Very specific question for any of you who has/had an alcoholic father - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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#61 of 67 Old 12-28-2009, 12:29 PM
 
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My dad was an alcoholic, but when I was five, he made the decision to stop drinking and never looked back. He also joined AA and was a steadfast member, but from the day he made that decision, he never, ever took another drink. He was also never abusive to either my mother or me. I am glad my parents stayed together because he died when I was 14, and had they divorced, I would not have had the time with him that I did.

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#62 of 67 Old 12-28-2009, 12:33 PM
 
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My Dad was a functional alcoholic I think, I know nothing about classifications but he managed to work long hours and didn't get into trouble in his job. He did get banned from driving for drunk driving when I was a child, and his marriage suffered awfully. He didn't drink every day but he got REALLY drunk at least 2 nights a week and I often as a teenager had to help him to bed, remind him not to pee in the wardrobe or down the stairs etc.
My parents divorced just a few years ago when I was 25. That wasn't fun. I don't know whether I'm happy they stayed together so long or not, growing up with their marriage wasn't fun but it wouldn't have been fun either way. I don't drink at all, I have insecurity issues etc but I don't think much worse than most other people and I have a very happy marriage and a great husband so their relationship and life modelling didn't mess up my chance of a good life.
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#63 of 67 Old 12-28-2009, 01:22 PM
 
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My Dad was/is a functional alchoholic, although he is much more in check now, despite the fact he continues to drink. He kept a very demanding job, working long hours. He NEVER drove after drinking, and always drank at home. My Mother also drank a lot although she binge drank, not the daily heavy drinking my Dad did. My Dad was generally a "happy drunk" although he was very unpredictable, and would sometimes have big rage filled outbursts, in which case he would become physically abusive to me, only. Never my other sibs or my mom. My brother and sister hid, while I was the one that pushed the envelope, and got the brunt of the response. My parents divorced when I was 19 and in college, my brother 15, and my sister 12. It had very different effects on us. Ironically, it is my sister that has struggled the most. My Dad moved back to Europe after the divorce, and we saw him twice a year. My Mom could not hold down a job, lived off her alimony and child support, and was largely just a friend to my sister. She was kind to her, but very neglectful as a parent, announcing when my sister was 15 that she (my mom) had been a parent for twenty years and was now done with the whole thing. My brother and sister had no rules, no guidance or structure to their teen years, after my Dad left. As he was the one with the expectations, the consequences, the rules. My mom was, and is, very nice and well intended, but that's not enough when you are 15 and struggling to find your place in the world.

Now, 12 years later, my Dad spent 6 years alone in Europe and Asia, for work. He returned home very regretful of all that he messed up, and missed in our childhoods. He still drinks, but has limited himself to only wine and only in the evenings. I have only seen him drunk a handful of times in the 6 years since he moved home. He is remarried, and by all outward appearances, has a healthy marriage. His wife does not drink, except on rare occasions when she might have a glass of champagne or something. She has imposed rules, and keeps tabs on my Dad's drinking. My Mom also remarried someone who doesn't drink, and won't tolerate her drinking, although my Mom has continued to be a closet binge drinker, now hiding her alcohol consumption from her husband.

I would encourage you, first and foremost OP, to keep the focus on what environment is best for you and your children to grow and thrive in. I don't think any decision should be made solely "for the kids" or because he is an alcoholic. There is no rule book here, no right answer. I wish you and your family the best of luck as you negotiate this.

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#64 of 67 Old 02-25-2010, 09:41 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi everyone, I wanted to let you all know that I left him 3 weeks ago. I'd been going to Al Anon and getting a lot of advice. I have been trying for a long time to put my own misery aside for my kids, but his drinking is so bad, that I know now that I'm not doing my kids any favors by staying.

So, things are difficult, but even still, I feel so much better not being around a drunkard all day and now that I'm out of that situation I realize that it would be not be a good thing for my kids to grow up with his drunk and stoned state being normal for them.

Thanks so much for all of your advice, it means a lot

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#65 of 67 Old 02-25-2010, 09:51 AM
 
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I am a child of divorce and also the child of an alcoholic father. he was not abusive as an alcoholic, but a major embarassment and a poor example for me. I feel it is in the best interest of the children for parents to divorce if they are not happy together, for any reason. Children need to see their parents want to be happy so that they will want the same standards for themselves.
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#66 of 67 Old 02-25-2010, 10:28 AM
 
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Good for you.

My father is an alcoholic, and my mother left him when we were 7, 6, and 4. It was the best thing she could have ever done for us.

At that point, we didn't know anything about it -- I remember that we had to go to bed waaaay early a lot of nights, and Mom would let us play in our rooms until we got tired. Years later, she explained that he had started drinking and she didn't want us to see him drunk. We never knew at all back then.

He married a woman who is a total enabler - I remember going to visit them (summer for two weeks, every other Christmas, etc.) and she would buy beer on sale and hide it under beds, etc., because he could go through a 24 pack a night and still be pleasant and conversational. He's switched to wine these days, but God help you if he gets out the liquor. He's a nice drunk, but he's still drunk and slurring and stumbling.

We all figured it out after the divorce, but my mom protected us from the knowledge/experience beforehand. Leaving him was the best thing she could have ever done. Life was difficult after that -- she had been a SAHM for 8 years and had to start a career over, etc., but she did and we were much better off than if we had stayed with him. Life would have been much easier financially, that's for sure, but I have a hard time imagining having friends over, playing sports, etc. and everything with him drunk every night.

Divorce is not easy - I don't want to minimize it - but it was so much better for us than staying with him. My dad is a wonderful guy, but he is an alcoholic, and alcoholics can't be healthy parents.

Blessings, mama -- it is so different for every family, and I don't think there is one hard and fast answer -- but for us it was best that she left him, and I hope you find peace and strength in your decisions. I will pray for you.

Mama to A 8/05 and S 11/06
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#67 of 67 Old 02-25-2010, 10:45 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrs. Turner View Post
Hi everyone, I wanted to let you all know that I left him 3 weeks ago. I'd been going to Al Anon and getting a lot of advice. I have been trying for a long time to put my own misery aside for my kids, but his drinking is so bad, that I know now that I'm not doing my kids any favors by staying.

So, things are difficult, but even still, I feel so much better not being around a drunkard all day and now that I'm out of that situation I realize that it would be not be a good thing for my kids to grow up with his drunk and stoned state being normal for them.

Thanks so much for all of your advice, it means a lot
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