Drink It Up | Boyfriend Troubles | The Good Samaritan


Drink It Up

Dear Micah,

What do you think of a mom and dad that sit up and drink at night every night after the kids go to bed?  My sister and her husband say there’s nothing wrong with their unwinding and having a few drinks after the kids are asleep.  But I wonder if their kids are seeing all this drinking going on and what that is doing to them.  Don’t call me a tee tottler, I don’t see a problem with an occasional drink in front of your kids, but every night until they go to sleep?  Just wondered your thoughts.  Oh I forgot to say that they aren’t young either.  My sister is 37 years old.

The Sober Sister

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Dear Sober Sis,

My thoughts match your own.  I think it’s a sign of deplorable parenting to lay up every night getting your drunk on while the kids sleep.  Of course, there is a big difference between having a drink and chain-drinking every night.  The latter is just never going to end well.  I realize that I have just offended tons of readers who may enjoy a nightly nip, but I don’t care–if it’s a nightly ritual and they have kids around, they may want to rethink it.  Life can be really hard sometimes and sometimes a drink can be just the numbing agent you need to cap off a hard day, and therein lies the problem.

If you start to use the drinking to numb your stress, you could be putting yourself at risk for a dependency problem.  I will never be convinced that’s it’s appropriate to have drink after drink every evening with no other purpose other than to “ease stress”  or “unwind.”  I think that’s an on-ramp to the road of alcoholism.  I just don’t see any valid reasoning to sit and drink every night.  Now, in my early twenties that was a different story.  I’d hang out with friends and often tie one on with routine frequency–but I didn’t have children and my friends didn’t have children and we didn’t do it in places where children could walk in and see us intoxicated… I was also in my early twenties!

Not that I’m not condoning alcoholism for the young, but a 22-year-old who goes out drinking with friends is just going through a typical rite of passage many young adults go through at that age.  A 40-year-old with kids who drinks to excess every night is another story entirely.  I worry for your sister’s kids.  What if something happened?  What if one of the kids get sick and has a really high fever in the night and needs to go to the emergency room?  What if something happened to a family member and suddenly everyone has to leave the house and rush to a family member’s side?  So many things could occur that could place them in the position of having to drive while slightly or completely drunk with their kids in the car with them.

Whenever a parent is intoxicated, it puts their child is at risk of having to fend for himself if something goes wrong.  A fire could start.  A burglar could attempt to break in.  A dangerous storm could roll in.  Who is going to take charge then?  The drunk parent or the sober kid?  I know I may be a fuddy-duddy, but I want all of my wits about me now that I’m a parent.  Already, several small incidents have occurred that could have been very bad had I not been clear headed and fully aware of what to do.  Once, I discovered my son was allergic to something and had to react quickly.  Another time he was sick and I had to get him to the ER.  And just the other day, a neighbor’s tree fell onto my property and smashed up some things in the back yard–but what if that tree had hit the house and hurt my little boy?  If I had been drunk, I may not have been alert enough to hear it, or have been able to respond in time.

So many things can happen unexpectedly.  You need to try and convey the seriousness of that to your sister and her husband.  Even if no unexpected event occurs, they are still teaching their children that over-indulgence of liquor is an acceptable pastime in their family.  I do want to say that I don’t think there is anything wrong with having the occasional drink in front of your child.  In fact, I believe that if your child witnesses you drink responsibly it will teach them how to.  Part of that responsibility is making sure that your child actually hears you say, “No thanks, I’ve had enough” (while you’re still coherent and clear in speech) so that they will learn how there should always be an end to drinking.

Drinking isn’t something you begin and just keep doing until you pass out.  It’s like eating a piece of cake.  Once the piece of cake is finished, that’s the end of the cake.  You don’t get up and go cut another piece–unless you happen to want diabetes.  Drinking should be the same way:  Here is the drink I have poured.  I will drink this drink and then the drinking is finished. If you find yourself unable to stop at just one, or two, or three–well, need I continue?  Your sister needs to be told that if she plans to drink in front of her kids, she should be teaching them restraint and impulse control along with it.  She can’t do that it’s because she has none herself and probably shouldn’t be drinking at all.

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Boyfriend Troubles

Dear Micah,

I’m 19.  My parents hate my boyfriend and I just don’t know why.  He doesn’t hit me or yell at me or cheat on me and he isn’t mean to me.  He has a job.  He is nice to them.   I don’t know what they have against him.

Chelsea

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Dear Chelsea,

What kind of #@%&tty life have you been exposed to!?  “He doesn’t hit me, he doesn’t cheat on me, he doesn’t yell at me, he doesn’t set me on fire randomly on the patio…”  He isn’t supposed to do any of those things!  Was this normal routine behavior from past boyfriends?  I heard Dr. Phil say once that the absence of negatives do not make positives, and that truly applies here.  This man isn’t doing horrible things to you…yea, I guess!  But what does he do that is positive?  Is he romantic?  Does he lead a respectable lifestyle?  Does he have ambition?  Does he plan to be something one day?  There must be some worthwhile reason that stands out which would make it a favorable thing in your parents’ eyes for you to hitch your wagon to this guy.  Perhaps they do not feel that he’s going anywhere in life.  Maybe they think you deserve better out of a man.  I can’t really say.  From what little you told me, the best advice I can give is this…If the best thing you have to say about him is that he doesn’t beat you up and he has a job, then he isn’t all that impressive.

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The Good Samaritan

Micah,

My boss is cheating on his wife with someone they know.  They also go to my church so I feel some kind of responsibility to warn her or to at least alert our minister.  I like my boss.  Crazy as it sounds, he is a good man.  I really believe their marriage can be saved if they work at it.  First, she needs to know the truth.  What is the best way to approach telling her?  Or should I go with my first instinct and just tell our minster and leave it in his and God’s hands?  I know I need to do something for them but I need a steer in the right direction.

A Concerned Bystander

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Dear Concerned,

Oh my god, stay the HELL out of this!!!!  You sound like a big-hearted person with the best intentions, but LEAVE THIS ALONE!  You will not come out for the better on the other end of this.  Just stay out of it.  She will find out on her own and you will be able to keep your job.  I know the “right” thing to do is to try and help this situation, but sometimes the right thing to do can leave the worst kind of aftermath.  You didn’t ask to be dragged into this mess, and so far you are just on the periphery.  Do not take a single step closer in.  Just stay where you are and go about your business.  It isn’t something you need to fix.  Their marriage fell apart on its own and you aren’t anybody’s savior.  Let this lie.

If you have a question for Micah, please email him at MicahCargo@hotmail.com.  your question may be featured in an upcoming article.  You can also follow Micah on Twitter @MicahCargo.

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