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“I just don’t know how to deal with her and be honest.”

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Ask Joe:

Author and Boulder County Jail Chaplain Joe Herzanek with Lewis and Clark

Author and Boulder County Jail Chaplain Joe Herzanek with Lewis and Clark

My 50-year-old daughter will not admit she is drinking. She has lost her job, her drivers license–and her husband will soon be getting a divorce (he drinks). He is afraid he will lose his half of the house so he hasn’t left, and he does drive her places.

Your book has been a godsend. I have a guideline. I no longer say hurtful things to her. My problem is I cannot be honest with her or she hangs up the phone on me. She goes to AA meetings, comes home and gets drunk. She then calls me and I just don’t know how to deal with her and be honest. Please help me.
–Angela B.

Dear Angela,
What a sad story. There is not a lot that you can do, especially considering her age. If she is difficult to talk to, you may try writing her a letter (you could share your concerns and frustration and not have someone shouting at you while your doing it).

The good news is that it’s not too late. She can quit and begin a new life if she wants to badly enough.

If it were me I would let her know, in no uncertain terms, that you have had all you can take. I would tell her that you do not want to see her or talk to her again until she has at least 60 days of complete sobriety. If she is going to AA she knows what to do and there is plenty of help available to her from the other members.

You do not deserve to be going through the hell that she is putting you through. She is not a teenager she is FIFTY YEARS OLD.

Detachment and a firm dose of tough love are her only hope. You can do this.

If not now–when? How much more time do you (and she) want to waste?

Grace and peace,
–Joe

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