To ban his drinking?(33 Posts)
I will try to keep this short. I just wonder if I am BU and a little precious.
My parents are both alcoholics. Have been my whole life. I don't have a relationship with my mother but I have one with my father. It's not a great one, but he lives on the other side of the world and so we don't talk/see eachother a lot. Since I had my DS he has not been that interested. He can be quite selfish and was not happy when I got pregnant. I'm his only daughter so I thought he would be pleased to have a grandson. My DS is 18 months old now and my dad has been in touch to say he will visit us soon. So AIBU to lay down some ground rules? He's hinted before at how he used to hit me with the belt - which I remember - when we were together last time. I'm actually a little worried. Can I say these are the rules;
You are not to discipline my child.
You are not to drink at all around my child.
You are not staying in our home.
How don't get me wrong. We drink, but not a lot and not when our DS is with us.
I'm not sure he would tap/slap our DS but I feel I need to get it said
And we live in the country. Last time he stayed, he just kept drinking and wandering off for a walk because he felt he was "trapped" I took this to be there are no shops or pubs within walking distance.
What do I do MN?
I wouldn't worry about him trying to discipline your DS as he's not likely to be left alone with him so can't see this being a problem. I would definitely put the no drinking rule in place. Tell him he's not able to stay with you this time, but if this visit goes well then there's a chance he might be able to in the future.
Find out what his plans are and make arrangements to go and see him rather than him come to you? That way you can control how much time you spend with him to see how it goes and if it isn't going well you can just leave.
I would suggest that you talk through with a counsellor whether this is what you really want. For some reason people (myself included) seem to have this strange expectation that crap parents will suddenly step up and lose all their flaws and become amazing grandparents. They don't.
If you decide you want to see him, I would say 'why don't you stay in x town and we can meet up?'. It will be a nightmare if he stays in your home and you cannot tell an alcoholic that they cannot drink.
I think the issue of physical abuse, if you raise it, will lead to confict anyway. This might not be a bad thing. I just wouldn't give him any opportunity to touch my child and if he tried that would be the end.
Why are you putting yourself through this? Before I was no contact with parents I used to get anxious like you about what might happen and what if they behaved badly. They added nothing positive to my life and I wish I'd realised a lot sooner that I didn't have to put up with it. Your F sounds like a nightmare.
Thank you. No, he wouldn't be left alone with him, but he really believes that hitting children is the only way to discipline and I wouldn't put it past him to raise his hand, even with us there.
His plans will be to just go out for a short while, before stopping for a drink. Then heading back home, to drink. He never has any plans. He just wants to sit around drinking. So I will say we will come to him, but he doesn't like to go out for the day. This is so exhausting.
kbPOW- funny you say that, I have booked to see my counselor soon! Over this. I am actually beginning to question why I am putting myself through this. As you say, I was hoping he would step up. Since getting pregnant, I have questioned whether or not this is worth it.
Then keep listening to yourself. Your needs and wishes are paramount. Your well-being is important. He's an alcoholic. The most important thing in his life is drinking. Glad you are going to talk it through.
You don't have to let your dad visit. It is optional.
You don't have to let your dad visit. It is optional
Not with my father. He's a forceful man.
I think that you need to get some support here. You really can say to your Dad “it’s not convenient for you to stay here.” It sounds like despite the fact you are now an adult, you don’t believe you can say no to him. In that case I don’t think it’s a good idea for him to stay. What is the worst that can happen if you say that? Is that so bad? What does your partner think?
People don’t change when they become grandparents. In fact they often get more annoying as they are put out that someone else is coming first. In your position I would definitely not have him to stay. Difficult though that is; I’m not sure what positives he is bringing to your life.
I'm surprised that if you grew up with alcoholics you think simply telling them not to drink is something that means they will not drink.
If he is an alcoholic then you must know telling him not to drink is rather silly. He's an addict and will drink. He's not going cold turkey on rhe days he is with you, he'd be very ill indeed.
My DP is very supportive. He just thinks my father is selfish and doesn't care for me. My father did stay with us once, before I was pregnant, and my DP doesn't want him staying again. He makes him uncomfortable with his drinking. I do have support I just think I need to find a backbone when it comes to my father. I agree, I don't think he adds to my life in any way.
You are being very unrealistic in thinking you can tell him not to drink. You can say whatever you like but he will find a way to drink, with or without your permission. They always do.
I suggest he stays in the nearest town where there is a pub and a supermarket so he has access to booze but you can still meetup with him.
An alcoholic in a rural setting with little access to booze sounds like a nightmare scenario to me especially if he is a 'forceful man'.
JenniferJareau- you got it right. He is a nightmare.
Ladies, I appreciate your responses. Definitely something to think about before I see my counselor.
I have to say, since having my DS I have found myself changing and standing up for myself more. Maybe I just need to find my inner strength to navigate this whole mess xx
Just don't have him stay at your house. That solves all of these problems. You can make a big effort to take the DC to wherever his hotel/b&b is and do all sorts of nice things together. As long as he isn't in your house it doesn't matter if he drinks - he won't be alone with the DC and if he gets too pissed you can just go home and leave him to it.
If he has a problem with this just say there isn't room for him at yours. Be insistent. You have a young child whose safety must come first, so be strong and tell your Dad that he needs to sort his own accommodation.
(Just wanted to mention regarding the PP from Towel - yes it IS optional. You are telling yourself it isn't because of how you have been treated and the precedent that has been set. It is always optional. If you tell him it's not convenient and he turns up anyway then he can't force you to open your front door and if he tried to break it down you could call the police and he'd be arrested)
Op, I'm still confused by your thought process here. Finding a back bone is not relevant.
If he is an alcoholic it is not as simple as simply telling him not to drink, I do not understand how you don't know this.
Are you sure he is an alcoholic? Your thought process that if you tell him not to he won't, would indicate he is not?
No drinking in the house, no returning to the house if under the influence, I would let him stay but only if he agrees to the above. I too don't think you need to worry about discipline etc as he won't be in sole charge. I would box up any alcohol before he arrives and store it away in the garage/loft/friends house to remove temptation. Be frank with him but do realise that he may have changed and either no longer drinking or got it under control
You can do it. Now you have a child you are finding an inner strength you didn’t know you had. Both you and your partner don’t want him to stay.
So tell him that. He is an alcoholic so he will be unpredictable in his response. But I promise that will be easier to deal with than having him to stay.
I'm an addict. Sober for six weeks now, but I'll always be an addict.
Back when I was drinking, I would have given zero fucks about any rules you put in place. My addiction would have overtaken any love I felt for you, your son- anything.
I'd be smuggling alcohol to my bedroom, sneaking it out onto my walks, and actually getting off on the fact that I was able to hide it from you.
Please, please don't have him stay in your house. Until he's ready to overcome it, the addiction will win- regardless of what's at stake.
What Afridge said.
If alcoholism could be cured or controlled by family members setting rules then nobody would be an alcoholic.
Furthermore, the actions of a drunk person cannot be controlled by rules you set in advance.
Have you ever attended Al-Anon?
He wouldn’t be staying in my house.
He IS an alcoholic. They would promise the moon on a stick to get what they want. They are selfish, manipulative, and you know they’re lying when their mouths are moving. He will say one thing and mean another and not give a flying fuck what he promised once he’s with you.
Yes he can see you and your family. At a hotel. For an hour between 3 and 4 on x day. That’s the very most I would do.
Your rules setout beforehand will be useless. He will lie cheat sneak and dissemble to get his hands on booze. All while smiling at you and telling you he hasn’t. Even though you can smell it see it and know it.
Of course it is optiona or you say where and when. Be forceful yourself.
Just to clarify - by not drinking I mean when we are out for the day with my DS. Of course I understand I cannot expect him to stop for then whole trip. If he wasn't staying with us, he would have his opportunity to drink, once we were away. I know I'm probably wishing for the stars asking for him to stay away from drink, just for a few hours.
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