Father issues

Evening ladies, This may be a long one but I'd just like to talk and get things off my chest! It's a hard one because I don't really talk about this to anyone as its very personal. H2b is brilliant but he doesn't know what to do to help me. My dad is an alcoholic - not the ones you see unkept drinking out of a brown paper bag but a functioning alcoholic. He gets up every day to go to work and when he leaves work goes to the pub, drinks, goes to bed and repeats the cycle. Everyday involves alcohol and without it he can't function. He doesn't see this as a problem and gets aggressive towards me when I try and tell him how upsetting it is. You see when he drinks he becomes one of two people - a nasty, spiteful horrible person, or a broken hearted man who just cries. And this happens every time I see him! A few years ago my mother gave him the ultimatum - stop drinking or she would leave him! He didn't believe it was his problem and started to 'hide' the drinking .....nipping in for a quick pint on his way to get the morning papers etc. she left him and is now remarried to a fantastic man who would do anything for us. My worries are with the wedding coming up - this will be the first time that my families have been together in years, my dads family I'm sure understand why my mum had to leave him for her own sanity and my mums family feel desperately sorry for my dad who is broken hearted after his wife of 30 years left him and cannot see his own part in why that happened! I want my dad to be able to enjoy the day and his drinking not be an issue but I'm just not sure he will be able to relax and will end up either becoming aggressive to my mother or just crying in a corner, I don't want their relationship issues to overshadow our day. If I try and talk to him about my worries or even just ask him to get help with the drinking in general he thinks I'm having a go at him and whilst I am being a little selfish with it being my wedding day I'm sick of being embarrassed by him when he's drunk. I'm worried about his health, I'm worried about his relationships with his friends and family ( they have all been in the receiving end ) and just don't know what to do! Sorry for the long post - it just helped a little to write this all down!


  • MrsPugMrsPug Posts: 626

    Hello lovely,

    I know completely where you are coming from, as you've shared so much I feel that I should explain that my Mum is also a "functioning" alcoholic. I have the exact same feelings about being fed up of the embarrassment and the same problems everytime either me or my sister have tried to approach my Mum about it!

    I've not yet tackled the drinking at my wedding issue with my Mum but I know it's a conversation I'll have to have. I desperately hope that for one day she will be able to put me before the drinking and I totally wish the same thing for you. 

    At least you have your Mum and other relatives who totally understand the situation and will support you in every possible way on your big day. Wenchy's suggestion of trying the GP is a good one but I know how difficult it may be actually persuading your dad to get help.

    You can send me a message if you want to chat with someone in a kinda similar situation.


  • Morning girls. Didn't want to read & run but I don't really have anything to add I think Wenchy's advice is the best there is for a really horrible situation. I'm really sorry for you both. I hope your dad will finally listen to what you have to say. Otherwise maybe other members of his family would talk to him. Good luck! xx
  • Hello,

    As you've shared so much I thought I would too. My mum's just the same. A 'functioning' alcoholic. Although I'd use the word functioning in the loosest sense, if my dad hadn't always looked after and protected her I don't think she'd be with us now.

    When we were kids she used to get so drunk we'd come home from school and find she'd fallen down the stairs, my little sister had to call an ambulance on her birthday once because she'd hit her head. It was awful. My older sister is 5 years older than me and looked after us so much when we were kids, and we were forever cleaning up where she'd wet herself. When I think about it now it's hard to believe we all lived like that, and kept it a secret for so long. 

    Now we're older things are much better. She's been through rehab a few times and my dad retired so they could be together every day. She still drinks, but usually not to the point that she used to.

    I'm also really worried about her getting drunk at the wedding and causing a scene, especially as my little sister has a short temper and they fight a lot. Or worse, what if the mother of the bride wets herself at my wedding?!

    Unfortunately, you can't force someone not to drink. You can take him aside and tell him you're worried about his health and encourage him to see someone for help. I think we just have to hope our parents will put us before the alcohol, and hope that other family members might act as a calming influence if tempers start to flare. 

  • My friends father is very much the same way and as much as the family try to encourage him to seek help he is very resistant. The family are so used to it by now that before any big event they warn him if he does become upset etc he will be asked to leave. One person not immediately involved in the event takes responsibility of keeping an eye on him and taking him home if need be.

    Obviously thats not ideal but it might put your mind at rest on the bigday if you know someone will be making sure he is ok.

  • That's what my plan is for the wedding, just ask his brother ( my uncle ) to keep an eye on him and put him to bed if it gets too much! I've tried to talk to my mum but she carries a huge amount of guilt as she feels I would not have to deal with him if she hadn't left ( which is just silly )

    I know I have to take steps to deal with this in the longer term as I just can't keep watching him slowly destroy his life but I also need to be selfish and make sure he knows ( and everyone else ) that the day is about me ( and h2b ) not my dad and his problems.

    Thanks for all you replies - especially to those in similar situations, it nice to know you aren't alone but also I'm so sorry for your own situations xx
  • spencspenc Posts: 12

    Well, although i cannot help you with anything, but would like to comfort you with some words. You are not alone in this, your whole family is. There are things in life that you may not be able to help and neither can you completely get rid off. Your idea, to keep a check on him is just fine... He is after all your father, you cant just leave him alone, yet you have to take care of the new family you are going to be involved with... All i can do is wish and pray for you....  Hope that everything turns out to be fine and wish you all the luck for your wedding. 

  • I feel for you and your not being selfish it's your wedding day they take a lot of hard work and planning, wedding's are emotional enough as it is.

    I was worried sick about my wedding day, my dad cheated on my mum and left her about 7 years earlier and they hadn't spoken to each other since since other than through solicitors. My mum was seriously bitter and hated even the mention of him i was dreading her kicking off. In the end I sat them both down separately and told them my worries and asked them if they could both be civil for the day. Come the wedding day they were amazing my mum spoke to him and introduced him to people he didn't know. I was immensely proud of her.

    I made it so they were sat separately and they each had someone sat with them that I knew would keep them calm, my top table was very strange!!

    I would suggest speaking to your dad before he has had a drink after work if you can and tell him how you feel he is still your dad he will care about your feelngs and he will know how important your wedding day is to you.

    No matter what happens remember its your special day and I know it's your dad but try not to let anything upset you and ruin the day for you, I asked both my sisters to be civil as well (they hate each other and fight within minutes of being together) and they managed to pretty much behave until the end of the reception.

    Good luck and hope it all works out.
  • JP2BEJP2BE Posts: 262

    Hello hun,

    I desperately sympathise with you in this. I can speak from personal experience and I was also worried at one point they would show me up at my wedding for being drunk. Time has past now and they have really got a grip on their drinking and I couldn't be prouder but what I sort of clung on to was the fact that my family: grandparents, uncles, aunties, etc. would be there to support me if said person became drunk and emotional. There's a possibility that your dad wouldn't get in such a state in front of your mum and family, especially if he sometimes attempts to hide his drinking. Again, I totally feel for you and it might be worth sitting down and having a frank conversation whilst he's sober. I know how hard that is but it could help him to see the light. Good luck x

  • Hi ladies,

    Just thought I'd give you all a quick update as you were so helpful with the original post and gave me a lot to think about ....

    A few weeks ago things took a turn for the worst and my father was admitted to hospital, my brother went to see him with a speech he had written to deliver at the wedding as he truly believed my father would be dead before the wedding as ( having hidden all this from me ) he had not eaten in weeks and spent all his free time and also most of his savings at the local. It was the kick he needed. He went to the dr to ask for help and spent 2 weeks in hospital, he is now off work for the foreseeable future as he has alcoholic hepatitus! Throughout this awful few weeks of him being ill something lovely has come out of it - my dad has reappeared from the shell of a man that was there before and is dealing with his demons.

    I have 5 days before my wedding and I'm still worried it could be the event that sends him backwards but I'm fairly confident it's now the event he's living for!

    Thank you xx
  • nicki126nicki126 Posts: 248

    I have a lump in my throat........so pleased that things are improving.  You have a long road ahead of you all but at least your father is on the right road!

    I'm really happy for you and hope your wedding is everything you dreamed of. xxx

  • Welsh Bride, 

    Sending your dad every strength to help him through this tough and important time. I'm sure he will be so proud of you that he will also want to show you he can change, sending good positive vibes for you all and i hope you have a fantastic day!


    Jess xx

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