‘My alcoholic mother-in-law moved in with us and has caused enormous stress’

John Sharry: It is abusive for her to drink chaotically and to be drunk in front of your children

When you do talk to your mother-in-law, pick a time when she is sober and your children are not there. Photograph: iStock

When you do talk to your mother-in-law, pick a time when she is sober and your children are not there. Photograph: iStock

Question: My mother-in-law has lived with us for the last three years – moving in suddenly after her husband’s funeral. She is an alcoholic and the last three years have caused enormous stress on my husband and me, and our two boys, now aged 11 and 12 years.

My boys hate having her here as she is constantly drunk. One of my boys has become withdrawn, argumentative, seems lost in his own world, and wants to be on his Xbox all the time talking to his friends. He says he just always wants to escape from life and would do anything to go back to the way things were before my mother-in-law came. My heart is absolutely broken for him. He won’t talk to his dad about it and refuses to go to see someone. I’m losing my really happy jolly boy and it is heart-breaking.

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