My Father is an Alcoholic, How Can I Talk to Him About His Addiction?
My father is an alcoholic, he quit drinking a few years back but now he is back to drinking again. My family is hurt by his choice to start again. No one wants to talk to him about this because he gets mad and drinks even more.
How can I talk to him without hurting him and making him feel like he needs to hit the bottle?? Everyone on my father's side of the family has problems with alcohol, but he can quit, he has done it before. Please help me!!
Unfortunately there is no 'easy' way to talk to your father about this. Being honest isn't always easy because often it means telling someone something they may not want to hear - but something they actually NEED to hear.
Sugarcoating and sidestepping the issue actually does your father no favours. Because all it actually inadvertently does, is then further enables his behaviour because no one is telling him how they actually feel.
Brutal honesty and being clear about how his drinking is affecting everyone is the only way to handle this - as much as he may not want to hear it and handles it badly. Your father knows what he needs to be doing to stay sober because he's done it before, it's just a question of getting back to doing those things, like working a proper alcohol addiction recovery program.
But apart from being honest with him and as a family showing a united front about how you feel about him drinking again, there isn't an awful lot you can do. He needs to want it for himself. No one can make him work at achieving his sobriety.
You have to remember these principles - you didn't CAUSE his addiction, you can't CONTROL his addiction and you can't CURE his addiction.
I know one often feel helpless and feels one should somehow be doing before, but if someone doesn't want to be helped, there is nothing one can really do to help them. Your father has to take responsibility for his alcoholism and doing what it takes to stay sober - until he does that, he's not going to change.
If your father really sees how his drinking is hurting you as a family because you guys are honest with him and don't avoid the issue - it may help motivate him to change. But there are no guarantees as to when/if he'll be ready quit and start over.
I've been there and know what it feels like. Somehow you have to learn how to let go and not let it affect your life and happiness if he doesn't want to get help and change.
Click here to post comments
Return to Addiction and Alcoholism Effects on Family Questions Archive.