My dad, 67, moved in with me about 3 years ago following a divorce. Initially things were ok, he retired from full time work last year and I bought my first house shortly after and we moved home, he came with me. Since we've moved, he has become incredibly dependant on alcohol, mainly whiskey, he can drink an entire bottle over 2 evenings. I've been in a relationship for about 9 months now and my partner moved in with us this year, they get on well. At Christmas my partner proposed to me, he asked my dad prior to asking me, as he felt this was the respectful thing to do. When he asked my dad my dad's reply was "as long as you know what you're getting yourself into". Neither myself nor my fiancé know what he meant by this comment. After speaking to my dad, he proposed. We then went out to our local pub, my dad was already there. When I showed my dad the ring, he didn't congratulate me, show any emotion, instead, he said "well he could of f***ing asked me first". This was in front of our friends, he then got up and walked away from the table where we were sitting. Before Xmas I asked him to not get drunk as it was out first Xmas in the new house. He didn't listen, he went out on Xmas eve, didn't get home until gone 1am. My fiancé woke in the morning to find food all over the kitchen floor and the front door wide open, please bare in mind this was Xmas eve so the house was full of presents etc. We woke him Xmas day morning for the usual present opening etc, all he kept saying was "come on, hurry up, I want to go to the pub". He then left and did exactly that, once he had opened his presents. He knew I was cooking dinner, he wasn't home in time so I ended up having to call him 3 times, he eventually came home, completely drunk. He sat at the table slurring his words, his face practically in his plate of food. As soon as he had finished he went upstairs, was sick and went to bed. His drinking is out of control, he has had 2 bad falls, the first, he smashed his head on the worktop as he fell. The 2nd was only last week, he fell coming out of the pub and did serious damage to his left leg, this resulted in me having to take him to A&E the following morning. Myself and my fiancé confronted him and asked him if he was unhappy or depressed and that's why he was drinking so much. He said no, he admitted that he may have a problem. He also said that he was going to stay away from the whiskey. 4 days later he bought another bottle of whiskey, I confronted him and said he'd said he was staying away from it. His excuse was it was just for a nightcap, the following evening he drank over half the bottle over 2 hours. I've just recently found out that I am expecting my first baby, which obviously myself and my fiancé are over the moon about. My dad doesn't know yet and I'm petrified to tell him. I've seen such a mean horrible side to him over the last year, the mood swings are constant, he can go for hours just not talking and ignoring people. As you can imagine this doesn't make for a nice living environment. When he retired he gave me some money towards my deposit on the house, it's almost as though he now sees it as it's his home, he even told our friends in the pub that it was his house. I don't ask him to contribute towards bills etc, he just pays for a little food shopping now and then. He works 2 nights a week at the moment also. He's just making me so miserable, I'm dreading telling him that I'm pregnant as I know he won't have anything nice to say about it. I don't want to have to ask him to move out as I know he wouldn't manage and he wouldn't be able to afford it. I'm sorry to go on and on, what I've explained is only the tip of the iceberg, things are, and have been bad for some time now and I'm at a loss as to what to do. We've tried talking to him but to no avail. Obviously, now, the last thing I want or need to put myself under this much stress now I know I have a baby to think about.

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Al-anon is a good place to meet others dealing with an alcoholic in the family and to get support.
Helpful Answer (8)

How much of his pension fund did your father put in to your house? It matters.

Whom did your father divorce? - your mother or a lady not your relative? Any other dependants? What were the terms of the divorce? These things matter, too.

On what basis is the house owned? Are you the sole owner? Are you and your father joint tenants, or tenants in common? Does your fiancé own any part of it? You need to figure out and write down who owns what equity and who is liable for what liabilities, such as mortgage repayments, upkeep, utilities.

The reason that you need to address these issues, and not pretend even fleetingly to yourself that they're not there - e.g. "...I bought my first house shortly after and we moved home, he came with me." - is that you are pregnant and need to provide your child with a secure living environment.

Which you cannot do if you are sharing your home with a drunk who has every right to be there.

Your father is 67. He has retired and cashed in at least part of his pension. He is still working part-time. His drinking is now a serious problem - was it before? Was it, for example, a factor in the divorce? The point is that you need to assess your father as an independent unit, so that you can find out what options there are when it comes to separating him from your household.

You had better go back to the solicitor who handled your house purchase and find out what you need to do to untie the financial situation there.

You could go to your GP and ask for help with coping with your father's alcohol abuse - your GP will know what services are available in your area, for example.

I'll tell you what definitely won't work. You see your question up there? - "what's wrong with my father?" What won't work is hoping blindly that you'll be able to figure out and put right what's wrong with him, so that you can carry on as you are and everything will return to normal.

He may be a chronic alcoholic, or he may not. Either way, he is currently abusing alcohol to the extent of being a menace both to himself and to others; and in any case being an alcoholic makes you more likely, not less, to suffer depression and a host of other kinds of mental and physical ill health. In addition, he has recently undergone divorce, two house moves at least, and retirement - these are major life changes well known to have a huge impact on wellbeing. In short, what your father is coping with is a big deal - not something he can explain in one heartfelt conversation, or resolve to put right overnight.

You cannot give him adequate support so you need to find other options for him - before your baby arrives. It really is that simple.
Helpful Answer (7)

Why is your dad living with you? Why did that seem like a good idea after the divorce? Did he have financial problems? Health issues? Was there any reason three years ago that he couldn't have lived on his own? He was still working then, wasn't he?

What seemed like a good idea then has definitely turned out to be not a good idea now. Changes must be made. Dad could make some changes by getting help with his alcoholism. I sincerely doubt he can conquer this alone.

You can make some changes by taking back your lives. He doesn't come home in time for Christmas dinner? Eat without him. Don't let your lives revolve around his problem behavior.

Ultimately the change may have to be that he doesn't live with you anymore. That is sad. That is not what you want. But you now also have to think of this new life you are bringing into the world.
Helpful Answer (6)

All the above answers are excellent, especially the "harsh" ones. I just want to insert an observation here - that your father has been an alcoholic for a very long time. Who just all of a sudden starts drinking a full bottle in 2 days? No one. An alcoholic will and you think he just started at age 67? No, honey, you know better than that. It's hard, it's sad, but you do know.

The reason to point this out is to say, you need to get a dose of Reality in you. I don't even know that your letter belongs on a site about Aging Care. Even if he is unwell (I forget to read the "profiles"), you must do what is Right for you. Leave his health care to the state, because he is a danger to you. You definitely have a co-dependent relationship that is now "triangulated" with your fiance, and now a baby coming. Do you want that baby to grow up being afraid to face the truth? Or being afraid of Life? Not knowing who to trust? Do you want to continue to grow up that way?

Get that man out. He may not ever "hit bottom." There is no bottom for some. There can be lots, lots more, with the alcoholic never coming to a realistic state of mind.

I'm not blaming or judging you. Do what you need to do to get your father out of the house. Making ultimatums, any conversation about his drinking, Will Not Work.

After you get him out, or you move out and live with your beautiful family - get counseling. Actually, get that NOW. Because you were brought up by this man, and that means you have fears and co-dependency issues, coping issues that may unravel even with your fiance. Mom issues, even if Mom is gone, even if you don't remember her, you had a mother who allowed your alcoholic father to dominate. You had a mother, and you're about to be one.

Believe me, I am only saying all this because I KNOW. Almost 4 years in counseling now, a repeated pattern of shoddy relationships, an adult daughter with depression and obesity, who hasn't once had romance in her life. My little girl, the one I thought would be happy always, thanks to me. Now I have to work on being the parent I'd always wanted to be - stable, available, learning and modeling boundaries. We are, thank God, close - in some ways, closer than we were years ago.

You don't have any - boundaries - or you wouldn't have succumbed to your alcoholic father's "great plan" of helping you buy a house, so he could drink away and live rent-free, obligation-free. I don't care what he may pay sometimes. It's never even, and the psychological effects are long, long-ranging, generational.

Get away and get help now; make counseling FOR YOU a life-long commitment. Give yourself the gift of life and love with a wonderful husband and child. Blessed Be!
Helpful Answer (6)

Honestly, he is 67 and definitely not old. Time to get a divorce from your dad. Maybe if he realizes he has to take care of himself he will cut some of the drinking. Remember, he had to live alone before you were in his life.
Helpful Answer (5)

Actually, if he were to quit cold turkey, it could kill him. He drinks a lot and has done so for many, many years. That will deplete the body's B1 (thiamine) and lack of thiamine affects the brain.
Try to avoid making hard decisions while you are pregnant. Your hormones are all over the place right now and so are your emotions.
Been there.
Helpful Answer (4)

The memory lapses that you have observed in your dad would make me suspect some kind of cognitive damage. With heavy drinking, like you describe, it's difficult to say if it's the alcoholism or more. Alcoholism can cause dementia. I know a few people whose parents have dementia due to long term alcoholism.

Considering his condition, he may be steering away from doctors, but, a medical exam would be ideal, so you will know what you're dealing with.

Having him launch on his own with this kind of issue is going to be challenging. Still, raising a child in the home with a person who is drinking to the point that it's disrupting the household is a terrible idea. It's not fair to a child or your husband. And it's not safe.

I'd figure a way to get him out of the house, that is fair and equitable....even if he resist. He may need detox and then rehab, but, I would think a medical exam would be good to figure out just how much damage has been done.

From the way you describe him, you'll have to take the lead and do the the right thing, since it seems he's not going to be in any condition to think clearly. I would seek support from a group like Al-anon and a medical professional.
Helpful Answer (4)

It seems obvious to me that he is an alcoholic, and typically an alcoholic doesn't stop drinking until s/he "hits bottom." This is usually a horrible event; in my family my father strangled my 18-year old sister (who was trying to get him to stop hitting my mother) until she passed out. He spent the weekend in jail, wondering (when he sobered up) if he had killed his daughter. (He hadn't.) That was the bottom for him; he asked for someone from AA to come talk to him, and he never drank another drop. This may seem like a really harsh post, and if so, I'm sorry, but there's no way to stop an alcoholic from drinking unless s/he wants to stop. Of course you love your father, but by cleaning up after his messes, whether they be emotional or physical, you are enabling  (allowing) him to keep drinking.  I think that joining Al-Anon would be an excellent step for you, and you need to get your father out of your home.  It sounds like, from your post, that he could handle it financially.  Your fiancee and your baby deserve to live with you and you only, and not with an alcoholic whose behavior controls everything and everyone. Your post was heartbreaking; it brought back so many terrible memories of growing up with an alcoholic parent.  I wish you the very best of luck with all of this.
Helpful Answer (4)

Have you considered having him committed to involuntary inpatient clinic to dry out?

Next time he the ambulance....then tell the hospital that he needs to get substance abuse help or he will kill himself. An adult can be held in protective custody to deal with this.
Helpful Answer (4)

Having grown up in an alcoholic family, I know the emotional toll it takes on everyone. The advice given by all the previous posts is right on. A definition of Love/rescuing/enabling that finally resonated with me is: If love is given due to fear, it is enabling/rescuing. Hope this helps.
Helpful Answer (2)

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