My Husband is Verbally Abusive When He Drinks – What Should I do?

Any form of abuse, either verbal or physical, should not be tolerated for the sake of your love for your family or spouse. If you are exposed to an abusive relationship and spending sleepless nights thinking of “what to do if my husband is verbally abusive when he drinks”, this article shall help you out to put your restlessness to rest.

Alcoholic abuse often stems from historical abuse, or antisocial personality disorders. In such cases, counseling experts should help partners out in maintaining a healthy relationship. Sometimes, excessive stress can cause a spouse to burst out in anger. In such a scenario, distancing can be the way out from the issue.

However, not all alcoholics showcase the same abusive pattern. And not all methods might work equally on everyone to get rid of the situation. Because the underlying factors that trigger the abusive side vary from person to person. To help you understand what method you might try, this article contains the necessary information pertaining to different alcoholic abuses. 

What Makes Someone an Alcoholic Abusive?

It is not always about excessive alcohol that makes a person abusive. Sometimes, underlying factors also work as catalysts to make a drunk abusive.

Try to understand what factor(s) transforms your drunk husband into an abuser. Then, you will be able to take necessary steps accordingly to get rid of the situation. Here are some probable reasons that cause the emotional abuses

Psychological Conditions

It is true that alcohol can mess up brain mechanisms that usually hold you back from producing impulsive behaviors. But, sometimes it is not alcohol alone that causes the emotional mess. Psychological conditions like ASPD, historical abuse trauma, and excessive stress can also cause disinhibition leading to abusive behavior after intoxication.

Historical abuse or childhood abuse often triggers aggression after drinking alcohol. If your husband has a history of being exposed to historical abuse, it is likely that alcohol consumption will trigger past trauma. And he will burst out his anger on someone else.

In no way, his abusive behavior that comes out when he is drunk is justifiable. However, sometimes this can be the case that his historical abuse trauma leaves him with no choice but expressing anger. If that’s the case, seeking professional help to improve the situation will be a wise step to take.

ASPD or Antisocial Personality Disorder is one of the underlying factors that might propel your husband to become an abusive alcoholic. This psychological condition can worsen if your husband doesn’t stop consuming alcohol regularly. 

Because of ASPD, your husband will not take your feelings into consideration before hurting or belittling you. People with this psychological condition tend to exploit and wear you out, either verbally or physically. And refuses to accept their faults once they are sober. In such cases, it will bring you no good if you try to resolve the situation by having a conversation with him. This issue needs counseling. 

If your husband keeps bottling up his stress for a longer period of time, it will come out in the form of aggression once he consumes two or three glasses of vodka or rum. Once sober and confronted, he will most likely own up to his mistakes. And try not to repeat it, if only stress is the reason for his abusive behavior in the first place.

Sheer Disrespect

Other than psychological conditions, disrespect towards significant others is one of factors that leads him towards hurting you regularly. One thing about disrespect is, even if you confront him about how he hurts you, he will take no step to stop it.

If his abuse is triggered by psychological conditions, he will try to improve his condition for the sake of the love and respect he has for you. But if the abuse is formed out of the disrespect he has for you, he will continue abusing you.

After having a one or few shots, he may start name-calling or body shaming you. And he might put all the blame on you for any inconvenience in the relationship. At one point, you might notice that he is trying to control and gaslight you instead of trying to control his behavior. In such a case, it will be naive of you to wait for him to change for the better.

How to Deal with Drunken Verbal Abusive Alcoholic Behavior?

Verbal abuse is no less painful than that of physical abuse. If you don’t take the necessary steps to come out of your abusive relationship, it will drain you out for the rest of your life. Here are few advices for you to work your way out to sanity

Having a Conversation

Sometimes having a conversation can help both of you out. If your husband is understanding most of the time except for when he drinks, he will try to understand his issue once sober and confronted. 

Try to have a conversation whether it is his stress or any other trauma that makes him reliant on alcohol to burst out his anger. He might feel better after confiding in you. And this might inspire him to try not to repeat the mistakes.

While conversing, you can suggest he seeks professional help to lower his stress level or any other psychological issue he has. You should not take any decision in a jiffy against his abusive alcoholic behavior. Rather, you should converse with him initially, knowing that inner unresolved turmoil sometimes can lead a person to be an abusive drunk.

Counseling Experts

Try to make your husband counsel an addiction specialist or addiction psychiatrist to help him come out of his inner turmoil. If his abusive behavior is triggered because of his psychological issues, he should stay under expert medication to control his impulse.

Based on his behavioral pattern, psychiatrists might suggest him for rehabilitation. Detox treatment and rational recovery in rehabilitation will help him to quit drinking. And it will help him gain his sanity against alcoholism and impulsive behaviors. 

Behavioral Couple Therapy

BCT or behavioral couple therapy aims to improve your marital relationship against abusive alcoholic behavior. The therapists will try to develop mutual respect and understanding in your relationship. 

This therapy might help your husband to understand the toxic effects of his abusive behavior on you and your children. So he will be able to set boundaries to quit his toxic behavioral patterns. 

Distance Yourself

If your husband drinks only to cope up with his stress, it will be better if you distance yourself while he drinks. Because his stress coupled with alcohol will make him abuse everyone he sees in front of him. 

Maintaining a distance under the same roof is not an easy task. But if you need to protect your sanity, this might be the only instant way out there to do so. 

However, if he continues to emotionally abuse even after trying all the methods mentioned above, you should think of going your separate way in life. I understand it is a difficult thing to do, especially when you have kids. But staying in a toxic abusive relationship years after years is much worse than separation. 


If you are puzzled everyday thinking “what to do if my husband is verbally abusive when he drinks”, you are suggested not to leave this situation to your husband alone or to time. Because it will be naive of you to think you can get out of this situation without taking any of the steps mentioned above. You must work your way out of this situation. 

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