Boyfriend Drinks Too Much? Here’s What To Do

When somebody close to you is struggling with alcohol, it can be very difficult for you in a number of different ways. You should not feel guilty for taking some time to think about yourself, in fact, it will make it easier for you to take care of them if that’s what you choose to do.

It’s also important to remember that you aren’t obligated to stay with an alcoholic, especially if they are hurting you in any way. While you can try your best to help them, and that’s admirable, there’s a point where you also have to think about what’s best for you.

That said, the fact that you’re here right now shows that you’re putting thought into this, thinking of what you can do for them, and what you need to do for yourself.

We just want to remind you that this isn’t your burden, ultimately. They could be close to getting better, or it could be a long and difficult drawn-out process. You don’t have to sacrifice your own wellbeing or happiness to help somebody else to overcome their demons, so if you feel like you’re a failure or you’re letting them down, remember that you also need to look after yourself.

But many people want to help their partners. That’s admirable. It’s possible to help somebody overcome their alcohol addiction.

How To Tell If Your Boyfriend Drinks Too Much

There are behavioral signs that you can look for to help determine if your boyfriend is an alcoholic or not.

The first thing to consider is whether or not their drinking is having a measurable impact on their life in a negative way. For example, if they’re spending every afternoon hungover and not doing anything productive. Or if they miss work or school due to drinking. Or if it’s taking a toll in their personal life and relationships.

If your boyfriend is ever abusing you when he’s drinking, that is a clear sign that he has a drinking problem. Nobody deserves to be abused, so there’s a huge difference between a partner who has an alcohol problem and a partner who has an alcohol problem and abuses their partner. This doesn’t just include physical abuse. If he tells or becomes very difficult to be around, or calls you names, or says hurtful things, this is also abusive behavior.

Some people are what is called a “functional alcoholic”, which means that they drink frequently but they are able to “keep it together” to a point where their drinking isn’t having any severe negative effects. It can be a lot harder to convince a functional alcoholic to cut back or get help before things get way too out of hand since they aren’t seeing any negatives to their drinking.

As their partner, if their drinking bothers you, this is totally legitimate. It doesn’t mean you’re being controlling, however, it could mean that you just might not be compatible. Sometimes, that’s the case, and it’s okay for one partner to want to drink and party and for the other partner to not want that, so they decide to break up. If your boyfriend prioritizes drinking above you, this doesn’t necessarily mean he’s a terrible person, but his priorities are different than yours, and that’s okay – just move on!

Staying with an alcoholic who is abusive, or if you’re just not compatible with them anymore, will eventually take a toll on your own life.

You and the people in your life know your relationship better than a random website article ever could. It’s up to you to decide how much you’re willing to invest in trying to help somebody overcome their drinking problem, especially if they don’t want or won’t accept your help. There’s only so much you can do, as sad as it is, if they aren’t willing to work on themselves.

Tips for Leaving an Alcoholic Boyfriend

If you are with an alcoholic boyfriend and you’ve decided that you need to leave him, the way to do this will vary quite a bit depending on your situation and what he’s like.

For instance, if you’re living with an alcoholic boyfriend who is abusive and violent and who has anger issues, it could be best to avoid confrontation altogether and to reach out to somebody in your life who may be able to offer you a place to stay while you leave this relationship.

You’ll want to talk to them, tell them you feel unsafe and that you need help, and then come up with a plan to leave. It’s okay to pack your things up quickly and to get out of there while he’s at work, you don’t owe him an in-person explanation if you’re concerned for your wellbeing.

This will be one of the bravest things you do, even just reaching out for help takes a lot of courage. Breakups can be hard enough, now when you add substance abuse and danger into the situation, you’ll need a lot of courage but you can do this. You deserve better, and you can create a better life for yourself.

It may be difficult, but it will be the best thing you do for yourself, and once you’re out, you will feel such a sense of relief.

Priority #1 is to get out of the situation safely.

If you know you can talk to your boyfriend when he’s sober, and you’re not afraid for your safety or anything like that, you can simply break it to him like you’d break up with anyone. You can tell him that his need to drink isn’t compatible with what you want in your life, or that it breaks your heart to see him when he’s wasted, or that you just can’t keep worrying about him if he hasn’t been able to get the help he needs.

Why do I get mad when my boyfriend drinks?

It is perfectly normal to feel upset and frustrated when your boyfriend drinks. It’s possible that he acts differently towards you and that it bothers you, or it’s just frustrating and annoying to deal with someone who is drunk all of the time.

These feelings are valid.

If you’ve tried to help him stop drinking and he’s continuing to drink, it can feel like he’s disrespecting you which can lead you to feel angry.

What’s important if you’re going to date an alcoholic is to remember that this isn’t your fault. It’s something he struggles with and something he needs to overcome, but it’s not your fault that somebody else chooses to drink.

Is it bad that my boyfriend drinks every night?

Drinking every single night is a huge red flag that somebody is dependant on alcohol, and could be using it to cope with something else that’s bothering them in their life, too. They could be using it as a band-aid for trauma, to cope with depression and anxiety, or something else. They might just like to party and haven’t really become more responsible yet.

Different reasons could cause somebody to drink every night, but it’s a bad sign when somebody is drinking every night, especially to the point of getting drunk. Having a beer or a glass of wine with dinner is different than getting blackout every single day, for instance. From there, you can look at the impact it’s having on them, their life, and their relationships (including the relationship they have with you.)

How can I help my alcoholic boyfriend?

If you’re wondering how to help an alcoholic boyfriend, you’re a great partner and you truly care about this person. The sad reality is that it can be very difficult to convince somebody to stop drinking. The loved ones of alcoholics often feel all sorts of emotions including guilt, resentment,

Why does it bother me when my boyfriend drinks?

You’re probably taking it personally, on some level. If you’ve tried to help your boyfriend quit drinking and it hasn’t worked, you might feel disappointed. This is a normal thing to feel, but it’s not helpful or productive, and it can add extra pressure and stress to your partner. You care a lot and you want the best for them, and you want to live the life you imagined with them without alcohol getting in the way, and all of this is normal, but it’s important to not take it as a personal attack on you if they relapse.

The loved ones of alcoholics will often take it personally when the person they care about can’t stop drinking, which can lead to resentment.

My boyfriend has a drinking problem, should I leave him?

This is something that you need to decide for yourself. What if he never stopped drinking, would you be okay with that? What if he eventually starts drinking even more, is that something you could live with? Being the partner of an alcoholic can be a big burden to carry, and it’s up to you to decide if you’re willing to do that. On the other hand, if he is doing anything harmful to you or himself, this changes things – if he gets dangerous, scary, or abusive at all when he’s drinking and he still chooses to drink, this is a very situation and it would be wise to come up with a plan to exit the relationship safely.

My Own Opinion on Leaving Your Boyfriend

Speaking from my personal experience and having been the drunk one in the relationship I would with all honesty say that she should have left me much faster. It took a big toll on her life needing to take care of me for several years, missing out on some amazing years of her life she could of spent doing what she loves.

Just In case you are wondering, I have zero “bad” feelings towards her, in fact as I said above she should have left earlier saving some precious years and I wish nothing but the best, but the reality is I have to work on myself and so does your boyfriend and the two just don’t go together.

Your situation could be different and I would always give your Boyfriend or Girlfriend the chance to possibly try rehab, turn things around, or at least put in the effort to get better but set a line for yourself, and stick by that.

Who knows? You two might end up back together in the future but with a much better relationship.

You need to love yourself before loving someone else. 
Martijn van Eijk
Martijn is a passionate creator and the driving force behind He created this website to assist individuals and their families in conquering alcohol addiction and finding a joyful, fulfilling life after alcohol. With a deep understanding of the challenges they face, he empowers readers with valuable insights and practical guidance on their journey towards recovery. Author of the Stop Shaking Book.