Lee Mortin tried to burn Christmas cards containing money for his partner, before grabbing the blade and his partner by her hair, Leeds Crown Court was told.
The 50-year-old from Knottingley had been in a relationship with the woman for four years, but last year began to travel over to Manchester regularly where she suspected he was taking drugs.
Prosecutor Austin Newman said in the days leading up to Christmas, Mortin had spent four days and nights drinking and was becoming increasingly abusive towards his partner.
The court heard how Mortin often became jealous and constantly wanted to know where she was and with whom.
During his drinking binge he became angry when she went to work and sent her abusive messages. She tried to avoid him when she got home.
Then on Boxing Day she noticed the cards from her family that contained money were not where she had left them.
He brought them into the kitchen, turned on the hob and began trying to burn them.
She snatched them away but he grabbed her by the hair and began shouting at her.
He then picked up the long knife and threatened to "do her in", before "doing himself in" said Mr Newman.
She was eventually able to flee the house but Mortin followed her and threw the knife in her direction, hitting her in the arm.
She was able to get in a taxi and went to her sister's, where she called the police.
Mortin, of Broomhill Avenue, was arrested but remained silent throughout his police interview.
He eventually admitted a charge of possessing a bladed article, actual bodily harm and coercive and controlling behaviour.
He has previous convictions for dishonesty and drug offences.
Mitigating, Edison Flint said: "It's quite a sad case really. It comes from his drinking and drug taking.
"He is extremely regretful for what he did."
Mr Flint said Mortin had been clean from heroin for a decade, but had slipped back into his old habit.
Held on remand in HMP Leeds since he missed a court date at the end of March, Mr Flint said he had been clean since then.
Mr Flint said: "He is trying to steady that ship again.
"He just spent his 50th birthday in prison and, in his words, he is far too old for this now."
Mr Flint asked Judge Christopher Batty if he could suspend any sentence, but the judge said jail was unavoidable.
He told Mortin: "It's quite clear that away from drink you are a different person.
"Unfortunately, you spent too long in this relationship in drink and drugs. You made her life a misery.
"You threatened to do her in with that knife and she was utterly terrified."
He jailed Mortin for 16 months.