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Old 10-03-2007, 12:57 PM
26,316 posts, read 24,413,788 times
Reputation: 16000


Hoosier Guy, I'm giving you a hug...and sending you a lot of hopeful strength for what lay ahead of you all...

My personal opinion is that you have a lot of good advice above me, take and eat...all of it...and then I add....at this point, it is way to late...in life to change them....the protest won't mean a thing and my concern is this...if after their time is up, can you live with the efforts of the protest....by not being there? Please think about it.

I wish you the best that life has to offer you...don't allow their problem to consume you, and do what is best for everyone concerned...there are many different opinions, you've got to find a solution, even if only temporary, that will best fit your needs.

Hugs...and love
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Old 10-03-2007, 01:09 PM
Location: Boonies of Georgia ~~~~ nuttier than a squirrel turd !
1,950 posts, read 4,726,454 times
Reputation: 2248
Originally Posted by Marlow View Post
I doubt if you will be able to change your parents with tough love or anything else at this point. The only think you can do is protect your children and talk openly with them kids about what you don't like about their grandparents' behavior.

Your parents are adults and are free to pursue their own interests, even when they are self-destructive. Sometimes in situations like this the best thing we can do is love unconditionally. Your parents are going to die some day whether they smoke and drink or not. The only thing you have control over is how you deal with them in the meantime.
I have played the tough love senerio with my parents.
This is the "evil" double sided coin you are dealing with, and I am sorry.
I know once my parents got to an age, they both would say "Nobody is going to tell me what to do", I am such-and-such age.. yada yada yada.
I know your concern is because of your love for them.
BUT by not speaking to them and not being there for them (tough love) , you may just be waisting very valuable time with them.
They (most likely) have had unconditional love for you and maybe you should do the same.
I have lost both my parents. Many of times I have distanced myself from one or both. I WOULD change that today, if I could.
I cared for both of them when they were on the death beds. I would not suggest to anyone to distance themselves from their parents at that time. It is a very sad and lonely time for all involved.
They are here today, enjoy them. Tomorrow they may be gone.Once they are gone, they are gone for good.

I can not tell you how many times a day I pick up the phone to call my mom. She died in 2004. It is still hard.
In no way am I judging you or your thoughts, just giving my opinion on something I have done/dealt with.

My heart goes out to you !
Have no regrets !

I am quoting shuke here :
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
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Old 10-03-2007, 01:14 PM
Location: Branson, Missouri
7,282 posts, read 17,212,545 times
Reputation: 3753
Sorry you're going through this with both parents.
I think that anytime you give someone an ultimatum, you will be the loser. Giving your parents the choice of alcohol/cigarettes and the grandkids is not a good choice.
First off, they have already made there choice with the alcohol/cigs. Even though I'm sure they love all you kids and the grandkids, there addictions at this point are more important and there is nothing you or anyone can do about it.
They are the ones that need to make a decision in stopping the habit and that's so hard to do when they have been doing it all these years.
Secondly, you will tear yourself and your kids up even more by avoiding your parents.
Have a talk with your kids (you probably already have) about your parents and the trouble and sicknesses that come with smoking and drinking alot. I realize you don't want your kids exposed to this behavior but it's not right to deny your parents to see your kids or vice versa.
Tell your parents how you feel but don't give them an ultimatum.
I have been through this with a family member and the addiction always wins.
Peace to you and your family.
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Old 10-03-2007, 01:59 PM
Location: Texas
8,668 posts, read 20,280,577 times
Reputation: 21296
Like others have expressed I am sorry that these are the decisions you are having to make. I am a believer in the "tough love" concept in certain situations. However, in this situation, I don't see it generating the response you're after. Just my two cents... I know that you are a Christian. I would pray about it and try to look at it from a Biblical standpoint and what is Biblically correct about confrontation and about honoring our parents. Let the Lord lead you.
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Old 10-03-2007, 02:20 PM
Location: Twilight Zone
295 posts, read 1,086,777 times
Reputation: 525
Methinks there are people here who know Bill W, because it sure sounds like they talk the talk and walk the walk. The shared wisdom is invaluable.

The only thing I want to add is the suggestion to seek out ACoA programs (Adult Children of Alcoholics) in addition to AlAnon, and even find some open AA meetings to attend. You may not find the right group for you immediately, but keep looking because it works if you work it.

For me, even though I have never been a practicing alcoholic, the AA meetings I attended were of much greater help than ACoA or AlAnon, and provided me with phenomenal insight. They helped me understand my family members' disease and helped me accept a fundamental truth of their alcoholism (and every other addiction and/or "-ism"): I didn't cause it; I can't change it; I can't cure it. Moreover, the meetings helped me learn how to live life on life's terms - something that my alcoholic parents couldn't teach me as a result of their disease.
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Old 10-03-2007, 03:23 PM
Location: Old Town Alexandria
14,505 posts, read 23,726,242 times
Reputation: 8837
Letting go of control is the first way to save your own mental health. They are adults, and will never change. I survived this with the stbx. I learned I have my own life....they have theirs.
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Old 10-06-2007, 07:15 PM
15,320 posts, read 27,464,801 times
Reputation: 18793
You've already received some great advice. I just wanted to share a site that has some touching videos on the parent/adult child relationship. Click on the one most appropriate for you.


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Old 10-06-2007, 09:34 PM
1,352 posts, read 4,222,558 times
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Originally Posted by Hoosier_guy View Post
I need some solid input on this family situation. Please help.

Background Information:
My father was in the hosptial about a year and a half ago and almost died due to pneumonia. While in the hospital his bac was off the charts. He has been diagnosed as an alcoholic and had to go through extreme detox while in the hospital. My mom refused to quit drinking.

Both my parents have drank alcohol since their early twenties, late teens. They're in their mid 60s now. The have both smoked cigarettes that same amount of time. My mother is/was a heavier smoker than my father.

My mom is a breast cancer survivor of four years. She was diagnosed with lung cancer this year and has had two surgeries. She still smokes. My father smokes around her.

My parents are still smoking and my father has begun drinking again. My mom has shared her concerns to us about him drinking again. BTW, he refused to go into any treatment plan after leaving the hospital a year and a half ago.

My youngest brother (in his mid-30s) has decided that tough love is a necessary action to hopefully tell our parents that we want them to stop smoking and drinking. Two of my three siblings are choosing to turn a blind eye and not agree with this tough love act. My brother and I have chosen to not attend Thanksgiving and not be around when they "need" us. I will say this is extremely difficult to do, but if they do not quit this habit they will die. It's not about asking them to stop drinking or smoking because I don't like it, but because they are both on a path that will end sooner rather than later. And I don't want my kids around that type of destructive behavior. Remember, my father is an alcoholic (mom is an undiagnosed one) and my mother just has 1/4 of her lung cut out due to lung cancer.

Please know that I love my parents deeply and my hope is that this tough love will show them how much I care, and that I want them around a long time. In my heart it comes down to, "what is more important? An alcohol or cigarette buzz...or time with your grandchildren?"
You all are BLESSED to have turned out to be such great responsible children. Unfortunately, I don't think that tough love is going to do it with the parents. The fact is that they are adults and they are going to do exactly what they want to do. I wouldn't deny the grandchildren of having a relationship with their grandparents. You can limit their exposure to the cigarette smoking and if your parents tend to get beligerant after drinking, I would suggest that you leave before it gets to that point, so that the grandchildren don't have to witness that.

I wish your family luck
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Old 10-06-2007, 09:46 PM
1,352 posts, read 4,222,558 times
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BTW, my grandfather was a "functioning" alcoholic (he only drank on the weekends) and smoked Pall Mall cigarettes like a chimney. But my grandfather was the center of our family and his profound wisdom I still carry with me to this day. He was a mentor, teacher, provider and father to all of his children and a father figure to his grandchildren and others. Unfortunately he passed away in 1986 when I was in the 11th grade and it was devastating from pancreatic cancer. I don't know what type of person I would have turned out to be if it were not for my grandmother/grandfather - grandparents are our foundation and can provide things to our children that we as parents can't (i.e. knowledge & wisdom). Grandparents are priceless especially if they are the type of grandparents that I had (grandfather) and still have (grandmother).
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Old 10-06-2007, 11:55 PM
Location: NJ
329 posts, read 1,331,758 times
Reputation: 154
I don't think the TOUGH LOVE approach will impact your parents at all. It is what it is, Hoosier. You know that "love never, ever fails". Instead of witholding it (love), reach out to them this holiday season. I think we are to love unconditionally. Your children will benefit and in the long run you will, too. Because when they are gone, they are gone for
a long time.
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