(Closed) How to deal with an alcoholic parent?

posted 7 years ago in Family
Post # 4
1154 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

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@BakerBee16:  Both Fiance and I have alcoholic parents, and I wish that meant I had some helpful advice for you, but I really don’t.  Both of them will be at the wedding, and I can see both of them coming drunk. I just hope they know that if they do, they will be promptly escorted out. 

Post # 5
387 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

Have you talked to him about this directly? 

addiction is a really difficult thing to deal with! Unfortunately so many families think their love and concern can fix the problem..but sadly this is not the case… 

Approach your dad, but don’t hold your breath…. If he doesn’t want to get help then unfortunately your hands are tied…. Most addicts need to hit rock bottom before any changes happen and a lot of the time that isn’t even enough…. 

ultimatums sometimes help…. Ex… Go to rehab or I report your workplace…. Which by the way… Working and drinking at the same time is highly illegal (forget ridiculously dangerous) and I know this is a blunt… But would you rather have your dad with no job or dead? Personally I would choose jobless…. 


Xoxox… I work in emergency health care and deal with addictions daily… I know how difficult, stressful and trying addictions can be on families! I would honestly seek out family counselling or Family AA meetings…. I think you could really benefit from them! 

Post # 6
275 posts
Helper bee

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@BakerBee16:  My aunt is an alcoholic and my family suscribes to the theory that we never enable her. If she can’t open the front door because she is too drunk then she sleeps outside because we won’t do basic things for her that she should do herself. Basically we always let her deal with the consequences of her drinking. If she goes to drive, we call the cops and distract her long enough so they show up and can deal with it. 

They have been dealing with her alcoholism for 40+ years now and she is on her 4th husband. They never let her watch the kids (her grandkids). She refuses to get help, so they have to wait until she reaches rock bottom, which is different for everyone. Unfortunatly some people reach death before they reach rock bottom. 


I would consider calling the cops on him for the work thing because it is dangerous. You need to let him deal with the consequences as hard as it is. 

Post # 7
1181 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

@BakerBee16:  talk to him. 

Be mindful that alcohol withdrawal can happen when an alcoholic decreases their amount. So someone used to drinking 30 beers a day would be unable to function on 5 the very next day…(especially someone who has been drinking heavily for many years)- physically the symptoms of withdrawal would be VERY severe. 

I would talk to him about HOW important it is to you, to have him walk you down the aisle. That although you dont support his habbit you would like him to start cutting back the week of your wedding. So that he CAN walk you down th aisle. You certainly can not hurt by trying. I dont think you would get anywhere by asking him to out right stop but strategically having him reduce his amount, so that he can at least be more than coherent at your ceremony… I think that is reasonable. I am a huge believer in people dont quit an addiction, unless they want to or are forced. 

So sorry you have to worry about that. It sounds like he would stop for you, if he could. I hope he does find the strength to quit <3

Post # 8
3370 posts
Sugar bee

@BakerBee16:  My father (beer) has been an alcoholic since before I was born. My grandpa (beer and liquor) and my aunt (liquor) were/are alcoholics as well as my sister (beer and liquor) too. Obviously it runs in my family. My aunt is the only one to recognize her problem and go to AA. However, 10 years later she decided that she could handle just having one little drink here and there…and completely fell off the wagon.

The thing about my dad, he does have health issues, HBP, high cholesterol, gout, at risk for diabetes type II. He eats like shit, drinks every single day and lives alone. I live 430 miles away and my sister lives close to that distance away. But there’s nothing I can do. My dad doesn’t think he has a problem. So what if he’s had 8 beers/day for the last 42 years? Ugh, it kills me! I’m so worried about him! But the fact is that no alcoholic can be helped until they want help. He won’t accept help because he doesn’t see a problem.

Post # 9
103 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

Neither of my parents are alcoholics, but most of my family are functioning alcoholics.  It’s really very sad and stressful on everyone.  They all know and will admit to being alcoholics, but because they work and have families they don’t see it as a problem. 

We decided on having the wedding early on Saturday at a resort.  This way no one will have time to drink too much before the event, and they all have rooms so no one will be driving home. 

Post # 10
453 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

Both of my parents are alcoholics, my mother starting again when I was around 11 and my dad a few years later (they quit when they found out she was pregnant with me, she regressed and he followed because “why not, she is”). My mother is the “drink every day until you pass out, have violent meltdowns and scream at your family until you do” kind of alcoholic. My dad’s not as bad. He used to binge drink only on the weekends (garbage bags full of beer cans by the end of it), and although it was annoying to deal with, he was never mean. Now that he’s retired and has nothing better to do, he is drunk more often than not. Anyways, it was to the point where I seriously considered a dry wedding.

I tried to talk to them both many times growing up. My mother flat-out refused to acknowledge that getting drunk every single night and screaming herself stupid was actually a problem. According to her, 2-3 massive bottles of wine over the course of an hour or two was nothing more than “just a glass to relax”, and her obscenity-laden rants directed at her family were because “we made her mad”. I gave up on talking her into help a long time ago, because I cannot force her to see the problem for what it is. All I can do is control my reaction, which is to remove myself from that situation if I see it coming. She lives thousands of miles away, so the worst I have to do is sign off when she starts messaging me drunk, but still.

The one thing I did was have a serious talk with the both of them before the wedding. I asked them both separately to please keep it under control, because I wanted this day to be a happy occasion. I had an advantage with my mother, because she’s very much a closet drinker and only really gets bad when it’s just immediate family. My dad has no such shame, however, but he does love me a lot, so he promised me he wouldn’t drink too much. Just to make sure, I did avoid their favorite drinks, and I limited availability so that it was nearly impossible (for my dad at least) to actually get skunk-drunk. This was not an issue, because he stayed true to his word.

The other thing I did was to make it clear that problem people would be removed. Mother-In-Law is also an alcoholic, and she is very similar to my mother in terms of behavior while drunk (but unfortunately she doesn’t care where or when she gets drunk, or who she happens to be around). So DH and I told our respective parents that if anyone started to get out of hand, we did have people who were ready to flying tackle remove them from the situation. I think this showed that we were serious about what we were asking of them, because they all kept it very well under control.

Post # 11
1572 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

One of my parents is an alcoholic, but is getting help right now. I tried to not be around when she was drinking – which meant a lot of lunches, and then turning her down when she wanted drinks. I went to Al-Anon meetings, and it really helped. There was not a lot I could do that would help her. Honestly, what helped was her seeign a friend of hers who was worse off and realizing it could be her. Her husband also tried an ultimatium (they don’t work for everyone), and then would hassle her when she drank. I followed suit, and it worked. 

Post # 12
11349 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: City, State

I second the suggestion of going to al anon.

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