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My father an alcoholic - DD dating one - feel devastated(10 Posts)
I didn't want to post this in the section where people are seeking support with alcohol issues as I am not sure it is suitable. I could use some advice about what to do.
My father was an evil alcoholic bastard, I lived a childhood of absolute misery - domestic violence and mental abuse which also affected me my sister and my mum. He died when I was 17 and at the age of 53 I still lack confidence, have self esteem issues etc.
DD (19) started her first serious relationship a few months ago. She came home crying and almost hysterical a few weeks ago because BF had suggested they have a break. Turns out he is an alcoholic who has been sober on and off for a few months only. DD had confided in him her anxieties about starting Uni and he said he could not cope with her problems and his own and he was going out drinking. A few days later they got back together.
I feel absolutely devastated that she is setting herself up for absolute misery. To be fair BF is going to AA meetings daily. She is already accused of driving him to drink. She is 'in love' and will not listen to my advice that his primary relationship is with alcohol. DD has just started Uni - about 2 hours journey from where we live but wants to maintain this relationship.
I told my Mum last night on the phone and we were both in tears - she still feels very guilty about the effect her marriage had on her children.
Shall I keep on at DD to end it - I feel like I am watching a slow car crash at the moment. I know she is an adult and can make her own decisions but I don't think she realises what she is getting into.
I wouldn't push too hard for her to end it, as this might just make her more determined to prove you are wrong and she is right. Let her knowvyou are worried and the reason why, give your advice and then back off and let her figure things out for herself. I know very few people who's relationships survived uni to be honest. She will be meeting so many new people and seeing alsorts off different relationship dynamics with her friends.
can she not see that he is also abusing her, with the 'you drive me to it'?
I hope she realises that she is worth more than this. And yes, fortunately uni kills all but the strongest relationships so here's hoping.
buy her "should I stay or should I go" by Lundy Bancroft. It's a good book in that it will help her come to her own informed decision as to whether It has a section on men with addiction issues. It's a really good book, I can't recommend it enough. Link to book here
Thanks for your comments and the book recommendation dangermouseisace
I agree the more you set yourself against this boy the more she will want to prove you wrong I'm afraid. Be there for her, advise gently but she needs to see this for herself.
Uni is such an exciting new time you meet so many people, encourage her to participate fully in that new world and hopefully she'll see all the possibilities out there and thus bloke will fall by the wayside.
You definitely shouldn't push her to end it. But a method to help her to understand/educate about alcoholism is needed. If I had I won a bit more when I was younger I wouldn't have got tied up with an alcoholic. She may see herself as his saviour, sometimes when we are younger we see ourselves as someone who can change someone else, make a real difference where all else has failed. I would consider writing her a letter- short and concise as you can saying that you support her and understand her loyalty to her boyfriend, but encouraging her to educate herself about alcoholism. Maybe include some links, or a book. It is hard, I do sympathise. Ultimately she has to make the right decision and she needs to know you will be there to support her.
Does your dd know about your dad and explicitly what you all went through? Is she close at all to your mum? Would it be worth a warts and all 'this is what happens when your partner is an alcoholic '? My children are small but to this very minute I've not considered this as a possibility. My dad sounds exactly like yours was op, the thought of my kids going through a relationship like that I don't think I could stand back. But then pps are also right, it could drive her into her arms. I'd do my utmost to get her to keep going to uni. Hopefully it will introduce get to a whole new world, loads of 'fun' relationships and she might work it out for herself?
Alcoholism is an illness. It sounds however; that your Dad was a violent and abusive man who just happened to also have a drink problem.
If BF is fully engaged in AA, I would imagine the group he attends would be advising him to prioritise his sobriety and not be in a relationship right now. He's in the very early days of recovery and most AA and NA groups would suggest that people don't get into new relationships for a year at least into recovery.
It's not necessarily him being willfully abusive saying DD drives him to drink. It could just be that he's saying ' I can't sort my own problems out, caring about someone elses is too hard and the only way I know of coping with anything stressful or emotionally intense is to drink'. That's really common with people in recovery. It's a default mechanism that anything hard to deal with is a reason to get pissed.
And it's really common for new partners to want to 'rescue' the addict and make everything better. If they just love enough it will all be OK. It doesn't usually and often leads to co-dependency.
So I'd tell DD - if you love him; you need to let him get better and that means not being with him right now. He needs to recover and prioritise his sobriety which means he has to focus on himself only. If he's doing the 12 steps in AA he'll prioritise other people later on but he can't deal with or sort out anyone else's problems till he's sorted out his own and feels secure in his own sobriety.
Right now he can't do that. So step away and let him become stable and secure - that is THE most loving and caring thing you can do even if he thinks you're abandoning him.
If it's 'true love' she'll do that and wait but my guess is she'll be heartbroken for a bit and then meet someone else who is able to enter into a healthy and happy relationship.
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