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Our daughter is 27 and has a severe alcohol problem. The last two years have been nightmarish. At last she is in a flat so we have a peaceful home, although my husband and I still brace ourselves waiting to hear of an accident or some other tragedy involving our daughter. Thank God she has no children.

The pattern has deteriorated into her drinking 11 or 12 days and then being hospitalized when her body can’t take any more and she goes into withdrawal. We take her to hospital as she has fits when she withdraws, and these fits can be dangerous.

My husband and I are feeling low and know no end. We try and keep each other up. Others have come off the alcohol. She doesn’t find AA helpful, and the alcohol services here are depleted in resources and personnel. We have joined a family group and are helping to restructure it to make a difference in the help drinkers and their families get.


Victoria, the power you wish you had to keep her from drinking is the power you do not have. The power is in your daughter’s hands.

You do have the power not to let your daughter’s problem destroy you and your husband. So far, it hasn’t. But why do you feel so defeated? Because trying to stop her from drinking is like trying to stop it from raining. How long can you stop the rain before you are worn out?

You can’t help but feel overwhelmed when trying to stop something you have no power to stop.

If something happens, you will want to think that the one time you didn’t show up for a meeting and didn’t check on her flat makes you responsible for what happened. But you are wrong. It won’t be what you didn’t do; it will be what your daughter did. She is her destroyer, not you. If a man drives too fast, who is responsible for the accident? He is.

Your daughter knows what happens when she drinks. When she is sober, she chooses to drink. She is in control of her own life. You will want to say, “No, she isn’t.” But she is. Do you know why she is? Because neither you, nor your husband, nor anyone else can stop her from drinking. Perhaps one day, she will choose to stop drinking, but given her current actions, that day may never come.

You and your husband still have to live your lives. That is what you are here for. Create the best possible life for yourselves.

Tragedies happen. They are not on our calendar of wants. But no matter the tragedy, we live the best we can.

Wayne & Tamara

Sexual Resume

My boyfriend and I recently talked about my past. I told him about things I’ve done that I am not proud of today. I was such a party animal. I flirted with men and made out with some. Because of this, he has doubts I slept with more than the number I gave him.

Now he can’t even come to my house because that’s all he thinks about. He said he put me “up there.” He says he trusts me and knows I am committed to him, but my past eats him up. When I try to talk things through with him, he keeps saying he doesn’t know, and he doesn’t know. By the way, we weren’t together then.


Wendy, we don’t recommend telling untruths or concealing, except in this particular instance with men. Many men feel they should be the first ones to the top of the mountain, even though they only got there because others had been there before them.

Wayne & Tamara

Wayne and Tamara are the authors of Cheating in a Nutshell and The Young Woman’s Guide to Older Men, which are available from Amazon, iTunes, and booksellers everywhere.


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