How to Move past a Drunk Blow-up with Your Partner ...


Sometimes couples drink. Sometimes couples fight. Sometimes the two overlap and the results are not pretty. Recently, our dearest friends – who have been married for not quite a year, together for about six or seven – had a major fight. S. drank a little too much during a party and unloaded on G. later, leading to G. heading over here in the middle of the night. Things turned out okay, but it made me think about this topic because I can't imagine it's an uncommon problem. Let's work on the premise that your partner tipped back a few too many and a belligerent blow up ensued. We'll go from there.

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One of You Needs to Step Away

One of You Needs to Step Away It's usually the sober partner – you, for the purposes of this post – because you're the only one who knows enough to it. This is the best thing you can do. As soon as the fight starts brewing, try to step away. That's a best case scenario and it doesn't always happen – it can't always happen. However, if you can tell it's coming before it gets bad, walk away.


Recognizing the signals of a pending argument when alcohol is in the mix is crucial. If your partner starts displaying signs of agitation or if the conversation begins to spiral, take a deep breath. Remind yourself that alcohol-fueled discussions often don't resolve underlying issues and can actually escalate them. By choosing to disengage, you're protecting both of you from saying or doing things you might regret. It's not about who's right in that moment—it's about maintaining the health of your relationship. After all, conversations are more constructive when both parties are thinking clearly and calmly.


Don't Egg It on

Don't Egg It on There's a point of inebriation where the person drinking gets mouth, aggressive, insulting, and belligerent. They also get honest. You probably see, hear, and read all the time that alcohol just lowers the inhibitions and makes a person more likely to say what they usually hold back. That's true … to a point. Some drunk folks also like to talk smack. They will say anything they can to be mean, to get a rise out of you, and to push your buttons. Don't engage in that. You're both better than that, but you're sober and your partner's drunk, so it's up to you to be the bigger person … even when it hurts.


When your partner digs up hurtful comments, remember that alcohol often magnifies negative emotions. Their words might feel like knives, but retaliation won't heal the wounds. Instead, maintain your composure and deflect the confrontation. You can disengage or gently steer the conversation away from hot-button topics. It's not about ignoring their feelings but ensuring respectful communication prevails. When sober, create a space for an open dialogue, where you both can share your thoughts without the toxicity and truly listen to each other's underlying concerns.


Find a Safe Space with Safe People

Find a Safe Space with Safe People You may want to make sure your partner is safely tucked away with someone, too, or that someone's looking in on them. That's cool. Then you need to find somewhere comfortable for yourself. Go to your best friend's house, your parents', anywhere that feels right to you. Just based on this experience, if it's possible, seek out people who know and love both of you – so there's less judging involved.


Make sure your partner is in good hands, but remember to prioritize your own emotional well-being too. Head to a cozy nook that screams you-time, whether it’s curling up in your childhood bedroom filled with memories or sprawling out in your bestie’s crash pad. It’s vital to surround yourself with the warmth of those who get it and won’t pass judgment. They’re the kind of people who hand you tissues, spoon-feed you ice cream, and let you vent until the storm inside calms. They reinforce that, despite the hiccup, you’re loved and not alone.


Vent as Much as You Need to

Vent as Much as You Need to This is also why you need to find a safe space, and preferably be with people who love you as well as your partner. That way you can vent without judgment, nor will you have to worry that your friends will think your partner is an awful person. In this situation, I still adore S. – he's a great person who did a crappy thing.


I know it sounds cliché, but talking things out really does help, especially when your emotions are all over the place. It's like uncorking a bottle that's been shaken too much – you need to let the fizz out before you can enjoy the drink again. Trust me, letting it all out with someone you trust will make the road to recovery with your partner much smoother. Plus, you'll feel lighter, almost like you've dropped the emotional baggage right there on your bestie's couch. Just remember, though, that this is about healing, not about bashing – keep it constructive.


Sleep on It

Sleep on It Even if you two never go to sleep on an argument, go to sleep on this one. You can't fix anything until you're both sober. It's a mistake to rush a reconciliation or a confrontation because nothing will get through. It can do more harm than good.


Allow the night to act as a buffer, giving both of you the space needed to cool down. Morning brings clarity, and with sobriety, perspectives can shift—making the path to understanding and forgiveness smoother. Remember, time is a healer, especially when emotions and alcohol have stirred the pot. Just ensure the issue isn't swept under the carpet; address it when clear heads can prevail.

Famous Quotes

Silence at the proper season is wisdom, and better than any speech.


Do Not Talk to Each Other Right Away

Do Not Talk to Each Other Right Away It's best to avoid talking to each other throughout the night and even into the next day. Everybody needs to sober up and think. Seriously, you don't want to talk to your partner while there's even an ounce of alcohol left in her/his system because the liquor might keep talking.


Often, after a night of heavy drinking, emotions are high and judgment is clouded. Taking a breather allows both of you to cool down and approach the situation with a clearer, more rational mindset. If you rush into a conversation, you risk aggravating the situation or saying things you might regret later. Remember, words uttered in haste can't be unspoken, and the sting can linger far longer than the hangover. So, give each other space to process the events and reflect on your feelings before attempting to bridge the gap.


Separate Truth from Fiction

Separate Truth from Fiction Deep-seated issues may well come to the fore during a drunk fight. Your partner may release some pent-up feelings about things s/he's been holding in up to this point. If your partner said a bunch of things that came out of left field, however, odds are it's because they did. For example, if your partner criticizes your personality or your looks and that's never, ever happened before, it will hurt and you will dwell on it but it's entirely likely that it was just one of those mean, insulting things drunk people sometimes hurl. That doesn't make it much better, but it helps a little.


Talk It out

Talk It out Your partner probably won't remember those ugly things, anyway. S/he'll remember the things that actually matter. When you're finally ready to talk, see what your partner remembers. The things that stick even after the alcohol's gone and the hangover's ebbing, those are probably the actual issues your partner has.


Work or Walk

Work or Walk Are those issues worth working on, though? Can you forgive the fight, the ugliness, and the drinking? Is the drinking a problem? After a fight like this, you need to talk to each other and you need to decide – both of you – if you can fix the relationship.

You may decide not to, especially if it's a chronic problem. However, you may fight for what you have. That's up to you – there's no right answer.

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