Binge drinking and the effects of alcoholism on the family

The effects of alcoholism on the family can seem obvious. So what should you do if you are the spouse or child of a binge drinker? More here.

minute read

If you are a child of a binge drinker, can you relate to this?

Life sucks.

I hate my life. I wish I were dead. I hate my mom/dad and I wish they were dead. Why does my parent act like that? My friend’s parents doesn’t’ act like mine. My mom/dad cares more about drinking than s/he does about me.

Nothing works.

I try to help. I look for stashed bottles and throw them away. I beg them not to drink anymore, and they always promise that s/he will never drink again. They tell me they love me, but how can they love me when they treats us like they do? I will never forget the time when I heard mom tell him to choose drinking or the family. He got angry and said I choose drinking.

Will this ever change?

I don’t get it. Most of the time they blame other people for drinking. S/He says if other people would treat him better, s/he wouldn’t have to drink. I’ve cried all night so many times, I just don’t cry anymore. Why doesn’t mom take us away from him? Why doesn’t dad take us away from her? Maybe I need to do something different to help my parent stop, or maybe s/he hates us all and is miserable because of us. What can I do?

If you are a spouse of a binge drinker, can you relate to this?

I’m so tired.

of worrying, tired of caring, tired of listening, tired of the lies, tired of the excuses, tired of the promises. Why doesn’t s/he just stop? S/He’s been to treatment twice. S/He’s gone to meetings forever (AA). I don’t think I can do this anymore. I have threatened him so many times that I will leave. Nothing seems to work.

I don’t get it.

Doesn’t they what they are doing to the family? I’m convinced he doesn’t really cares. If he did, he would stop. His daughters avoid him. His son hates him. We can never depend on him coming through.

Family life suffers.

As a family, we’re so messed up, I can’t see how we will ever survive this. Just when I think s/he is finally over the binges, s/he disappears for days. Sometimes we have no idea if s/he is dead or alive. Then he comes home and gives us the news. He got fired from his job, because he didn’t call in during his binging.

Then it all starts over again.

He looks for another job. We avoid answering the phone, because it might be creditors calling. We get kicked out of our rental. I call my parents to borrow money and we get deeper and deeper in debt. Everyone’s afraid to say anything.

Some days, I just want to give up.

I would love to have a normal, uneventful life. I am so embarrassed, I avoid trying to have friends. The kids never bring their friends around because they never know what their father is going to do or say. I know they wish they had a different dad. A dad they could count on and one that will be more involved in their lives. I just don’t know what to do other than survive. I want my kids to have their father. I grew up without a dad and I hated it.

Alcoholism and the cycle of shame

I have heard these comments and many more over the years. Binge drinkers usually have a lot of control over their drinking for months. But once they get to a point of too much stress, they tend to explode like a coke can under tremendous pressure. Then it’s off to the races. A turbulent cycle of shame takes over with an never ending chase of the fun, escape, or excitement, followed by consequences (reality and hangover), followed by the pain of remorse, followed by the escape and excitement.

Find help for family drinking problems

If you are the spouse or child of a binge drinker or if you grew up with a parent that was a binge drinker, I suggest you get help. Talk to an addiction counselor, sooner rather than later.

About the author
Dr. Jackson received his Doctorate in Christian Counseling from Omega Bible Institute and Seminary in 2009. He developed the Christian recovery treatment programs for Calvary Rehab Center and the Genesis Center for Recovery. He has trained and practiced Christian Counseling in all areas of drug/alcohol/gambling/sex and relationship addictions. He currently has his own web based online program called 12 Day Rehab Systems, designed for those who can work on recovery while maintaining career and family obligations. Dr. Jackson has been clean and sober since 1984. Learn more about Recovery with Dr. Steve.
I am ready to call
i Who Answers?