Adult Daughter Is a Mess?

My adult daughter has been going in a downhill spiral for a long time now. She has been in a loveless marriage for at least ten years. She has been in and out of alcohol treatment for at least that long. She has had several jobs and has been let go from the last three due to her alcoholism. I am so disappointed in how her life has turned out.


She has three children ages 15, 13, and 10. She is not really concerned about them. She recently filed for divorce and lost her job. She is not financially able to take care of herself so I don't know what she is going to do. She has had numerous affairs during her marriage and her husband has remained married to her. The last time I talked to her, I told her how disappointed I was with her lack of caring about her children and the life she is living.

She hasn't talked to me in three weeks. I don't think I should call her and apologize, but I feel so bad because she is my daughter and I love her. She was married in 1995 so she would have been married 20 years in June. She went to counseling several times and of course, they said we were toxic to her. She has told people that we were abusive, but we raised two other children and they turned out just fine.


She is our oldest and when she was at home, we walked on eggshells because it seemed she was always angry or upset about something. My other two kids were easy going and happy go lucky, but she was always different. My husband and I have always had a good marriage and showed that openly to our children. She is just not a very loving person and I don't know why. I love her and miss her, but don't know what to do. Please help.

By Jackie K

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April 3, 20150 found this helpful

My heart aches with you and for you. You can never change her. She has to find her own way and you are not responsible for her actions. She will have to hit bottom to see what she is doing to herself and her life and her family. Like the below advice, you should focus on these children.


Get all the help you can - AA has support groups, your church (or find a church), community programs, etc. She may never make a change, but you can by NOT catering to her (don't apologize for her actions). God Bless (been there, done that)

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April 3, 20150 found this helpful

Here's what I know about alcoholics, or anyone else for that matter. Alcoholics will not change until they decide to make the change for themselves. I've had people from AA say about others who won't change "they haven't suffered enough". So, perhaps, even though your daughter's life appears to be a mess, she hasn't suffered enough.

Often, losing a job is a wake up call, but it doesn't seem to have been so in this case. You can't live your daughter's life for her. You can just do what you can do. I'd suggest going to Alanon family group meetings; I am told these are incredibly helpful, and assist one in dealing with your family members without enabling them. I urge you to keep contact with your daughter as best you can; don't let pride or stubbornness stand in your way. I also think that the other posters have some good advice - keep in contact with your son-in-law and your grandchildren.

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April 27, 20150 found this helpful

I was in a terrible way with mine as well. Even though she is younger, I was feeling very bad for her.


She was way worse then your situation. I told mine I rather see her dead then living that life. Well, she is doing much, much better now.

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August 4, 20170 found this helpful

I have a 19 yr old boy and he fine. I also have a 22 yr old daughter she been in a relationship for 9 yrs but was never happy. He got her smokin pot. She had jobs too but her partner never helped her get a way . She recently left him for another guy. They never married but his family won't leave her alone. I not good at writing bit better face to face with people. I kept buttin in and that didn't help. So I finally told her she on her own on who she with but of course I'll be here for her. Tell ur daughter if she don't get help herself that u will take custody of kids and she won't see them til she cleans up.

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August 20, 20170 found this helpful

Has she ever had any mental health counselling? I can understand your concerns and it's sad that this is also hard on her children.


But you can't force her to get help if she refuses. I'm so sorry for this situation.

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August 21, 20170 found this helpful

She needs both mental help and help for alcoholism. She is not fit to watch her children. You may have to get the court system involved for their sakes. It is an illness, she is not a mean person.

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February 9, 20190 found this helpful

tell her she needs to get back on track

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