Dear Human who uses alcohol as a ruse to be abusive:

You are a COWARD!

I do not for a moment believe that it’s the alcohol that causes you to be nasty repeatedly – it’s you, it’s just YOU! This is how you really are to the core, you are expressing how you genuinely feel and using alcohol as nothing but a cloak to be able to get away with your unforgivable behaviour time after time!

Are They Drunk Or Just Abusive?

If you’ve ever been on the receiving end of someone’s alcohol-fuelled abuse you will know exactly how unpleasant their nastiness can be. But in all honesty – how can you tell the difference between whether they are genuinely intoxicated or just abusing you in a cowardly way?

He Gets Away With It!

My father-in-law is fortunate enough to be able to abuse me whilst supposedly under the influence – and get away with it each and every damn time!

I hate it. I hate the feeling of knowing that I’m going to be on the receiving end of unacceptable cruelty. That I will be forced to listen to all the nastiness just because he’s been drinking again!

Why should I be expected to tolerate it? Why should anyone be obligated to accept vile behaviour simply because the other person has supposedly had too much to drink?

Using Drunkeness As An Excuse

What if they haven’t? What if they are merely claiming to have overindulged on alcohol when in actuality they have not- and they are just using the opportunity to tell you how they really feel?

I detest it when my father-in-law ruins special occasions by speaking badly to me – but none more than each time he destroys Christmas Day for me.

It feels awful to have slaved away all day to host two separate parties, one for my family and another for my husband’s in the space of a day – only to receive abuse for the entire time that my father-in-law is at our home.


What feels even worse is that even if he doesn’t use alcohol as his excuse, he will use age or culture as his justification – or everyone else around him uses that excuse to make the situation seem more acceptable on his behalf.

“He’s Been Drinking!”

“I’m sorry about my dad” my husband gently says once his parents leave our home after what is usually supposed to be a celebration. “He’s been drinking” my hubby adds. Drinking? Really? When? Where? How much has he had? Because he most certainly didn’t get plastered at our house.

Admittedly accidents do happen whilst under the influence. People occasionally fall pregnant whilst intoxicated in a moment of passion. Or worse they could get behind a wheel and take a life rather than creating one. Of course, I can empathise with the fact that awful decisions are often made whilst drunk. But why does anyone have to put up with abuse from a person claiming to be intoxicated repeatedly?

Hide Behind Intoxication

Why can’t people just be honest and tell others how they feel whilst sober? Why do they feel the need to hide and moreover why do we allow them to get away with it?

Being under the influence is just the first excuse I’m expected to accept- then there’s the classical line that my father in law only has five years left to live. This diagnosis isn’t medical, in fact he has no terminal illness. He simply uses this ‘expiration’ timeframe as a way of manipulating people into doing exactly what he wants.

If you are the type of person to do this to other people just to get your message across, then I want you to know that the person you are constantly abusing sees straight through your facade.

My Children Have To See It!

Do you know what the worst part is for me? Not that I can’t slap this man out of his nastiness. But that my children have to watch me endure the toxic behaviour. They in turn are taught to believe that people have to accept this cruelty from someone claiming to be intoxicated.

Society makes allowances constantly though. Just look at our legal system and everything you can get away with whilst drunk!

Look, I get it, nobody’s perfect. Addictions are real. Everybody involved with someone who has an addiction problem suffers- even indirectly- although I highly doubt that my father-in-law is an alcoholic.

This Is NOT Normal!

I just don’t want my children growing up believing that this is normal. I don’t want them to feel like they have no choice but to tolerate abuse because their abuser is under the influence. I don’t want them to have to accept excuses. And it is soul destroying to know that they have to watch as it happens to their own mother.

I’d Tell Him To Leave…If Only I Could…

If I were a working provider for my household I would ask my father-in-law to leave my home the second he became abusive- and it saddens me that this is what it would take for me to have some say in the matter. That it would take me ‘being somebody’, holding down a recognisable job, just to be able to save myself the heartache and embarrassment.

I don’t want that for any of my children. Realistically I don’t want that for anyone. I want people to feel safe as that is a basic human right. And although drinking excessively is within people’s rights also- abusing another person isn’t alright! Not ever! No matter the age or the culture or how long left they have to live- it is never acceptable to be abusive!

That’s what I want my children to know. But they aren’t going to believe it until I show them that I won’t tolerate it. I may not have enough footing to be able to ask their grandfather to please leave my premises when he is too drunk to be decent. But I most certainly don’t have to sit there and cop the abuse just so that I don’t offend my in-laws by walking away!

You may not be able to prove whether a person’s nasty words are merely just alcohol induced or if it’s how they genuinely feel- but you most certainly don’t have to stay there and listen to it no matter how rude they say you are for leaving.

What advice would you give to this mum? Have you ever been in an abusive situation similar to this? Tell us in the comments below.

  • I agree with the last comment…if your husband isn’t standing up for you I’d take the kids and leave. None of you deserve that


  • I would be making it clear to the husband that this is not acceptable. If the husband cant stand up for his wife in this situation what does it say about him allowing this to happen.?


  • I can’t imagine what that would be like but I am not one to stand for something like that. If my hubby wont say something I most certainly will and if I don’t becuase it would cause too much drama then I would make it VERY clear to my children that is not acceptable and to learn from his nastiness not to do something like that, if they question why I would teach them that sometimes it is better to not say anything to keep the peace and hold your head up high knowing you have done the right thing.


  • You are important and you have the right to tell that person it’s not okay whether they’ve been drinking or not. The fact that hubby isn’t stopping it, concerns me that he believes this to be normal behaviour. If it doesn’t sit well with you, say something.


  • Why do you need to be a working provider to be able to tell him to leave? I think you are doing the more important and harder job of being the parent at home. So you have as much right to be able to say something to your father in law.


  • I’d tell my husband that I will cook the meal for everyone and then as soon as my FIL got abusive I’d take the kids and let my husband know I’ll be back as soon as his father has left. This is our home not his father’s and we don’t deserve to be treated that way. I was very lucky to have parents, step-parents and in-laws who were never drunk around us. If my late husband had too much to drink he became very lovey-dovey and wanted to kiss and cuddle all the time. He was never abusive either physically or verbally. Hope you can get things sorted for your children’s benefit and your own.


  • We are estranged from my husband’s family. He is an abusive alcoholic who used to beat his wife whilst my hubby and his brother hid under the bed. His behaviour deteriorated as 3 more children were added to the family. Alcohol was not the excuse. He is an abusive man. But he would be more abusive with alcohol. After an accident left him incapacitated, his abuse turned from physical to emotional, financial, etc. He still held the power. He no longer has power over us. We were sick of hearing “you know what he’s like” which always excused his hideous behaviour. We have decided that our son (his grandson) does not need to be exposed to the violence, the abuse, the manipulation. And we have never been happier. Yes, we know what he’s like and we choose not to be part of his life.


  • There’s no excuse for being an arsehole. Why can people not treat others how they would want to be treated! I would be letting him know that he isnt welcome at events unless he can attend without the alcohol and the attitude!


  • I think sometimes we can see the real people when they drunk.


  • Yourhusband is the coward here. He needs to address this issue with his father, privately. If he won’t then do what I did, refuse them access to yourself and your kids, especially the father. You don’t have to deal with his petty shit, and it is your duty as a mother to protect your kids, even relatives who won’t behave in a reasonable manner. How would he like if someone went to his home and behaved like that??????? Being a grandparent doesn’t give you the right to do what you feel like in front of them. Teach your kids to stand up to abusers, not cover for them

    • I agree and if he knows he is like that when he drinks maybe he should monitor himself or not drink at all at functions/celebrations. I would not invite them to events.


  • I don’t think “I was drunk” is an acceptable excuse for any kind of bad behaviour, really. Not ever, unless maybe you’re a teenager trying alcohol for the first time.


  • Sounds like you are a stay at home mum – Who says that you are not a working provider – without you doing what you do to keep your household clean, your children and husband organised and fed, then your household would fall over very fast. Stop putting yourself down FIRST an FOREMOST. Now tell your husband that unless his father behaves next Christmas, he is not welcome at your home.
    Your children and your husband are your first priorities and you must let them know that and then the other problems will solve themselves. I have been in your position and I did put my foot down and eventually my FIL and I were on very good terms but it took a few years and I had to hold on fast to my reasons of why I would not accept his put down.
    Do hope it will work out for you in the long term as it did finally for me.

    • I’m glad it worked out for you mum101628 !


  • I sympathise with your situation so much and I need to let you know that it’s not acceptable in any way.

    I have been in the situation of having an abusive family member and I know how painful and damaging it is.

    There is obviously greater complexity in this then can be explained in a brief article. I will nevertheless do my best to help.

    I sometimes think that we take abuse from family members, that we would never allow from our closest friends. I have definitely been in that boat and so I understand your situation. I understand that it can be very difficult to ask a family member to leave, and that even if they do you leave that does not mean that the behaviour will not occur again.

    The thing that struck me about your article with how you said you didn’t have a standing because you were not a working provider. My opinion is that you are an equal partner in your relationship and you do have a job, a very valuable job, looking after your family.

    Whether you work 9-to-5 or not, you have a right for this abusive behaviour to stop.

    Economic factors should not be a part of this.

    Your father-in-law’s drinking is also no excuse for that behaviour. Never any of the other excuses that you mention. They can be mitigating factors but they shouldn’t be excuses, and like the welcome for those excuses has well and truly been worn out.

    I know it’s a difficult situation but I’d recommend speaking with your husband and working out a way to tackle this together, it is best to present a united front and to put some firm boundaries on your father-in-law.

    If that can’t occur then you have every right to stop the behaviour yourself. You should not have to put up with it and neither should your children.

    I would recommend speaking to a counsellor who can offer valuable insight. You could see the counsellor individually or as a couple, or even both.

    I’d like to wish you the best of luck and thank you for sharing your story.

    All the very best.


  • There is never an excuse for abuse. Never.


  • Other members of the family need to step in and stop the abuse.


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