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whateverworks Offline
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Problems with my Mom - August 2nd 2012, 04:48 PM

Over the past few years, I've begun to notice how miserable my mom is. My dad owns his own business, so he doesn't always have a steady income of cash, and my mom is always asking him to bring home more money. My mom is very frugal and stingy, whereas my father tends to splurge. These financial issues are a great source of tension in my parents' marriage.

I guess to "cope" with her marriage, my mom has been drinking more lately. My father has tried to ask her to limit herself, but she doesn't seem to listen. Instead of watching TV after dinner with the rest of the family, she goes into the laundry room or her bedroom with a glass of wine or even the whole bottle. Whenever someone asks what's wrong, or if she's okay, she denies everything, which is the most frustrating part of this whole issue. She says there's nothing wrong, but acts moody all the time.

During the day, my mom is usually "fine", but once my dad gets home, she collapses and takes her misery out on everyone. Sometimes I find her passed out on her bed, and when I wake her up, she starts speaking complete, utter, absolute nonsense.

I don't know who to talk to about this. I'm a very non-confrontational person, so I'm scared to confront my mom because I know she'll just deny everything again and pretend she has no idea what I'm talking about. I'm afraid to talk to my dad, because even though my mom rolls her eyes at everything he says and berates him for not bringing home enough money, I think my father still really loves my mother. I'm afraid that talking to him about the issue will break his heart. I can't really talk to my sister because she doesn't seem to think the issue is as serious as I do. I'm afraid to talk to my friends because I don't want to burden them with my problems, and I don't know if there'd be an appropriate opportunity for me to bring it up.

I'm sorry this is so long, but I could really use some advice. Instead of empathizing with my mom, I am feeling a great deal of resentment towards her, and this frightens me. Please help!
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Re: Problems with my Mom - August 2nd 2012, 05:57 PM

The resentment you are feeling is normal, even if there's a possibility she might be undeserving of it. You should talk about this with your dad, and he will likely empathise with you if you make sure to stress to him how concerned you are about your mom and her well-being, and that you're afraid she'll become a full-blown alcoholic if this continues (which is very likely.) The two of you might even be able to set up a two-to-one intervention of sorts with your mom, but it sounds like what both of them really need is marriage counseling. And personally, if I were in your situation I'd be tempted to pour all of the alcohol in the house down a drain, although I'm not sure how effective that would be since she could always go buy more. But the important first step is to have that talk with your dad, and then go from there.

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Re: Problems with my Mom - August 10th 2012, 01:14 AM

I vote for marital counseling. Your parents clearly have different views when it comes to money, and even if the financial problems are somewhat recent, I'm guessing this is something your mom has been resentful about for the majority of their marriage. It's going to take more than a discussion with their child to show them how to salvage this marriage, and their overall happiness/contentment with life. Both your mother and your father will need to make some compromises - it's not as simple as putting your mother into rehab, because that will only deal with the alcohol abuse. As soon as she comes out of rehab, she's going to feel that resentment toward your father again, and she'll probably cope by drinking again. Your father will need to regain your mother's trust over the course of several months, if not several YEARS. She needs to know he can save money for the times when he can't bring home as much money as your family would like to have. Both parents may need to adjust their expectations - your father may need to accept he can't spend so much money, and your mother may need to accept he can't bring home as much money as she'd like.

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