54. Dealing With An Alcoholic Father


My parents are in their late sixties/early seventies. My mother is bed-ridden and my father’s drinking has intensified and he is now an alcoholic. I want to confront my father about his drinking and my fears about my mother’s safety.

Suggested Solution

If you were your father would you like your child to confront you about your drinking problem? Would you like to be attacked for something you feel is out of your control to handle? If you come from Ego accusing your father of being an alcoholic, putting your mother’s life at risk, as well as his own, what reaction would you expect him to have – to react with Ego or react with love?

If you would like your father to respond with love you will need to approach him with love.

“Dad, I know that your life is tough. Looking after Mom in her poor physical state must be difficult 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It must take a lot of love to keep on keeping on. I really admire you so much. I really love you Dad. Thanks for all you are doing for Mom.”

“Dad I noticed that your few drinks a day are starting to affect you more now than in the past. Is there anything I can do to help?”

Coming from love you are now offering your father an opportunity to decide to drink less and so keep your love and approval of his caring for his wife, your mother.

Now the clincher!

“Dad if you have the need to carry on drinking at the same rate, or increasing your need to drink more, perhaps we should think of how to ensure that Mom is not put in any harm or danger. What do you think we should do to protect Mom from any possible harm or danger?”

Keep coming from love. Do not accuse your father of anything. Keep the focus on ensuring you all are working on the same side to ensure your mother is not at risk.

If your father starts to feel threatened by this approach, to diffuse any increasing tension, ask him if he would like a cup of tea or coffee. Remember that your father perceives his role as your mother’s protector so your focus should be on “Dad how can we make Mom’s life easier for her, and for you? Have you two ever thought about putting Mom into a care facility for a short while? This might give you a chance to have a break from all this responsibility.”

If you can give your father an opportunity to have a perceived short break from looking after your mother this could allow him an opportunity to “save face” and not feel like he is letting his wife down by his excessive drinking.

Why don’t you suggest he take a short holiday to give himself a break from all this responsibility.

By coming from love and suggesting a break for your father should enable getting your mother into a safer environment. This temporary break, if successful, will enable your parents to establish whether living apart is preferable to living together. The break may enable your father to reduce his need for more alcohol.

We suggest you come from love, attempt to create a short break between your parents and monitor the situation to see if your father’s drinking problem eases or intensifies during and after this short break.

If your father’s drinking eases then the problem is reduced. If the drinking problem intensifies then protecting your mother from further harm by keeping her apart from your father becomes more obvious to her, and hopefully, even to your father.

Come from love because in this highly charged atmosphere coming from Ego could be dangerously inflammatory to both your parents’ wellbeing.

Remember that each Soul has its own journey, you cannot interfere, by judging, without knowing the “Bigger Picture”. Also remember you chose your parents!

Come from love and use the amazing healing power of love to help you, help yourself and others.

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