AUNT'S CORNER

My 70 year old grandfather is a life-long alcoholic; he is straight for about a month then goes on a weekly-monthly binge. When he is drunk, the house turns into hell. The problem is that when he gets drunk, he starts arguing with my grandmother whenever he feels like it, and since he wakes up at 3am, he wakes and torments her.

My 70 year old grandfather is a life-long alcoholic; he is straight for about a month then goes on a weekly-monthly binge. When he is drunk, the house turns into hell. The problem is that when he gets drunk, he starts arguing with my grandmother whenever he feels like it, and since he wakes up at 3am, he wakes and torments her.

To get rid of him she has to yell and argue for hours, her blood pressure rises and it’s ruining her health. How can we get him to leave her alone during his binges if leaving him is not an option, though he never uses violence, just sadistic arguments? Please help me help my grandparents.
 
Ange

Dear Ange,
That’s sad. It’s a real shame that your grandfather hasn’t got a handle on his drinking at his age- he should be able to see what it’s doing to your poor grandmother.

When he’s on a binge, is it possible your grandmother could stay at someone else’s place? Or is there a separate room? Someone really needs to talk to your grandfather - when he’s sober, and tell him that waking your grandmother up and tormenting her is really affecting her health.

She could even try saying if he doesn’t stop, she wants him to move out of their room? That might scare him into thinking about what he’s doing.

By the way I think your entire family should be involved in telling him that his drunken antics are killing his wife (figuratively and even literally).

But if you feel like it’s out of control and you’ve done all you could on your own and as a family, it’d be best to seek professional help.

Maybe trying rehabilitation for your grandfather or going as a group to a psychiatrist could give you other alternatives and uncover other underlying issues. Though, I also know that rehabilitation for a person at that age is not the best solution.

Even though the situation is not as drastic as physical abuse, but words hurt as well and nobody deserves to tolerate an atmosphere where they feel hurt or tormented, more especially when you get to that retirement age where you want to take things easy.

Your grandmother should not  leave him at that age, one will wonder where she is going  after tolerating him all these years.

But also just because grandma has been abused for a lifetime, it is not right for her to continue her olden days being abused by a drunk.

This is an era where people would not put up with abuse, during her days she had no option but to allow it, but it doesn’t mean she likes it!

She now has many options at her disposal; she has many of you who can take her in for a few days so that she can take a rest from the harassment. Maybe, if your grandfather does not see her around for a while, he will stop his drinking binge, and contemplate about his life and his wife’s health and happiness.

In the meantime seek a professional counselor who will give advice to your grandfather.

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