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My Huband Wants To Take a Leave of Absence From Work and Go to Arizona to Be With His Alcoholic Daughter To Try To Help Her Stop Drinking.

My stepdaughter is 25 years old and lives in Arizona. We live in Minnesota. My husband wants to take a leave from work and go live there with her. I would stay here. He believes he could go down there and stay with her and her boyfriend (also an alcoholic).

We are so far away from her, that it is making my husband so upset. She says she doesn't have a drinking problem. She says she only drinks on the weekends. We know this is a lie. She drinks every day and so does her boyfriend.

They have horrible fights with knocking through doors and she even had bruises all over her body the last time my husband went to see her. She makes up excuses and says it wasn't him. We have information from several of the people in her life that say she has been abusing alcohol for years.

She gets to the point where she's incoherent and you can't understand what she says. She falls flat to sleep and can't be woken. Whenever anyone says to her she has a problem, she totally is in denial and then she cuts herself off from that person.

She used to talk to her dad every day and now she doesn't answer the phone for several days at a time. My question is this: Would my husband going and staying with her, without telling her why he's there, do any good? Would it be a waste of time?

I understand totally how he feels he needs to help her. But if he does this, and probably loses his job, will his daughter end up listening to him even though she thinks she is totally fine? Thank you so much for any help. Answer

You can understand what your husband is trying to do, and on the one hand, it is worth a shot to see if he can get inside her head, and convince her she needs to do something about her drinking problem.

But he definitely shouldn't be doing it if it may mean losing his job, because that then just perpetuates the problem and puts your lives under unnecessary stress. It's a bit like taking on more debt to try and get out of debt.

Your step-daughter needs professional help for her drinking problem, so your husband should see his role as the person to try and facilitate that. Because he certainly can't change her, but maybe he can get through to her that her life is a mess and she needs to do something about it.

It all boils down to whether she really wants to do anything about her alcoholism however, and turn her life around. Because if she doesn't and your husband isn't able to get through to her, nothing is going to change. He can't force her to stop because at some point he's going to have to leave - and then what?

So going to live there indefinitely probably isn't the answer. A visit for a week or two so he can get a feel for what's going on, and then do his best to get her into treatment for her alcohol problem is what he really should be aiming for. And then he has to hope she's ready and willing to change, otherwise she'll just end up back on the bottle.

You have to understand that you can't change or cure someone with a drinking problem. It's up to them. Yes, you can try and convince them that they're destroying their lives and need to do something about it - so your husband needs to be sensible about his expectations and what he hopes to achieve.

Hope that helps. All the Best.

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