Family Tripping

Old 02-22-2012, 10:36 PM
  # 1 (permalink)  
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Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Vashon WA
Posts: 1,035
Family Tripping

I live in the NW but I was raised in Florida and I still have lots of family there including my parents so I try to go there at least once or twice a year. I will be going down for a visit with my wife and kids in April. It will be the first time that I will see my folks since I quit drinking. I am looking forward to it except for one problem that I'm not sure how to deal with.

My mom is a drinker and so is my wife. Sometimes they get along, sometimes not. They can both be pretty mean. Oh yeah, my mom does some drunk dialing but she doesn't need a phone or wine to make people mad. She's very opinionated and is missing a filter or two. After twenty something years she knows how to make my wife furious by flicking her little finger and does so. This turns wife into a total b*tch to everyone, especially me. The last time they spoke on the phone wife started a fight with me over absolutely nothing then said some very hurtful things to me. I don't blame her but it was just awful.

Of course I have assumed the role of middle man. Do I have a choice? I think I do it badly. It's not usually a problem because we live across the country from each other. When it is a problem I solve it like most really heavy problems--I drink myself into a fog until everyone gets on a plane and life returns to normal. Now that option is no longer available. It didn't work very well anyways. I am going to have to try something else.

I'm not sure what. I don't like throwing bombs but I want to retire from being a referee. I wish they would just knock it off. Their relationship just fills me with loathing. I have nothing else to give to it. Or do I? I will have five months of sobriety by the time I go to Florida but I still feel fragile. I don't feel like being dissected but I want to be a good sport. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

gaffo is offline  
Old 02-23-2012, 12:20 AM
  # 2 (permalink)  
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: LA - Lower Alabama
Posts: 5,069
Wow thats amazing. I'd go to FL by myself if I were you.

Originally Posted by gaffo
Of course I have assumed the role of middle man. Do I have a choice?
Yes, you have a choice. Disengage. Not easy but you can do it.
Taking5 is offline  
Old 02-23-2012, 05:30 AM
  # 3 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Highlands, TX
Posts: 1,192
Well........ I certainly don't envy you, sounds like a miserable place to be in. The only option I can think of is to resign from the role of the "fixer" and just let them do whatever they are going to do. If they get in a fight let them deal with it. If they try to involve you just calmly tell them that you love them and you hate that they have so much friction but that for your sanity and sobriety you simply can not and will not get involved. Tell them they will have to work this out without you and if the wife acts bitchy to you do your best to ignore it. As a fellow "fixer" I can tell you this is not fun nor easy to do and there will probably be repercussions because you changed the "rules" but you have to start somewhere. Maybe start this now while they are doing their long distance bickering.

Since they are both drinkers and their drinking affects you may I suggest that you check out the Family & Friends of Alcoholics board here on SR. You will find others who understand this situation and can offer input as to other ways to handle (or not handle) it. You can also read about others who have managed to stop playing Mr(s). Fix-it, set boundaries, and refuse to engage in the chaos and drama thereby maintaining their sanity.

Best of luck to you and congrats on your sober time!
Kellye C is offline  
Old 02-23-2012, 08:51 AM
  # 4 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 35
my wife and mother don't get along.
my mother says hurtful things to my wife.

sometimes i'm caught in the middle.

my advice is:
side with your wife.
you picked her.
you live with her everyday.
she's the mother of your children
jimihendrix is offline  
Old 02-23-2012, 09:27 AM
  # 5 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: NC
Posts: 115
First, congrats on 5 months! That has got to be difficult with your wife still drinking. You are in a difficult spot. I would probably just be honest. When they start fighting, I would go for a walk, get out of that environment. If someone tries to give you crap about not being the middleman, say:

"This is between you two. It upsets me that you two cannot get along and drinking doesn't help the tension. Being sober is important to me and the stress of your fighting tempts me to drink. So, I am removing myself from this situation."

Let them duke it out alone.
vichloe is offline  

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