're with your friends. Perhaps both of you can make an agreement and not text when both of you are socializing with your friends. Compromise there.

 

His behavior is alarming though. Instead of asking you nicely not to text him when he's drinking with his friends, he's quite aggressive, unkind and accusatory. He has a temper which is a red flag.

 

Remain realistic. On top of that, your boyfriend is not easy to get along with whenever you're considered a nuisance and inconvenience to him. Beware.

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Maybe so. Yet why does he text me constantly when I’m with my friends and that’s totally ok? I guess it’s because I don’t mind splitting my attention.

 

He caused a small argument tonight- because he’s out with friends. And I told him to leave me alone, I can’t be bothered with the aggro. And he’s text me over and over again saying he’s sorry and asking if I’m ok and saying he’s worried about me. All I could do was laugh at him. He’s so annoying. He causes these arguments and then tries to act like everything is ok. He swears at me and cussed me out one minute and then the next he’s sorry and he’s worried? I just don’t understand what the need is.

 

Whoa.....why are you putting up with this? Serious question. Is this really OK with you?

 

What's important to understand for you is that this is ALL him. He doesn't change at all, this is simply who he actually is - the Jekyll/Hyde thing he has going on is not going to change or get better. Might get worse though if you keep sticking around and putting up with it.

 

I was going to give him the benefit of the doubt at first that maybe he is one of those people who are angry drunks, but you said that when you are there with him drinking, he doesn't act like that. So, it's nothing to do with booze at all.

 

Honestly, I think you need to figure out what is and isn't acceptable to you and next time you are face to face, sit down have a serious conversation about that. If he responds aggressively or otherwise continues to act like a jerk, then you know what you need to do - dump him. You won't fix an a hole - always remember that.

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If you do not like they way he speaks to you at any time then talk to him about it. Not when he does it but when you are both face to face and calm.

 

Explain how it makes you feel and see what he says. If he blows off your feelings then he is making your decision for you isn't he?

 

This all sounds like insecurities. Get along great in person but when one is out with friends things change.

 

Talk to him and help him understand how this makes you feel and also explain to him that you will not tolerate being cussed out or any abuse of any kind, verbal or physical.

 

If he doesn't change then you know you tried but you were no important enough to him to make the effort.

 

Lost

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I can't help but think that he is insecure about you in general. He doesn't want his family listening into convos and he may not want his friends teasing him either about who he's constantly texting.

 

A mature relationship generally is one where there are some boundaries in place regarding text messages and phone calls or how or when two people decide to communicate and when is most convenient or works best for the parties involved. In your case, it seems haphazard, there are double standards and it's disorganized all over the place.

 

My suggestion:

 

Have a sit down together when you're in person next or when you can have a decent phone call and talk about respecting your time with your friends and catching up later in the day or the following day. It should be ok for both of you to go one day without a phone call or an extensive report on what you did that day. I think your communication together needs to change and be more considerate and respectful. Be firm about your boundaries when you're with your friends or family because you should be giving them your undivided attention also.

 

I have to ask - how do your friends and family feel about your relationship or the way he texts you or interrupts your time with them?

 

Look at the situation as a whole and come up with better ways to enforce better boundaries. I really don't think either of you are in the wrong here. Your communication styles are not being managed properly and there are anxieties there, insecurities, that should also be addressed.

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I can't help but think that he is insecure about you in general. He doesn't want his family listening into convos and he may not want his friends teasing him either about who he's constantly texting.

 

A mature relationship generally is one where there are some boundaries in place regarding text messages and phone calls or how or when two people decide to communicate and when is most convenient or works best for the parties involved. In your case, it seems haphazard, there are double standards and it's disorganized all over the place.

 

My suggestion:

 

Have a sit down together when you're in person next or when you can have a decent phone call and talk about respecting your time with your friends and catching up later in the day or the following day. It should be ok for both of you to go one day without a phone call or an extensive report on what you did that day. I think your communication together needs to change and be more considerate and respectful. Be firm about your boundaries when you're with your friends or family because you should be giving them your undivided attention also.

 

I have to ask - how do your friends and family feel about your relationship or the way he texts you or interrupts your time with them?

 

Look at the situation as a whole and come up with better ways to enforce better boundaries. I really don't think either of you are in the wrong here. Your communication styles are not being managed properly and there are anxieties there, insecurities, that should also be addressed.

 

If he was a teenager or very early 20's, I'd say sure, he is just being insecure, showing off to his buddies in a wrong way. However, we are talking about a fully grown 30 year old man here. Even if he is insecure, swearing at and cussing out his gf is not an excuse and should not be an acceptable behavior or something tolerated. He is old enough to know better and to control himself. I'm really concerned that this is just tip of the iceberg type stuff. This Jekyll and Hyde stuff is a huge red flag.

 

Totally agree with you about the double standards and the lack of basic boundaries. These issues also need to be addressed. If you know your partner is out and about, there is no reason to be pinging them except for emergencies. That should really go both ways. At the same time, if you don't know your partner is out and text them asking what they are up to, you should expect a polite response not raging and cussing.

 

Personally, if a guy acted like that, I'd be gone so fast he wouldn't see me for dust on the road. Of course, OP needs to come to her own conclusions on what she will and won't tolerate and how much she wants to try to teach a grown arse man how to behave.

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To be really honest, if I'm spending time with anyone (family, friends, partner, etc.) and I'm actually engaged with interacting with them, e.g. my partner is not just watching TV or gaming alone or something, I don't really want to keep texting on the phone. I find it annoying myself if I'm with a partner or a friend and they keep looking at their phone and texting on their phone. So I don't do it myself either because I think it's kinda rude. But usually if someone texts me, I might quickly reply and just say: "Hey I'm just hanging out with a friend right now, chat later :)" Like just let them know I'm busy. To be honest my personal preference is not to be texting anyone continuously when I'm spending time with someone else because I want to actually focus on what I'm doing.

 

Having said that, your boyfriend is actually rude, verbally abusive and has terrible communication skills. If he prefers it that you don't text him while he's out with friends, then all he has to do is tell you politely and rationally. He just has to tell you beforehand. To swear at you and act aggressive towards you is unacceptable. He can't speak to you like that! But keep in mind that people are also different. Maybe he texts you while you're out with friends because he knows you are totally fine with it. Whereas obviously he doesn't like it. I mean that is evident so why do you keep messaging him when he said he's out with friends?

 

The issue I see here is his communication skills are terrible and he's also a very rude drunk. I think that actually is a problem because you can't just keep excusing that he's drunk. You don't deserve to be continuously be spoken to in such a rude manner. It's very disrespectful. It's irrelevant whether he's drunk or sober when he talks to you like this. The point is he does and it's not right. This has been going on for a long time and he doesn't seem to realise it's a problem or try to fix the situation. For example, he could text you before going out with friends and say: "Hey babe, heading out with friends now. I'll speak to you tomorrow, have a good night!" Which would eliminate you having to message him and him getting angry at you.

 

The only other issue I could see is, do you maybe text him too much? If my partner kept texting me when I said I was out with friends, I probably wouldn't like it either. I mean, I am allowed to have some space and to have friends and have my own time. Not sure if maybe that's what irritates him.

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DancingFool, I hear you. I agree also on the aggression. 30 isn't any different from 20, 10 or 50 for me so I'm not sure age is an indicator of maturity. I've seen some 50 and 60 year olds do and say some incredible things. Hopefully the OP has a better idea soon of what her partner is about. I think there are a lot of underlying issues there like jealousy and insecurity. Both of you might not be compatible either (lifestyles, backgrounds etc aren't compatible).

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When my hubs calls me at work about mundane things, or ha, anything, I am annoyed. Or if we're out doing our thing, I would be so annoyed if he just kept texting me. And I love him. I love spending time with him. I just want to focus on what I'm doing.

 

So, don't text him when he's out with friends? I mean, you're not his mom. And stop texting him back when your out with friends. If it's important, then yes. If it's not, then save it when you see him the next day. But you need to be clear on how it makes you feel to him. Cuz one day, you're gonna have kids, and the total zoning out is unacceptable!

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I dunno. I feel like she may be trying to get a full on text session going, and every single time he goes out, she's texting and getting annoyed when he's not responding every hour on the hour. But I could totally be wrong. I just know, my hubs knows where I am, but he must tell me about how he mowed the grass, or what the dogs are doing when I'm working. It's disruptive.

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No. I always say to him before he goes out like have a nice time, message me when you’re back, let me know you’re safe- whatever. And he is the one who will still text and initiate conversation. But the way he talks to me is just rude at times. Not every single time, but 9/10. Sometimes it’s as if he causes an argument before hand just so he can say that I don’t like him spending time with people. Because he knows I’m not the type of person to keep my mouth shut. If he says something that’s rude, or something he knows I won’t like, he knows that I won’t just drop it- I’ll let him know what I’m thinking.

 

I even said to him last night when he did this, please just leave me alone I’ll talk to you tomorrow. And every few minutes he would text me and text me. And he kept texting until I replied and said I thought I asked you to leave me alone? It’s almost like he does it on purpose but I just don’t know why. It’s only when he drinks with friends. Never any other time.

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To be really honest, if I'm spending time with anyone (family, friends, partner, etc.) and I'm actually engaged with interacting with them, e.g. my partner is not just watching TV or gaming alone or something, I don't really want to keep texting on the phone. I find it annoying myself if I'm with a partner or a friend and they keep looking at their phone and texting on their phone. So I don't do it myself either because I think it's kinda rude.But usually if someone texts me, I might quickly reply and just say: "Hey I'm just hanging out with a friend right now, chat later :)" Like just let them know I'm busy. To be honest my personal preference is not to be texting anyone continuously when I'm spending time with someone else because I want to actually focus on what I'm doing.

 

Having said that, your boyfriend is actually rude, verbally abusive and has terrible communication skills. If he prefers it that you don't text him while he's out with friends, then all he has to do is tell you politely and rationally. He just has to tell you beforehand. To swear at you and act aggressive towards you is unacceptable. He can't speak to you like that! But keep in mind that people are also different. Maybe he texts you while you're out with friends because he knows you are totally fine with it. Whereas obviously he doesn't like it. I mean that is evident so why do you keep messaging him when he said he's out with friends?

 

The issue I see here is his communication skills are terrible and he's also a very rude drunk. I think that actually is a problem because you can't just keep excusing that he's drunk. You don't deserve to be continuously be spoken to in such a rude manner. It's very disrespectful. It's irrelevant whether he's drunk or sober when he talks to you like this. The point is he does and it's not right. This has been going on for a long time and he doesn't seem to realise it's a problem or try to fix the situation. For example, he could text you before going out with friends and say: "Hey babe, heading out with friends now. I'll speak to you tomorrow, have a good night!" Which would eliminate you having to message him and him getting angry at you.

 

The only other issue I could see is, do you maybe text him too much? If my partner kept texting me when I said I was out with friends, I probably wouldn't like it either. I mean, I am allowed to have some space and to have friends and have my own time. Not sure if maybe that's what irritates him.

 

I’m the same way. I find it rude if I’m spending time with someone and they’re constantly on the phone. If I’m with people I try not to be on my phone so much. If that person is also on their phone I may send a quick reply but I won’t get into too much conversation because I’m spending time with other people. So I totally wouldn’t expect him to be engaging in a full on conversation with me when he’s with others.

This isn’t the issue

The issue is that he kind of initiates “conversations” almost just to start an argument.

You say why do I keep messaging him when he’s with friends? But when he constantly messages me even though I ask him to leave me alone (like he did last night and wouldn’t leave me alone until I messaged back) it’s kinda like what’s with the mixes signals? You know? Like you don’t want me to message you, fine. As you say; I usually text him and I’m like have fun say hi to everyone from me, message when you’re home safe. Like normal right? But he initiates further conversations that then turn to arguments because he gets nasty drunk. And then he will always phone me when he’s home and that usually turns into an argument too because then he’s like why do you have to message me when I’m with my friends. So I can’t win. Other than turning my phone off. Which; why should I have to turn my phone off and not talk to my own friends/family just because I’m avoiding him?

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When my hubs calls me at work about mundane things, or ha, anything, I am annoyed. Or if we're out doing our thing, I would be so annoyed if he just kept texting me. And I love him. I love spending time with him. I just want to focus on what I'm doing.

 

So, don't text him when he's out with friends? I mean, you're not his mom. And stop texting him back when your out with friends. If it's important, then yes. If it's not, then save it when you see him the next day. But you need to be clear on how it makes you feel to him. Cuz one day, you're gonna have kids, and the total zoning out is unacceptable!

 

I would never call him at work. He’s there to work, not talk to me. Like it’s not even necessary. Also he works nights so when he’s working, I’m sleeping and vice versa. He usually sends me a message on his break being like I hope you’re sleeping well. Have a great day tomorrow I’ll talk to you when I’m up. Cute stuff.

 

If he’s gonna text me of course I’ll text him back. He knows if I’m not busy I’ll text him back. Because as I say, we live apart and see each other mostly once a week. So we like to stay in contact and check in via text.

 

That’s not really the issue here. We both know if we are busy we will text later. I’m busy most of the time getting my masters degree and working, as I said. My issue is the way he changes as a person when he drinks. I don’t get it.

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Hopefully not with this guy. He's 30 and verbally abusive in addition to putting his pals and booze first Every weekend.

 

 

I see you have my back haha. Thank you.

I honestly would love to have kids with him one day. But he needs to cut this crap out.

When we are together everything is great. Everything works. We are great. It’s literally just when he’s drinking with his friends on his nights off when he’s not with me. It’s so frustrating because it really is like he becomes someone else.

 

He called me last night when he got home from the pub and again this morning and tried to apologise but then he also said he doesn’t realise what he’s done wrong. And I said well there is our issue then because of you don’t even know you’re doing things, you will never truly be sorry and you will never change. And that makes me so sad.

 

But then he told me he is going to try and get some counselling and some help getting to the bottom of why he does these things and to try and change his mind set and honestly that was great to hear.

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All I'm going to say is that he is not stupid, he knows perfectly well what he is doing and what he is doing is intentionally upsetting you. Why? Makes him feel powerful and in control. You are really in quite a toxic dynamic, but also not really aware of it because you believe that you stand up to him so it's all good. Not quite. To him, any reaction is a good reaction, even if you are tearing him a new one.

 

As for the whole poor pity me, I'm going to seek therapy, take that with a grain of salt and proceed carefully. It's not that he goes, but what's the result. Be very cognizant of that - is the therapy really working or only pretend working for now. Be sure that you do walk away if the status quo remains. Don't tolerate abusive behavior even if it's just verbal and don't let him insult your intelligence with "gosh I just don't know what I'm doing wrong when I'm cussing you out."

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Why does he need therapy to stop sending you abusive texts? Does he enjoy upsetting you and sincerely wants to find out why?

 

Most abusers don't succeed with therapy because they don't think they're doing anything "wrong" (i.e., they're only doing it because you're "making" them) and because they actually like seeing their victims cower, cry, beg and declare their love when they abuse them.

 

If he honestly does this because he likes it therapy won't help.

 

Although, I kind of think he's showing off in front of his friends. And if that's the case it's a lack of maturity rather than abusive tendencies.

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