Ask Alma: Alcoholic parents are a trip

Dear Alma,

My Dad and my Stepmom have been together for over 20 years.

They both have and always did drink way too much. I’d even say both are alcoholics. Recently my Dad was hospitalized and obviously told he has to stop drinking.

My Stepmom says that’s his problem, not hers. How do I get her to see what she’s doing is wrong and how can I stop her from drinking in front of my Dad? My Dad won’t stop drinking if she keeps providing it.

C.K., Alexandria, Va.


Hi C.K.,

This is a tough situation and I sympathize with the position you’re in. That still, however, doesn’t remove the fact that your Dad has an addiction that he’s “large and in-charge” of.  Let’s pause here and give you a minute to understand and resonate, this is your Dad’s burden to bear.

Allow me a minute and address the consideration and compassion this deserves. I say this as respectfully as I can muster – you can’t give up crack living next door to the crack house. You feel me?

Offer your Dad resources to finding a local Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. He has to take the first step.

Once associated, I’m sure they’ll direct him on what his next step should be.  Remind your father that facing his addiction is a sign of strength. Let him know you’ll support him unconditionally.

After taking hold of his responsibility, your Dad will decide what to do about your stepmom.

That, too, is his choice not yours.

I’ll be praying for your Dad, you and your family.