Dear Moms.com,

I need some advice. I have a dilemma and I am not sure how to handle it. I have a friend who has a drinking problem and for the last two years while she lived with her boyfriend things were good and she was rarely drinking if at all. Then a few months ago they were having some troubles and she moved back to her parents and fell off the wagon. Recently she just moved back with her boyfriend and his dad. Last week sometime she came over to hang out with me and the kids. Her boyfriend told her he didn't mind if she had a couple beers (he almost never lets her drink) as long as she didn't try to hide it or lie to him about it. She was doing very well and only had two all day and was pacing herself. We had the kids so obviously there was no intention to get drunk or out of hand. Later on around dinner time her boyfriend got home and they got into a fight and her and her son were left at my house. Her boyfriend took off and turned his phone off. She lost it and started drinking everything in site. It was an awkward situation for us because we had no idea what to do. The next day I sat down and talked to her about it and expressed our concern for her and how she didn't want to go back to the way things were before. I told her that she did not want that for her son and that the reason her boyfriend almost never lets her drink is for the same reason. She said she completely understood and that was that. I even went as far as tossing the rest of the liquor in our house (that I wasn't drinking anyway) and telling her I drank the rest of it so there wouldn't be anymore temptation when she came over. The other night her boyfriend sat down and talked to me like a mature adult (which is a little rare for him) and told me how he appreciates that me and his girl are friends and how she needs a friend like me. He said that if she drinks just to watch and make sure she doesn't get out of hand because it happens quick (as I have seen). He agreed that I wasn't forcing her to drink and that in fact it was more likely the other way around and that she is a grown woman that makes her own decisions. I told him that I am not a big drinker myself and I could really care less about drinking when we hang out. I have enough fun with her without alcohol. He totally didn't blame me for what happened and handled things like an adult. However somehow in all of this I am still the bad guy. Her boyfriends dad is all pissed off at me and acting like a child. He doesn't want me over their house or to look at or talk to him (did I mention that we live across the street from each other?). I am now his "enemy". The other night when we were all hanging out, my friend and her boyfriend ran to the store and I ran in to check on the kids who were in bed, when I came back outside he had called my fiance over and proceeded to talk trash to him about me. Telling my fiance that I am stupid and irresponsible and what not. Then my friend and her boy friend came back. She went to go check on their son and that's when her boyfriend and I had our little conversation. He told me that he thinks its ridiculous and completely out of place for his dad to be involved in this and he is making things harder for them by being in their business and trying to meddle in their relationship. I personally don't know how to handle all of this. She is my only friend at the moment and she feels like everyone is trying to control her life. It puts me in an awkward position because she is 32 and I am not her mother. How am I supposed to tell her what she can and cant do? I tried to sit down and talk with her mother to mother and woman to woman and most importantly as her friend. And obviously her boyfriend sees things that way too. So what do I do now? Am I wrong in this situation? How do I prevent this from repeating itself? And what do I do about the childish old man?

Sincerely,
We are not in high school anymore.

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amandaMorrisville, Pennsylvania
    05/28/14
    Hmmm... I'm wondering why this persons dad has any opinion about you, and why it matters. And you're right, you are not her mother. It sounds like she needs a friend, and it looks like you're doing a great job of doing that so stick with it. When I was in my 20's I was a HUGE drinker, met a guy that loved it as much as I did and it was a very volatile relationship. When I broke my ankle and put my hand through a window one night on a bender we decided it was time to slow down and all of my "friends" that I thought would be on board weren't. When they partied in our house I locked myself in my room and shook like the dickens.

    Just be her friend. She obviously has a problem with alcohol so don't have it around. You said you don't need it either so there's no reason she needs to drink when she's around you. I don't think everyone's trying to control her life, if she has kids they probably just don't want to see those kids without a mom.
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    05/28/14
    amanda
    I agree. And I am glad you found a better path in life. That is my hope for her and that she continues down it and doesn't let anyone or anything stand in her way. Its funny how when you're down on your luck you find out that your friends aren't really friends. We have only known each other for a year and have already been through some stuff and stuck by each other. Its made us stronger as friends as opposed to just walking away from each other. Which is crazy because my best friend of 20+ years isn't even in my life anymore and part of that was because I had kids and couldn't go party with her anymore. And to me that's not a friend I want to waste any more of my time on.
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    05/28/14
    It's so tough when the people we expect to be there just aren't, and when we look around we see people we didn't expect.

    Whether it's alcohol, or drugs, or heck even food or something less "scary", addictions are there to replace something we're lacking. Maybe having a friend like you around that doesn't have a need for alcohol will be good for her. With some time she can see that she'll be okay without it.

    It reminds me of candy. Y'know those families that keep candy away from their kids, and those kids are all insane around Halloween? But then there are those families that don't make it a big deal and have kids that are sharing their candy with other kids because it's just not a big deal. It's kind of the same thing. If you don't make it a huge deal, it won't be such a big deal :)
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      05/28/14
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      05/28/14
      amanda
      I am not sure if she will. She knows she is an alcoholic but she doesn't see any harm its doing for her. She will admit to having a problem but she is so blind to admitting its what caused a lot of the bad things that happened to her in the past. I feel like she just needs someone to listen and be there for her and make her feel like its not just her against the world. Every time I have talked to her lately she has revealed more and more to me about her past and things she's gone through and this girl has not had an easy life so I can see why she would turn to something like this. But I agree that I think she just needs someone to help her confront all those emotions and all that stuff shes been burying for all these years so she can get past all of this.
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        05/28/14
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        05/28/14
        amanda
        Thank you and I agree that he has no business in this.
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          05/28/14
          8Theresa Gould
          Sorry you were put in that situation. She needs help but she's the only one who can help herself. I fear you'll go through a lot more with her until she does. It's heart breaking to watch someone you love got down a destructive path. I hope things improve for you with her boyfriend's dad/your neighbor. He must need to blame someone so he chose you but it isn't your fault. I agree keeping alcohol out of sight while your friend is visiting is the best route.
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          05/28/14
          amanda
          Thank you. Me and my fiance don't drink often but sometimes he likes to go out and get a case of beer which usually last a month in our house give or take a little time. I feel bad for him because he feels like he has to worry if he buys some that she might get into it. And he doesn't want to get stuck in the middle either. But regardless she is also still a good friend all problems aside. He also sat down and talked to her boyfriend (who he's friends with) about it all because he feels like its an awkward position for him to be in.
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          About amanda
          Born: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
          Current: Morrisville, Pennsylvania
          Birth: June 06
          On Moms.com since: May 3, 2014
          I am a stay at home mom of three. I also recently just started a blog called surviving mommyhood. If you get time check it out. http://survivingmommyhood.weebly.com/