I really want my parents to split up, but I’m scared of what my Dad will do if we leave him – Please Help




My parents have been together for a long time now, and although my Dad is an alcoholic, I do think my Mum still loves him. It’s complicated because I’ve been begging my Mum to divorce my Dad for years now and she always makes promises and never goes through with them. She has promised things over and over again, and disappoints me and my sister over and over again. I know she’s not the one to blame for my Dad’s alcoholism, but she makes things so much worse by promising things and never doing them. Both of my parents have been asking me and my sister separately if one of them should divorce the other ever since we were six years old, but as a child I obviously said I would never want that as I always though divorce was only if you stopped loving each other. I never took into account that someone might have to get a divorce for their children’s sake. That’s my situation. My Dad is the one in my family who has an alcohol problem, but I am constantly worried of what he might do if we do leave him (if my Mum would ever keep her promises). He has always threatened suicide, and all sorts of things, but has never gone through with it. But what if things get so bad if we leave and he does something terrible? He’s still my Dad and I don’t want him to commit. If he does, I just know I will feel so responsible for it, and I just don’t think I could be the one to blame. It feels like it would be my fault if he does anything to himself, and I just couldn’t do it to my Mum. I feel like I can’t stay here either though. Honestly, I just feel trapped and I don’t know what to do. Advice please???
Thank you to anyone who does reply x

  • listener


    I'm sorry to hear about your situation and that your dad's drinking is affecting the whole family. I'm sure that your mum does love your dad which is why she finds it hard to leave him. However if she does end up leaving him then his reaction to that is not your fault or responsibility. It is not your fault that your dad drinks and something that I think could be useful for you to think about is something that we call the 6C’s.

    • I didn’t cause it
    • I can’t cure it
    • I can’t control it
    • I can take care of myself
    • I can communicate my feelings
    • I can make healthy choices

    You cannot control what your dad does. What support do you have around you at the moment? Do you have any friends that you can talk to?

    I hope that the message boards help and you can always get in touch with the helpline as well.

    Kind regards,


  • happyhobbitlife

    I'm sorry that this is happening. I honestly had a very similar experience and ultimately my parents are still together. I'm an adult now in my late 20s and only this year found out that my mum seriously looked into getting divorced but decided not to go through with it. I often felt frustrated or angry that she wouldn't be strong and leave, for our sake if not just for hers, but I have come to forgive her, even if I wish she'd done differently.
    Parents are only doing their best and sometimes their best feels no where near good enough. It's not a reflection on you, it's their own baggage.
    Try to keep some emotional distance and make plans for a safe exit, whether it's by going to Uni when you're able to or finding a job when you can do that you can get your own place when you're old enough and ready to.
    I wish you the absolute best of luck and I promise that once you get that distance, things will feel much more manageable. You can get there

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