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Does Being Drunk Bring Out The True Personality?


Hi, my perfect relationship just got shattered and I’m trying to figure out if it’s worth even trying to save. My husband sometimes undergoes a significant personality change under the influence of alcohol. Normally he is an awesome person – loving, considerate, compassionate, and treats me like royalty which is something I’ve never had before. When drunk, he becomes verbally abusive and violent, although to date he only hits doors, etc. and has never hit me (and claims that he never will, no matter how drunk he gets, although I know that’s practically a cliché). After this last round even he admits he has a problem and claims he will never drink again because he doesn’t want to lose me (another cliché). I would be willing to give him a chance if he seeks outside help, like AA, but the problem gets worse. I looked at his email to see if anythings going on that I don’t know about and found that, while drunk, he created a profile on “onlinebootycall” and indicated he’s looking for gay hookups. When I confronted him about it, he said that’s he’s ABSOLUTELY NOT gay and doesn’t know why he signed up because he would never ever cheat on me, that it was just the alcohol, which of course he’s ostensibly never going to touch again. I know that alcohol releases inhibitions and my gut feeling is that he probably has some gay feelings that he won’t admit to, so, even if he stops drinking there will eventually be a different problem, like depression or anti-social behavior. If I shouldn’t take to heart the things he says when he’s drunk, should I do the same over the things he does? I would so much appreciate any guidance you can provide.

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You certainly do present many dilemmas in your relationship with your husband. Let me explain what I mean by that.

First, to answer your question, no, I do not believe that alcohol brings out the true personailty. For some people, such as your husband, alcohol loosens the inhibitions and causes him to become angry and verbally abusive. In addition, the strikes walls and other types of inanimate objects. All of this indicates that he does have a problem with alcohol and that he does need to stop drinking. Even though he apologizes the next day and promises that he would never hit you, there is no way he can be sure that he could keep that promise while under the influence. In other words, yes, while drunk, he possibly could strike out at you. He does need to get help with his drinking problem and that could be AA and psychotherapy.

However, another problem rises to the surface that may or may not be connected to his drinking and it is that of going to the Internet in search of gay sexual partners. This is a problem because he has gone from “looking” at pornography to actually searhing for someone gay with whom to have a sexual liaison. He has gone from fantasy to taking the initial steps towards action. Please remember that heterosexual people can have sexual fantasies that are both homo and hetero sexual. To repeat, what is troubling is that he has taken some action oriented steps, whether drunk or sober at the time.

While I agree that your husband needs to attend some type of alcohol program such as AA, it would be a good idea for both of you, as a couple, to attend marriage psychotherapy. In my opinion, there may be some deeper issues that need to be addressed by the two of you as a couple. For one, there could be some sexual issues that neither of you is addressing. Be assured that this is very common in married couples, even those who have been together for many years.

One last thought. You speak highly of your marriage until running into these problems. My suggestion is that you not act hastily in giving up on your marriage. All marriages have problems. You report that your husband is motivated to keep the marriage alive. If the two of you are willing to seek help and work on your problems, it could be very rewarding for both of you and it could bring you closer together.

Best of Luck to Both of You.

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  • KB

    ..for your reply and I agree that this marriage is worth working on. You are providing a wonderful service for people who have problems that can't be shared with close friends or family - best of luck to you, too.

  • Tammy Midkiff

    My marriage sounds alot like yours. Although, my husband has not hit nothing, He verbally abuses me when he's drunk. But the best a man could be when he's sober. It's funny how people change when they are drunk. I have tried everything to get him to at least slow down and not get drunk. I can't stop him from drinking completely, he says well you married me knowing I'm an alcoholic so you have to live with it. I am not going to live with the verbal abuse when he's drunk, I'd rather leave and come back when he's sober.

    You can email me if you would like to talk (

  • Bill

    Hi I'm Bil and I'm that stupid drunk you speak of. I can't handle problems and alchol either. I don't want to or like it but its me. I've been married 10 yrs. And have been together 14. I've been real bad a few times a year every year and a week ago was it! I can't be this way no more she has alway forgave me and we move but it pushed her into an affair. I haven't been able to forgive her or myself until today. I decided to stop drinking and trust her again and move forward. All us drunks have different reasons to be drunk...what we can't and have to find is that thing we need to STOP!

  • Anonymous-1

    I'm wondering if my friend is an alcoholic. He doesn't drink often, but when he does he drinks a lot. Emotionally, he's somewhat disconnected. He's a very nice person, and a lot of fun to be around, but he rarely expresses unpleasant feelings. I know sometimes when he needs to cry, he drinks. It's as if he can't access his feelings unless he's inebriated. We are very close friends, but when he drinks, he expresses something more. He becomes very affectionate, hits on me, compliments me, confides in me. I like him romantically, and I like the way he treats me when he's drunk, but I don't know what to make of it. He kisses me. He invites me to do things with him, and then when he's sober, it's totally gone. And usually, he doesn't even remember that anything happened. He knows how I feel about him, and I have told him that I do not want to be intimate with him 'just as a friend.' I've told him I do not consent to any 'romantic' activity unless it is with romantic intent. Here's my dilemma. I can't always tell if he is sober or not. He's hit on me, and I've asked him if he knows what he's doing, etc. and he swears up and down that he means it, and he's cognizant of what he's doing. Then there's the next morning, when I find out he was drunk. Not only that, but he's forgotten everything that passed between the two of us. I've cried, gotten angry, but ultimately I am just so confused. It's like he's two entirely different people. One is my good friend, the other seems to want to be my boyfriend. I don't know which one is 'real.' When he's drunk, is he expressing his true feelings for me, or does this super nice guy become a manipulative sociopath? When he hits on me, and I respond, am I making an emotional connection or naively letting someone molest me? Has anybody had an experience like this?- when the drunk version is NICER than the sober version? How do I make sense of this?


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