easy child's boyfriend??? Dad's an alcoholic, need some input...

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Jena, Nov 16, 2008.

  1. Jena

    Jena New Member


    So, I learned today easy child's boyfriend with whom she's been "dating" whatever that means for her age of 15 is having a rough time at home.

    I like this boy, I have to admit. He's sweet, has a great personality and is always nice and respectful. He cares about easy child very much and actually watching them together i have to admit their cute.

    It's hard seeing your daughter grow, have a boyfriend, etc. yet she's had other boyfriends, they usually don't last very long. This boy is different it seems, somewhat. They were best friends before he became the boyfriend, he's a good student, on football team, a good kid overall.

    So, here's the thing easy child shared with me today that her boyfriend's dad is an alcoholic. not a recovering, an actively drinking one. She has also learned that when he drinks things get quite bad there, he yells and screams throws things at the mom, etc.

    This has given easy child a much better understanding i think of ppl. she sees the big house, the perfect little family and just assumes that she has it worse than everyone else, because we have no house, etc. Yet she's coming to understand that just because something looks "perfect" everyone struggles with their issues and own problems.

    So, we talked about it alot, she explained how the mom couldn't support boyfriend and his sister on her own. They were seperated for 7 years and she couldn't make it so she folded and went back to him. She also spoke of how the house is strange becaues there are no things around. it's just very basic, no little knick knacks, etc. i said that's problem so that when he binges he wont' break too much stuff.

    So, here's my issue i have yet to meet them. Reason being she has only gone there once with a bunch of other kids to watch a movie. That was last night and I wasn't feeling well, so i had friends mom meet them she said ok it's all good. They live a few blocks away. He has asked if easy child can join him and his parents this coming weekend for some "boating event" i have to admit i'm a bit edgy regarding it now. I don't want to punish easy child for sharing and being open with me, yet i also don't wnat her in a potentially harmful situation not knowing this man and when does he or doesn't he drink.

    Any thoughts on how to handle this?
  2. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    What does easy child's boyfriend think of the situation? Does he think she'd be safe? Does his dad "behave himself" when other people are around?
    Will the dad drive? Can easy child drive her own car?
    We've been in many situations like that, and having our own car is the best part. We can always make up some excuse to leave, and are never stuck in a car with-a drunk driver.
    If the dad has an income such that the mom couldn't afford to live on her own, he must be a pretty functional alcoholic, and able to hold it together at work. That makes me guess he'd put on his Happy Face for your easy child.
    But if easy child gets very serious with-her boyfriend, the Happy Face will eventually come off, and easy child and her boyfriend, especially if they marry, will have to create clear boundaries.

    That's a lot to carry around for one little outing, but the potential is there.

    The boyfriend is probably more mature and a better friend to her because of his experiences at home. He's been forced to grow up quickly.
  3. Jena

    Jena New Member


    easy child isn't 16 yet, she does not drive. She will be with the mother and father with whom dad will be driving. Am I being silly for being nervous?

    She just told me and learned all of this, she doens't spend time there as I said. I'm guessing that is for a reason. Besides id have to meet them both before she could. I was sick last night but her best friends mom did the meet thing quick.

    Functional? Who knows when i asked easy child what he did she said i honestly don't know, neither does he the boyfriend. easy child said he may own something, he is gone odd hours and drives a rather expensive vehicle. Mom quite honestly as we both know if she's being abused could of gone to a shelter with her two children. Yet she made her own choice.

    All I know is my comfort level is gone now. I'm not being dramatic right? My thing is my father was an alcoholic I know it well. There is no level of "control" with an alcholic. So, different types of alcoholics. Yet for boyfriend to say things get pretty bad here, i would imagine it 's not that functional.

    Sheesh........ i'm confused.
  4. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    He has asked if easy child can join him and his parents this coming weekend for some "boating event"

    Just going by this, it sounds like boyfriend is okay with-it. Excuse the expression, but he wants to get his "feet wet" with-difficult child.
    Will they actually be on the water? Isn't it cold in NY this time of yr?

    I'd be happier with-2 cars and a dinner out, in town somewhere.

    Then again, maybe it will be okay.

    One more Q, does the father only drink at night? Because boating events tend to be in the daytime.
  5. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    I'd be careful. We went with 3 other families to the lake house of another family (all same sports team). We didn't know that the dad was an active alcoholic. While we thought all of the kids were in the basement, he got them in the car to drive to the park. I'm forever grateful that I looked out the window because I got to my kids before they got in the car (they had hesitated because he was acting so weird). Another family's little ones were already in the car and he took off with them. I thought their mother was going to have a heartattack. He husband followed them and was able to get the kids back within a few miles.

    The most infuriating part of the whole thing was neither the drunk nor his wife thought that it was that big a deal -- cause "he stayed on the lake road".

    I'd be worried that they'd justify his dangerous behavior and your daughter would be put in a difficult situation. She may be grateful for you saying "no".
  6. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Alcoholic or not, I'd want to know what a "boating thing" was as well as where it was going to be.

    The invitation is a bit "evasive" to me as well. I'd tell your daughter to have the mom give me a call. I'm old fashioned I guess. If someone wants my kid to go on a "family day" sort of trip, I'd want to make sure it wasn't an "intrusion" and then poke around to get all the details I could to make me comfortable.

    And I'd let easy child know that it all hinges on the conversation with the mom. This way she's not being punished for being truthful.

  7. Jena

    Jena New Member

    I agree with all of you. I would make the call first, go meet them find out exactly where she is invited to before allowing her to go.

    See, maybe this is me and my own issues screaming at me yet (2) cars aren't optional. I was not invited, easy child was. So, invite is for her to go with "them". I have no idea when he drinks or doesn't. All I Know is he does, and easy child's boyfriend said it gets bad, sh*t gets broken, and the one time she was there last night she said there' snothing there but furniture and stuff hanging on walls. It's barren. That's a sign of an alocholic home. Keep all nic nacs far away, huge breakage issues when their drunk.

    I dont' want to trust her 15 year old boyfriend's judgement on it? Who is to say they take her, dad decided to start drinking there mom doesn't want to make a scene (clearly woman went back to him ugh) and puts my easy child and her boyfriend in car.

    I don't want to punish her for sharing with me and hinder her, yet i have to keep her ok
  8. Jena

    Jena New Member

    JJJ - That is exactly what I"m afraid of. easy child is def. not a strong enough person at her age to put her own foot down if she feels that a situation is "unsafe" and call me. I know she wouldnt'. She wouldnt' want to embarrass her boyfriend, or go against the mom.

    Beth - What would I say, besides the normal stuff about them, etc. questions. With my mouth I could hear me now, so my easy child tells me your husband's an alcoholic. So, will he be driving, and will there be alcohol where your going?? LOL. tha'Tourette's Syndrome what i'd say, and I don't think that the right way to go about it. So, i'm kinda lost as to what words to use to ensure easy child's safety. any ideas?
  9. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Hey! There's tons of b.s. that you can come up with. Once you find out where it's going to be held, and what time they expect to wrap up, all you have to say is "oh, we're going to be on the way back from (grandma's, boyfriend's friends house, whatever) a going by there - I can just pick her up!" or something along that line.

    You could also be "forthright" and ask if alcohol is served. You don't allow your daughter to attend functions at which alocohol is consumed. Cut and dry. You don't have to say anything about the Dad.

    Good luck with it!

    Oh crud! Someone's running around upstairs - gotta go!:sick:

  10. Jena

    Jena New Member

    ok that's not a bad idea I guess. yet I'd have to drop her off and pick her up. This is going to be fun, becase i'm sure this isn't the only thing their going to invite her to. What a J*** this guy even is, to be frightening this kid, her boyfriend. That I as a parent have to be concerned about this guy.

    ugh, i have absolutely no tolerance to these sorts of things. Watching my dad get drunk for years when I was little gave me a low low tolerance for any bs with actively drinking alcoholics.

    THanks!!!! :)
  11. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    One other thing to consider, Jennifer, is that your easy child confided all of this to you for a reason.

    It could be that she's uneasy and has mixed feelings about the trip. It might be that part of her is secretly hoping you'll say no, to provide her with a good reason not to go that won't hurt her boyfriend's feelings...

    I too would be very leery of this sort of event without knowing ALL the details. Where is it going to be? Who's hosting? Who else will be there? Will there be drinking? What sort of "boating event"? What sort of boats? What body of water...questions are just filling up my head.

    I like Beth's suggestion that a yes/no answer is contingent on the conversation with boyfriend's mom. I also like the idea of saying that you don't allow your easy child to attend events where alcohol will be served.
  12. Critter Lover

    Critter Lover New Member

    WOW.....I am totally dumbfounded that easy child's boyfriend asked her to house or to an event that had his family. I was so embarrassed about my alcholic dad that I did not want anyone especially my friends to see him and he was as bad as this man sounds. He was verbally mean and threw things. I would make it a point to go somewhere to take me away from the situation. If his dad drinks while their at this event ....you are putting your child in danger for him to get behind a wheel in a boat or a vehicle. I would make up something to not let this event happen if it was my child. I can definitely understand your uneasiness. Wish the boyfriend's Dad would realize he needs to stop and realize he is missing out on his kids....too bad he will figure that out after their grown and gone from his house.

    I am sorry if I come off strong on this but I hated my childhood because of alcholism and this one hit a nerve. Jennifer please make the right decision and I wish you the best.
  13. Jena

    Jena New Member


    so i listened to all of your great ideas, we boyfriend and i sat down last night and were talking about it. I can't place easy child in any possibly harmful situation. Allowing her to go to his house anymore would be just that, also allowing her on any trips with them would be just that.

    Maybe in time if their sitll together and she drives and has ability to get out fine, yet not now. These parents are also divorced i've learned, they do not get along even when dad's not drunk. all it takes is one split second for everything to change and backfire so to speak. Whether it be a "strange" boat outting in the winter??? or just at his house iwht other kids watching a movie.

    I truly like this kid and will ofcourse offer them to come here, i do feel badly that i am almost "punishing" him for his dad. Yet i have to protect my daughter.

    The next level of thought here for me is how do i not tell her friends parents? On one level I think it would be wrong to tell them. I'Tourette's Syndrome none of my business. Other hand is what if her friends are there hanging out, parents begin to fight he's drunk and who knows what could truly happen. That's how people get shot, bad stuff goes down.

    So, i'm mulling that over now also. Sheesh
  14. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member


    Here's a thought...
    Rather than calling easy child's friends' parents and just baldly stating, "I don't let easy child go there because the dad's a raving alcoholic", perhaps something like...

    Although I know and like boyfriend, I don't know the parents all that well and I don't feel comfortable letting easy child hang out at their house. So I'm not letting easy child attend <whatever event is going on there>.

    When other parents use those words "I don't feel comfortable letting my child hang out at Parent X's house" it's sort of a red flag for me. It strikes me as code for, weird stuff goes on there.

    Not letting your child attend a low key non-dangerous event, such as watching a video at someone's house while the parents are home, also sends a message to other parents. If they say something like, "Why not. It's only watching videos. The parents will be home." Then you can answer. "I don't feel confident that easy child will be safe there."

    If you're not willing to let easy child go, it might get the other parents thinking and doing a bit of investigation of their own.

  15. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I agree. There have been many times I have not allowed my kids to go places because I haven't met the parents and have not seen the house.
    The friends are always welcome over here.
  16. Critter Lover

    Critter Lover New Member

    I agree with Trinity and Terry on the way you phrase why you are not letting easy child go. Sounds like a good idea since you really do not know the
    parents that well and your not throwing that red flag up there for them to
    wonder why your declining.
  17. Jena

    Jena New Member

    Trinity Terry thanks perfect words, perfect. Why didn't i think of that?? LOL duh....me :)

    Thanks guys! Just a sticky situation I want to make sure i handle it hte right way to protect yet don't devulge ppl's private home life which they have a right to whether i't sgood or bad.

    thanks again, oh and Critter Lover too! That's a cute name :)