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Newest Member: Unsureofhope

Just Found Out :
Recently found out my dad might be cheating, what do i do?

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 Bluebox (original poster member #43718) posted at 4:07 PM on Sunday, April 28th, 2019

I will try and answer your questions as best i can -

What actions would your mother take if she knew?

I feel it will literally be the nail in her coffin. She has already confessed to me recently she feels she has nothing to live for, nothing to look forward to in life. And i think she'll go on her biggest drink binge and do something drastic to take her life.

Specifically, how would she react to you knowing, but not having told her?

I feel she'd prefer not to know, so if i can stop it permanently so she doesn't have to deal with it she'd prefer it. If it comes out that I knew later down the line (I imagine its still going to be me who tells her) i hope she realises i was trying to help her. With my ex, i wish someone else had done what i'm doing and put a stop to it before i found out.

How would your father react if you sat your mom down and told her?

I believe he'll be angry with me, likely won't want me around at work so i'll effectively loose my livelihood. He'll Loose all 3 of his daughters (myself included) and his grand kids, and his work colleague, and obviously his wife. - I think, my mum might just say she doesn't want to know, doubt she'd confront him and will just go further and further inside herself with her drinking until she kills herself :(

Would you be unable to continue working with your father? I very much doubt it :(

Would your mother harm herself? I honestly believe she will :(

Would this other woman harm you in some way? I can't see it no, but outing her can ruin my career, and my dads.

As far as their mutual confidant (the woman who knows), does she have any power to affect your life in any way? She has the power to out it all to our business associates, which in turn can ruin my career and my dads career.

posts: 137   ·   registered: Jun. 13th, 2014
id 8369733

ChamomileTea ( Guide #53574) posted at 4:38 PM on Sunday, April 28th, 2019

I don't think the OW would have felt comfortable playing grab-ass with your father if the affair had actually ended. It sounds more like it's gone underground.

Maybe it's time to talk with your siblings and see if they concur about the risk involved in informing your mother. Who knows? Maybe her depression would resolve if she wasn't living in the same home with a cheater and his gaslighting. Alternatively, they might be able to help you figure out ways to put more pressure on your father to go NC and get that harlot out of your office.

BW: 2004(online EAs), 2014 (multiple PAs)Married 38 years; in R with fWH for 7

No one can make you into a liar but you.

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id 8369746

 Bluebox (original poster member #43718) posted at 4:53 PM on Sunday, April 28th, 2019

The issue I have with telling my siblings is if i tell my younger sister, she will tell my older sister, and once my older sister knows, then my mum will know, but also she's the one with the kids and she will straight away stop all contact with my dad guaranteed. That would destroy my dad and then he's at the risk of self harm then too :( he loves his grandchildren :( it will destroy him if my sister ever found out and banned him from seeing them :(

posts: 137   ·   registered: Jun. 13th, 2014
id 8369756

Bigger ( Attaché #8354) posted at 4:53 PM on Sunday, April 28th, 2019


Think worst-case scenario:

IF your dad were to simply go home, pack a suitcase and tell your mom that he’s leaving…

What damage other than emotional could he do to her?

What about assets? Could he leave her destitute?

What about savings? Pensions? Property? Value?

Could he demand half the house she lives in?

Could your mom financially remain in a comparable situation if your dad choses OW over her?

"If, therefore, any be unhappy, let him remember that he is unhappy by reason of himself alone." Epictetus

posts: 11167   ·   registered: Sep. 29th, 2005
id 8369757

 Bluebox (original poster member #43718) posted at 5:00 PM on Sunday, April 28th, 2019

Bigger -

IF your dad were to simply go home, pack a suitcase and tell your mom that he’s leaving…

What damage other than emotional could he do to her?

What about assets? Could he leave her destitute? - They have no assets apart from their own cars, which they both own their own.

What about savings? Pensions? Property? Value? - They have non, my dad lost his pension and the house in an IVA, no savings, nothing of value. My mum has a couple of grand she got recently in inheritance of her uncle dying but not an amount to live on.

Could he demand half the house she lives in? - It's rented, she wouldn't be able to afford the rent on her own as only works part time due to back problems and her mental state. So she would have to move out.

Could your mom financially remain in a comparable situation if your dad choses OW over her? - Not really no :(

posts: 137   ·   registered: Jun. 13th, 2014
id 8369759

ChamomileTea ( Guide #53574) posted at 5:05 PM on Sunday, April 28th, 2019

The issue I have with telling my siblings is if i tell my younger sister, she will tell my older sister, and once my older sister knows, then my mum will know, but also she's the one with the kids and she will straight away stop all contact with my dad guaranteed. That would destroy my dad and then he's at the risk of self harm then too :( he loves his grandchildren :( it will destroy him if my sister ever found out and banned him from seeing them :(

He doesn't sound very delicate to me when he's telling you "don't be soft". He's made you his unwilling secret-keeper and that's not a fair thing to do to one's own child.

If you're not ready to allow others to help you carry this burden, what happens if you go back and tell him straight up that you know he's still seeing her, and that you want her gone, out of the office, and out of your lives? Here's the thing though, you don't have teeth unless/until you're willing to enforce your ultimatum.

I'll be honest with you, his responses to you still sounded parental, like you should obey the order a father hands down to a child. And I kind of think you had a bit of a kneejerk reaction to him speaking authoritatively. But you're an adult now, and you're right and he's wrong. My advice would be to treat him like it. He doesn't have to know that you're not ready to inform your siblings. If you ask him if he'd rather be having this conversation with you or with your older sister, he might start wondering if he really wants to roll the dice.

((hugs)) We all know it's hard. You're in a really tough spot and this whole thing has been so unfair to you.

BW: 2004(online EAs), 2014 (multiple PAs)Married 38 years; in R with fWH for 7

No one can make you into a liar but you.

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id 8369761

Odonna ( member #38401) posted at 5:31 PM on Sunday, April 28th, 2019

C Tea is spot on that asking him if he would rather have the convo with the mother of his grandkids is a quick way to wake him up. OW has to leave the office entirely.

Has your access to their texts turned up anything? When you take your mom on holiday they may plan something. Does your dad know you are going on this trip and when?

Someone else suggested changing the parent/child dynamic here, which I also think is a great idea. You are a cooperative and accommodating person who does not want to ruffle the waves, so I understand this is difficult. But this will be an important learning experience for you as you have a long life ahead and will need those skills to effectively manage your life. Would you be able to sit him down in a quiet place and, instead of chewing him out, just quietly explain what happened to you as a BS and how horrific it was and how it changed you? I have found that when confronting someone behaving badly, sometime appealing to their empathy works better than being stern and demanding. Small example: I was in the ER with my daughter at 3am a few days ago, and a woman in the next bay was yelling and screaming and demanding an X-ray of her head or she would piss and shit the bed. And then she DID! The staff were very professional and ignored her outbursts or calmly asked her to calm down. On it went, with her sitting in her soiled bed. I finally said, very quietly and from behind the dividing curtain when she took a breath: “my daughter here is extremely ill; I would like her to get some sleep.” She said she was very sorry to hear that, and shut up!

[This message edited by Odonna at 11:34 AM, April 28th (Sunday)]

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id 8369769

k8la ( member #38408) posted at 8:10 PM on Sunday, April 28th, 2019

The one thing that kept me trapped in a bad situation was financial considerations. Hind sight being 20/20 now, I should have walked away from that situation, knowing I could and would survive the financial fallout better and easier without the mental and emotional anguish of what I was going through at the time. (this was a business failure at the time, not my marriage - the marriage failure came as a result of prolonged agony over the financial situation and inaction on my part and his to step out of the business failure sooner.)

In other words, walk away from the business; get a job, even if it's as a temp while you get your resume polished an in circulation. Do not be trapped into keeping your dad's secret out of financial blackmail. He has way more to lose than you do; and the sooner you convey that you know it, the better for your mom and him. He thinks this is his game to control and it's just not.

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id 8369818

Edie ( member #26133) posted at 9:52 PM on Sunday, April 28th, 2019

In other words, walk away from the business; get a job, even if it's as a temp while you get your resume polished an in circulation. Do not be trapped into keeping your dad's secret out of financial blackmail. He has way more to lose than you do; and the sooner you convey that you know it, the better for your mom and him. He thinks this is his game to control and it's just not.

My feeling is the same. I would be wanting to go No Contact with him if it were my father disrespecting my feelings both as a former Betrayed Spouse and daughter to your mother as currently Betrayed Spouse and your father as Wayward Spouse.

Is it possible to go No Contact with your dad in your current work situation? If not, how possible is it to seek another work situation for yourself? The situation is currently intolerable adpnd very distressing for you. It feels like OW is leading the disrespect and encouraging it in your father, as if they have both turned you somehow into the parent figure spoiling their fun as rebellious adolescents. But his recent dismissal of your feelings and concerns moves into the realm of gaslighting and begins to smack of someone who does not have your best interests at heart. If this dismissive authoritarian manner is usual for him, then all the more reason to disengage from the relationship. It sounds like he takes it for granted anyway.

I reiterate previous advice to go to Al Anon. And to seek NHS counselling for your mother.

Maybe a long walk in the Hindu Kush would do it?
BW (me) 52
FWS 55
Together 29 years; 2 kids 15 & 12
Dday Dec 08 (confessed) R'd.

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dontsaylovely ( member #43688) posted at 2:53 AM on Monday, April 29th, 2019

Blue box you are in Avery difficult situation and one that no child should be in. And I have read that your mother's state is fragile. But oh boy I don't think you should be carrying the saviour badge for both parents.

Hard as it may be I do think you should tell your mother. Perhaps with some immediate care follow up for her. I'd be devastated to learn of my h cheating but I think would be worse to know daughter knew and didn't tell me. That's surely not intended to place more burden on your shoulders.

But seems like your dad isn't getting it. You tried the soft approach and recent butt wipe indicates no real change. She isn't causing the marital problem, he is. He made the vows to your Mom.

Sounds to me like you have a good skill set you can transfer so your livelihood is not st stake. Your mother deserves to know the full story of her life. Your father botched your admirable attempt to smarten up. Tell your Mom, get out of that situation. Because your parents marriage is not up to you to fix or save.

Sending you strength.

DDay: March 15, 2014

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id 8369942

Thanksgiving2016 ( member #63462) posted at 3:24 AM on Monday, April 29th, 2019

This woman’s ultimate goal is your father leaving your mother. And he will because he’s “in love “. Let her know now.

posts: 697   ·   registered: Apr. 17th, 2018
id 8369950

Lieswearmedown ( member #61335) posted at 4:07 AM on Monday, April 29th, 2019

There are so many layers to this.

Take your father’s cheating off the table for a moment. Your mother needs help. It sounds like she’s killing herself. She is being destructive to her own body and mind. From what you’ve said, she’s aware of this and has chosen her path. Can you get her to go to AA and ask her to see a doctor about antidepressants? It’s a start. If she refuses, you cannot drag her kicking and screaming towards sobriety though. Antidepressants might clear her head enough to make a start though.

Your father has displayed levels of selfishness that frankly are staggering. He is burdening you with secrets you shouldn’t have to keep. His sense of entitlement is off the charts. He also insults your intelligence and demeans you by tossing out excuses for his behavior that he believes you’ll accept.

You can’t do anything about their choices other than point out that you’re concerned about your mom, disappointed by your dad, etc Talk to them calmly, honestly, and decide what you will no longer deal with because I promise you, it will become too much for you. You’re already too enmeshed in their lives. As an adult child, the ideal is to have an honest and genuine relationship with your parents where you can be you. The real you. It shouldn’t be a relationship where you manage your parents. You shouldn’t be deciding what your mom gets to know about her own life. You shouldn’t be deciding what is best for her. Your job is to simply deal honestly with everyone, your parents included, and tell them what you think.

You need to separate your financial health and employment security from your father. Not just a little. Completely. You have skills and talents and need to find other work. The dynamic of working for a parent as an adult requires rigid defined boundaries and rules of engagement that are agreed to and adhered to. You don’t have that. Even if it takes months, you need to find other work.

One practical matter I need to mention because it’s irresponsible not to. If your father and mother are at all intimate with each other, even periodically, her physical health is being jeopardized by his cheating. Everyone deserves to know who they are sleeping with.

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id 8369961

 Bluebox (original poster member #43718) posted at 9:34 AM on Monday, April 29th, 2019

Just come into the office and there's been a new development to OW being here which is going to make getting rid of her near impossible :( She's been hired by one of the other businesses we rent an office to :(

Their texts although flirty here and there doesn't show anything to suggest their being physical anymore, just been general chit chat with the odd flirt. Which yes i know is still wrong and i will keep looking into it.

Yes he knows we're going away, and obviously i'll be thinking the whole time is he with OW :( but i need to have a conversation with my mum where we have plenty of time to talk. She's not happy in the marriage, so i'm going to try to get her to open up to me etc and talk about things.

Yeah when i confronted him last time, we were talking for about 35mins about it, and i was civil the whole time I didn't get angry I just talked with him.

I'll talk to my mum about her options financial, moving back in with her mum, I know people at 60 - well any age really, don't want to be moving in with their parents but even if its for a while. Just I know she'll be thinking she wont be able to drink at my grandmas...

I am working on my own business more, and growing my contacts and client base so i will hopefully be able to get enough work together to not be reliant on his work. Which at the moment he hasn't paid me for for the past few weeks :/ But i know the monies not there at the moment but is due in soon. I am also helping my partner grow his business in the hope of maybe that becoming a job option for me if it becomes more successful

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id 8370015

Bigger ( Attaché #8354) posted at 10:40 AM on Monday, April 29th, 2019

You have talked about there not being any assets and that if your parents divorce all they will have are separate vehicles.

Then it turns out your dad is renting out office-space, needs someone to do his social-marketing, spends money on gifts for his OW, makes trips…

There ARE assets. There IS money. There IS value.

Granted it might be deep in debt, but a company can have value despite being in debt.

My advice: Talk to an attorney. Protect your mom. Know and understand divorce, division of debts and assets.

"If, therefore, any be unhappy, let him remember that he is unhappy by reason of himself alone." Epictetus

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id 8370023

 Bluebox (original poster member #43718) posted at 11:27 AM on Monday, April 29th, 2019

The office he has is rented, (we he then rents out sections with the landlords permission) in fact some of it is in my name, and some in my mums name and some in his. We've only got 2 yrs left on the leases. He has a loan on his account and no more than £400 in his bank account.

But yeah might be worth speaking to an attorney like you say as there's some equipment in the business that might fetch £1k or so - although that's in my house as we couldn't get it in the office...

Not being married myself and never have been I don't know much about divorce etc... So i'll do some research on that too

posts: 137   ·   registered: Jun. 13th, 2014
id 8370030

MamaDragon ( member #63791) posted at 2:47 PM on Monday, April 29th, 2019

see if you can put a camera up in the office -

I hate to say this but your dad is still cheating on your mom and it is NOT going to stop.

I have a feeling one of the reasons your mom feels so depressed is that she knows...and is trying to put on a good front for her daughters so they won't hate their Father.

My advice is to have a family meeting with your sisters, discuss it with them - bring up the fragile mental health your mom is in so your oldest sister won't tell her until you all have an intervention with your Father.

He won't stop until he realizes he is losing everything.


BS - 40 something at A time, over 50 now
WS - him, younger than me

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Lieswearmedown ( member #61335) posted at 5:54 PM on Monday, April 29th, 2019

I think you’re internally bearing the weight of your father’s and your mother’s choices. That isn’t yours to bear. We are talking about two adults with the freedom to do as they so choose, even if those choices are destructive. You can’t run their lives for them. What’s more, you shouldn’t. You’ve been honest with your father about his destructive actions. I think you’ve had honest conversations with your mother about her destructive actions. Your relationship with each of them needs to transition and you need to focus on yourself some here.

Your moral compass should be your guide. If we were using mine, it would look a lot like what you’ve already done, but the next steps would be:

1. You need to separate yourself from your father’s business. While you’re getting your business together, I’d go find any other work I could to pay the bills. I’d look at it as temporary and I’d push hard to make myself financially independent. I read above that he hasn’t even paid you for a few weeks. This is ridiculous. Your financial health situation shouldn’t be this tied up with family and feelings and your dad’s crappy behavior.

2. Sit down and tell your mother the truth so she has all the information she needs to make decisions about her life. I understand she is fragile. If I’m reading your posts correctly, your mother has been stuck in a depressive limbo hell for a long time and eventually, something (probably her health from years of substance abuse) is going to break wide open. Her dysfunction is probably either a root cause or the result of it.

Everyone approaching her alcoholism as something to be triaged rather than addressed will not work. Imagine the tap on the kitchen sink has been running for years. Each of you walks by occasionally and swipes at the overflowing water with a towel, but no one has aggressively turned off the tap and pulled the stopper. That is your mother and your family’s response to her alcoholism. At some point, someone is going to have to reach in and let the water out. After that, it is your mother’s job to start cleaning up. No one else can do it for her. Her alcoholism has been holding all of you hostage and kept you standing in ankle deep water for too long.

It may or may not work, but at least you’re dealing honestly with her and not simply focusing on waiting until she is otherwise occupied and protecting the items that will get damaged or ruined out of her way for her. It is a form of enabling her and it doesn’t truly help her. It just prolongs her agony and in turn, yours and your sisters’.

3. Tell your sisters. They also are adults and you should not be deciding for the what they should know. Show them the respect of allowing them to know what is happening in their family and respond as they see fit.

4. Your father and his financial situation are not your burden. He made the choices that led him here. He is an adult. Stop considering his finances as a piece of the equation. Again, you’re mopping up water for him and in the process, becoming used to living day in and day out with wet feet. It isn’t your job to clean up after either of them.

I’m not suggesting you use the following words because they are perhaps overly harsh, but I am suggesting you use some version of the following to get your point across.

“Dad, you haven’t just done the unthinkable and cheated on mom, which we will address in a minute. You’ve also seriously jeopardized my relationship with you. I no longer look at you with the same level of respect. I see you capable of lying to my face, rationalizing what no one should be rationalizing, and behaving like a man with nothing to lose because you somehow believe I will just roll over and be silent because you are my father. You have insulted my intelligence by expecting me not to believe my own eyes, trying to convince me to ignore your outright injuries against our family, and coming up with lame excuses for why you’re allowed to cheat on your wife and introduce more crap into this family when we are already at capacity. The fact that you are fine with me being in this situation tells me unfortunately how little you value me as your daughter and I don’t intend to just quietly be hurt by it. You need to know you’re being a crappy husband and a crappy father. I’ve told my sisters and their relationship with you is up to them. I’m not going to continue to play the marriage police here. My life shouldn’t be about keeping your horrible secrets or policing your horrible actions. If you want me to find other employment, fine, but know this: if you want me to leave because I won’t stand by and be silent while you continue to jeopardize your marriage, my mother, and my sisters, that tells me everything I need to know about your substandard character. I’m not sinking to that level for you.”

Stop trying to mop up after everyone. You can’t. It doesn’t work. You are perpetuating a very unhealthy family dynamic. Take a breath, step back, and do what you need to do.

One last thought: crying is a natural response to being hurt. No one ever died from crying. Show empathy, offer support, and hold a hand while someone is grieving. Don’t try to shelter people from life’s hurts. It doesn’t help them to learn to deal with what life throws at us. There is no way you are going to avoid pain getting through this situation.

I’m so sorry you’ve been put in this position. Acknowledge it sucks, there is nothing you can do to stop it from impacting your family, and offer support, but stop trying to manage everything and everyone. It will make you nuts.

posts: 221   ·   registered: Nov. 7th, 2017
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sewardak ( member #50617) posted at 6:45 PM on Monday, April 29th, 2019

^^^ really good advice. it's not fair that you must bear this. take care of yourself and keep no family secrets.

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Hurtmyheart ( member #63008) posted at 4:52 PM on Tuesday, April 30th, 2019

Two of my brother's died from their alcoholism in the last few years. My sister asked me to make them stop drinking. I told her that I couldn't make them stop, they had to want the desire to stop drinking on their own. They chose to continue drinking and it killed both of them.

It sounds like this is where your mother is heading, esp when she tells you that she has nothing to live for. Of course she doesn't because alcoholism is a disease of the thinking. Alcoholism makes a person think this way.

My WH was also heading down this path. He would have been next to die but I decided to do my best to help him overcome this sick disease of alcoholism, so I blew his world up. Without going into detail, I became the game changer. I decided I wasn't going to continue the sick dance of alcoholism anymore and continue enabling his sickness. It just about killed me but my WH did step up to the plate and quit drinking. He also attended AA/Alanon meetings, seeked counseling, seeked God out and also confessed to me his wrongdoings.

You are part of the problem because you continue to be part of the play of your sick family dynamics. Your thinking is as sick as the alcoholics thinking. Alcoholism is a family disease. Everyone is affected by the disease.

As a person looking from the outside, I can clearly see how your mother's alcoholism has affected the whole family structure. Your WF doesn't know how to help your sick mother and now he has found an unhealthy coping mechanism to deal with your sick mother's alcoholism.

You can not change or fix either your father, mother or sisters sickness because of your mother's alcoholism. They have to fix themselves just as you do and recovery is a long road. Alcoholism (any addiction because my brothers also were drug addicts and there were eating disorders in the family also) creates dysfunction amongst all the family members to the highest degree.

I am going to tell you what I've done to help myself out of the sick cycle of my 3 brother's drug addiction and alcoholism. And also my husband's alcoholism. I got IC, attended Alanon (and found several several sponsors to help me to navigate myself out of the dark hole that I was in), I did seek God's help (personal preference) and also attended Celebrate Recovery. I couldn't get better on my own. I needed help to pull myself back up and it worked. Still working on myself and of course wanting to help others. Helping others is healing also.

Do you notice that I referred to myself? "I?" I am the only one that "I" can change. I can not change anyone else. Just like you can't force all this madness to stop. At this point, your parents are not wanting to help themselves. They want to continue this sick dance. It's time for you to blow up their worlds by stopping your madness and work to step away from them.

IMO, you don't have to do anything but help yourself get better. Your WF knows that what he is doing is wrong. Your sick, alcoholic mother can only help herself. You can't fix them but you can emotionally support them from a distance if they agree to get help. It is up to them to fix themselves but you can tell each of them that you are done dealing with their craziness and problems and start to begin to work on and change your life. Once you get on this path, you will love it. I promise you this. Some of my family members still choose to not want to help themselves get better and I am fine with that. But I have also distanced myself from them because I also don't want to deal with their toxic behavior anymore. I am done.

Today, I am a much happier and well-balanced person. I'm still dealing with some of the issues my WH has caused me. And each time "I" feel he does something in the slightest way inappropriate, I call him out, I call him out to others and on SI. I distance myself emotionally from him and I raise my bar higher. My WH is getting it more and more that I am done dealing with shitty behavior, from anyone really.

It seems to me that most posters on here are suggesting that you handle things in a way to get you out of this dark hole that you are in. It is up to you what you want to do. I will tell you this, if you can't even fix yourself then how can you help others?

Life is short. Your parents are choosing daily to live their lives as they so choose to do. Isn't it time that you get to make choices concerning your life?

You are so wrapped up in what others are doing and trying to change them. Start with your issues first and see how you can work to change so that you can get on with your life and find your own happiness. And when your family members see that you are working on yourself, maybe they will follow you or maybe not.

Remember, they get to choose how they are going to live their lives also, whether you approve, or not. But, you also get to make your own choices on how you are going to handle both your parents shitty behavior. Maybe it's time you tell them to grow up and begin to act like adults and you are done trying to parent them because this is what you are doing. You've become the parent to both of them. This is not supposed to be your role in life.

Step out of the way of your parents issues and allow the pieces to fall where they may. The truth may be that you are helping (enabling) this show to continue on.

There are lots of good books out there about alcoholism and codependency. You can attend Alanon meetings and AA meetings. Have an IC. There is Celebrate Recovery. There is so much you can do to help you get better and in the process of you getting better, maybe (or maybe not) your parents and family will follow suit. Remember, they get to and are choosing how to live their lives everyday.

How old are your parents? How old are your siblings? How old are you? How long has your mothers alcoholism been the focal point in all of your lives? What do you think your mother is running from? What happened (is happening) in your mother's life that has contributed to her alcoholism? What are your siblings role in all of this madness? What role do you think you are contributing in keeping this madness going?

[This message edited by Hurtmyheart at 11:09 AM, April 30th (Tuesday)]

posts: 875   ·   registered: Mar. 12th, 2018
id 8370788

Odonna ( member #38401) posted at 2:46 PM on Thursday, May 2nd, 2019

How are you doing today? You have gotten some very good and thoughtful advice. Can you find a community center that offers counseling? Al-Anon is free and would be a very good resource also. You cannot let your parents’ situation suck up your life, especially as you are starting a new relationship of your own. You have been doing a great job trying to give your dad a wake-up call, but his behavior and your mom’s alcoholism in the end are not in your control.

posts: 967   ·   registered: Feb. 8th, 2013   ·   location: Northern Virginia
id 8371941
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