Tolerating gaslighting/abuse?


I’m in a situation with my partner where we fight on a weekly basis. Sometimes I can identify that I have provoked the fights with my behavior. Here’s an example:

C: Partner drank 6 beers
T: “I hate the person he is when he drinks”
F: Disgusted
A: Be mean or cold, nag, criticize, pick a fight, don’t give him space, point out his drinking when he’s asked me not to
R: I hate him and I hate how I’m showing up

Sometimes, the fights seem to happen out of nowhere. I might ask him a question about his plans for the next day or why he didn’t eat the dinner he just spent 30 minutes preparing. I’m coming from a place of curiosity, inclusion(his plans affect our family), love, curiosity, or concern(when he seems upset and doesn’t eat dinner).

He gets so angry sometimes and blames me and I start to wonder if I did do something I shouldn’t have, even when I really don’t think I did. Often/almost always these situations happen when he has been drinking. And when I try to explain or point out where he’s misunderstood me, he just gets more angry.

Today for example he grabbed my arm (that is hurting after my COVID vaccine) and pulled me hard to the kitchen. He then took my plate and threw it in the sink when I hadn’t eaten my dinner yet.

I’m trying to figure out how to navigate this. I go back and forth between thoughts of “I should know better than to bother him when I know he’s been drinking” or “maybe I am nagging and being rude”? and “he’s gaslighting me when he says it’s my fault” or “he’s abusive.”

I want to be with him when he isn’t like this but not when he is. I haven’t been able to make a decision about whether I should stay or go, and whether I’m tolerating major boundary violations that I should enforce. I’m scared to enforce boundaries and lose him I guess.