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Can alcohol completely change someone's personality?
Even if it's a small amount?

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35 replies to this topic

#1 MinkyMonkey

Posted 25 December 2012 - 09:29 PM

I hate DH drinking alcohol, any type and in any quantity great than one standard drink. It seems illogical but any more than 1 drink (occasionally 1 will do it too) and his personality does a complete 180 -- he turns into a complete snarky jerk. To me it seems blatantly obvious but I have learnt that I can't pull him up on any of it because it just makes him worse. He is not abusive, he definitely doesn't have a drinking problem as he can go weeks without drinking anything and when he does he usually only has 1-3 drinks, he is drunk maybe once a year. His venom is usually directed at me so I generally try and not engage with him if he has had a couple of drinks.

To be fair I don't drink at all and have delt with the effects from an alcoholic family member so it is possible that my view is tainted. DH just thinks I hate alcohol and should get over it but I really don't have an issue with anyone else drinking (especially only a few drinks) except him. Has anyone ever noticed such a dramatic personality change from someone after only a few drinks? Or is this whole situation just manifested in my imagination?

#2 antigone_

Posted 25 December 2012 - 09:34 PM

Not your imagination at all - my personality has been known to be very unpredictable under the influence of alcohol and so has a close family member's who used to be alcoholic. I haven't seen him behave in that way since he gave up drinking many years ago.

It doesn't take much alcohol to do it either. Every drink causes a somewhat unpredictable chemical reaction. I have been known to have two glasses of wine and turn completely snarky.

#3 jayskette

Posted 25 December 2012 - 09:41 PM

I am in the same situation as you

#4 MinkyMonkey

Posted 25 December 2012 - 09:50 PM

Thanks for the replies. Nice to know that I'm not just making this up but now I am concerned. What can I do? He acts like this yet has no other visible signs of intoxication, I can't see how I can get him to see what he is doing?

#5 FiveAus

Posted 25 December 2012 - 09:57 PM

Yes, my ex used to turn into a belligerent a**hole after just one or two beers. There was no talking to him, he knew everything, could do everything and wasn't listening to anyone. He would not even be over the legal limit to get like this.

He also used to smell really awful after drinking beer, not just the usual brewery breath, it would literally reek from the pores of his skin. If he was in bed with his back to me, I could smell it as strong as anything, and if he sweated at all, it was worse.

So yes, I'd say a chemical reaction, for sure.

#6 MooGuru

Posted 25 December 2012 - 10:06 PM

My DH is similar; generally more than a couple of drinks and usually if there is a pressure to drink i.e. Pub crawl and one particular group of friends. Last time was bad, but he realised it and never wants it to happen again before that point I think he thought I was being overly dramatic. I think I was also very aware of the alcohol factor due to exposure to an alcoholic so potentially things that wouldn't normally bother me did because I was worried about his alcohol intake which potentially contributed to his narkiness because 1 drink put us both on the defensive.

#7 mygirlcharlotte

Posted 25 December 2012 - 10:11 PM

yes Alcohol can change someones personality
Once my husband isnt drinking he is a nice guy but after 4 drinks he thinks he is king d***..i hate it..He annoys everybody that is around ..he says if they dont like it thats theres problem not his..So when he drinks i cant drink or be around him

#8 starsg

Posted 25 December 2012 - 10:31 PM

Does he remember acting this way the next day, or feel apologetic? one tactic that gets used a bit on abusive alcoholics is to film their behaviour while drunk and show it back to them when they're sober. it's often quite a shock, maybe that's something you could think about trying.

#9 FeralProudSwahili

Posted 26 December 2012 - 01:34 AM

QUOTE (Madame Catty @ 25/12/2012, 10:42 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
He may not be an alcoholic, but it definitely sounds like he has a problem with drinking.  I don't think his reaction is 'normal'.

One classic sign of the alcoholic/problem drinker, is there ability to turn it around on you.  It's all in your head, your the one with the problem.   It sounds like your dh is trying that one on you.

You could try getting in touch with Al-anon for support.

Massive over reaction here. Al anon do not need their time wasted by someone whose husband drinks 1-3 drinks, every few weeks. Get a grip.

#10 Feral-as-Meggs

Posted 26 December 2012 - 04:40 AM

QUOTE (Swahili @ 26/12/2012, 02:34 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Massive over reaction here. Al anon do not need their time wasted by someone whose husband drinks 1-3 drinks, every few weeks. Get a grip.

OP is still dealing with the effects of an alcoholic family member and is concerned with the impact of her partners drinking in her.  Of course Alanon would be an good avenue for support.

#11 MinkyMonkey

Posted 26 December 2012 - 05:30 AM

QUOTE (starsg @ 25/12/2012, 10:31 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Does he remember acting this way the next day, or feel apologetic? one tactic that gets used a bit on abusive alcoholics is to film their behaviour while drunk and show it back to them when they're sober. it's often quite a shock, maybe that's something you could think about trying.

Not really, he thinks I am making it all up. It would be hard to film as he just goes from being a generally loving partner to making snide remarks at me constantly. There is no tirade of abuse or anything to catch on camera that would shock him, it's just the constant small but nasty remarks that make him unpleasant to be around (almost always directed only at me).

#12 3plusme

Posted 26 December 2012 - 05:37 AM

My DH is the same.
Only takes one drink and he's a pain.  two drinks and it's a 180 degree flip of personality change.  My husband knows this.  He knows he does it.  He knows he is a prick and looks for a verbal fight directed at me normally. I stay out of his way. Some of our biggest arguments have been when DH has been drunk and I have took the bait.  I have learned to leave it to the morning if DH has been drinking.  

My DH knows he's a jerk when he has been drinking, friends and family tell him.  He has seen video footage of himself at parties and has been pretty embarrassed afterwards.  Lucky he is a humble kind of guy when not drunk and does apologise after.

We have used various strategies over the years to try and avoid any issues.  1. is we have zero tolerance.  Which is no drinking at all.  This usually takes place after New Years after a big drunken mess.  2.  Is usually no more than 2 drinks and is usually the rest of the year.     Dh knows he won't be getting a sleep in and will still have to participate in our family routines the next day, there will be no hangover or sleep in, so why bother getting drunk?
and 3. is if we are out somewhere and i see him with a few drinks and i walk past and say "how many is that"... it means he can check and count. I do feel like his mum a bit only with his issue.  He does not seem to be able to manage it himself.
Things that make my DH's drinking behaviour worse is friends that spur him on.  ( and I know who they are!) and scotch.  Damn I hate scotch.
Ive been with my DH 10 years.  So I know him extremely well.
I should also add, I don't think my DH is an alcoholic as he doesn't drink all the time.  I think though, if we didn't manage my DH's drinking behaviours then he definately would be an alcoholic. He is unable to set himself drinking limits.Long post sorry.  I am in the same situation and wanted to share my story.

DH's brother is an alcoholic who has two failed marriages as a result. People in my Dh's family have addictive personalities.  His mum is addicted to food another gambling so I think it can be an inherited gene.

#13 akkiandmalli

Posted 26 December 2012 - 05:46 AM

Definitely lol my DH however is more touchy and shows PDA if we are out. It's cute as normally he a non kissing touching person so its nice sometimes.. We don't have many drinks out together these days though

#14 choccy2

Posted 26 December 2012 - 06:14 AM

No I can't say that I have - not that I can think of at the moment anyway.

I've seen people who already have particular personality traits have them exaggerated by alcohol, but not completely out of the blue and be created by drinking small amounts of alcohol.

The closest I've seen would be probably people who are naturally fairly reserved being a bit more relaxed and open after a couple of drinks - but other than that no not really.

#15 LookMumNoHands

Posted 26 December 2012 - 06:57 AM

Both of my parents are like your DH. They become aggressive, argumentative, sensitive... It basically turns them both into the total opposite of what they are sober. And this happens after just one or two glasses of wine.

My dad has been sober since I was 13, but mum still drinks. My sister and I have learnt to watch every word that comes out of our mouths when she's been drinking, and to try and stay out of her line of fire.

Alcohol gives me headaches, even one sip. So I don't drink. But even if it didn't, I would still never touch a drop. It is pure evil, in my opinion. I would rather my mum smoke a joint than drink.

I'm sorry your DH acts that way, OP. it's heartbreaking to watch, and so tough being the recipient of a drinkers bad behaviour.

#16 Duck-o-lah

Posted 26 December 2012 - 07:06 AM

Has anyone ever noticed such a dramatic personality change from someone after only a few drinks?
No, not in my experience. A few drinks, yes, but not one or two. A couple of suggestions...

Some people just don't metabolise alcohol well, which would explain the difference in personality after just a small amount.

And just to play devil's advocate (I don't mean to cause any offense), do you notice this negative behaviour directed at anyone else, or is it just you? How do you react when he's drinking? I'm just wondering if your behaviour is altered when he starts drinking? Do you make off-hand comments about his drinking that may be percieved as nagging or having a go at him for having a drink? In that case he might be getting on the defensive. I've seen the way some people talk to their spouses when they start drinking and it's no wonder their partners get snarky at them. As I said, I don't mean to suggest that you are the problem as I don't know enough about you, just something to consider?

#17 ~Supernova~

Posted 26 December 2012 - 07:07 AM

When my DH drinks rum, he turns into somebody I despise. He got so bad recently that we need counseling...alcohol can be nasty. Don't get me wrong, I love a glass of wine or two, or three lol but it can definitely have a negative impact on personality and aggressiveness.

If he is drinking any other alcohol, he becomes very talkative, and we have some great interesting debates, I like it original.gif He also becomes more romantic and affectionate.

For me, I am naturally very shy, and even after 1 wine I will start to open up and be a lot more relaxed in company.

So yes, alcohol, even a small amount, can have both negative and positive impacts on personality IMO.

#18 nano-tyrannus

Posted 26 December 2012 - 07:30 AM

Perhaps you should make a secret hidden camera video of the way he treats you when he's drunk and ask him his opinion of it when he's sober.


In conclusion, the results of the review indicate that alcohol does indeed facilitate aggressive behavior. The effects of alcohol on aggression were similar to the effects of other independent variables on aggression. In addition, alcohol appears to influence aggressive behavior as much or more than it influences other social and nonsocial behaviors. [/quote]

#19 Leggy

Posted 26 December 2012 - 07:30 AM

Could you perhaps try making a sound recording OP? That wwy you could let someone you trust or even a counsellor listen to it and talk about it. Even if you are overreacting, and from the description I don't think you are, it's upsetting you and working out some coping strategies would be a good idea. Listening to a long string of himself being a jerk might give your DH a reality check too.

#20 MinkyMonkey

Posted 26 December 2012 - 07:41 AM

No offense taken Duck-o-lah, I have definitely wondered this because I do get my hackles up as soon as he has more than one drink at home. Now I make sure not to engage or say anything about the drinking because it does no good, but I have in the past tried to point out that he is a nasty person when he drinks which makes him angry and therefore nastier. I guess even though I don't say anything anymore he could still be reacting the same way because he is expecting me to make a negative comment shrug.gif It's a bit chicken and egg, who's behaviour changed first and who reacted I guess.

#21 MinkyMonkey

Posted 26 December 2012 - 07:54 AM

Thank you I think I might try and get some recording next time it seems like the only option. One night when he said some particularly nasty things I wrote them down verbatim but he still refused to believe saying my reality was twisted. He knows that this is my weakness, I grew up with a family member suffering MI that meant her view reality was often way different to everyone else's so I am really sensitive to people challenging my reality. I saw how this person in her heart of hearts would believe that a situation went one way but several other people who were there could vouch that it wasn't like that at all.

#22 EsmeLennox

Posted 26 December 2012 - 08:07 AM

You say he alters after a small amount of alcohol, and yet say that he can't member saying the nasty things. How much is he really drinking in a session if he can't remember? He is either lying that he can't remember if he says that he can't after only  a small number of drinks, or he is drinking way more than you realise. The only times I haven't been able to remember what I've said when drinking I have been seriously plastered. Either that or his body does something very weird when he drinks.

When you speak to him about it when he's sober he turns nasty? Because if he does, then to me the alcohol is only exaggerating an unpleasant personality trait. If he won't discuss it sensibly and rationally when he's sober then that would be something I would be discussing with a counselling service of some sort. The behaviour when under the influence I could brush off to an extent if he acknowledged it and agreed to work on it, but if he won't even consider it as a possibility then that is the problem IMO.

Edited by Jemstar, 26 December 2012 - 08:07 AM.

#23 spear_maiden

Posted 26 December 2012 - 09:12 AM

I have a sister like this, and until she's really drunk, all her nasty comments are directed at me only, and sometimes her partner.  As she is able to control who she directs her nastiness at, I don't think it's the alcohol.  Rather, I believe whilst the alcohol may lower her inhibitions, it's still more a case of she uses the small amts of alcohol as an excuse to get away with treating me like dirt.

I did know someone who was well and truly drunk after 1-2 drinks. I would never have believed it if I hadn't witnessed it.  An instance of her body not being able to metabolise alcohol I would assume.  After 1-2 drinks she was slurring her words, could barely follow what was being said to her, was saying nonsense words and then became ill and basically passed out on our lounge for an hour.  She had a few food intolerances and some unknown stomach issues, so I guess there was something going on with her body.  No wonder she very rarely drank alcohol.

Edited by Studybug, 26 December 2012 - 09:13 AM.

#24 FeralProudSwahili

Posted 26 December 2012 - 10:32 AM

QUOTE (Madame Catty @ 26/12/2012, 09:08 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
OP, Al-anon is for anyone who has a family member who might have a problem with alcohol, even a suspected problem.  So don't let pp's comment put you off.  I know someone who attends Al-anon even though she hasn't lived with the alcoholic for ten odd years.  It's a support group, they are not going to tell you that you are not welcome.  You may find someone who has a similar problem with their partner.

Swahili, may I suggest if you don't have anything to add to the thread you don't comment?  Instead of a drive-by snark?

May I suggest that you accept that not everyone shares the same opinion? Or is your ego so fragile that it's difficult for you to do that?  sad.gif

#25 Ferelsmegz

Posted 26 December 2012 - 10:37 AM

my DP just dances, a lot. Lol

His brother however…. lets just say his drinking ruined Xmas day.

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