Should I kick my son out?

February 17, 2016   Jon Wells

Dear Jon,

I am a single mom with a 42 year old son who is an alcoholic. I’ve been going to Al-anon for the past couple of months and have realized that I might need to kick my son out of the house. Usually he does pretty good while drinking, but lately he has become more violent. Also, as of late, my finances have taken a turn for the worse and I cannot support him anymore. If I kick him out of my house and something were to happen to him, I would feel a kind of guilt that would rip me apart. I’m so conflicted and I don’t think I can make this decision alone.


Conflicted with decisions

Dear Conflicted

I’m of the opinion that there are some things one should never advise another to do: buying cars, whether or not they should go skydiving as a milestone in one’s life, buying that cute adorable puppy that when it looks at you your soul breaks into a tiny little pieces and kicking kids out of your house.

And yet I cannot help but say that it seems apparent to me that you need to let your son know it is time to find another place to live so you can live the rest of your life in peace and harmony, or fun and excitement. Not because I think it’s a good idea, but because I think you have already made the decision to do so.

There’s nothing wrong living at home with one’s parents. Who wouldn’t want free rent, free food, free laundry, free internet and cable, and maybe even a free pool great for partying with friends. The problem I see in this is that it’s all FREE and it’s taken a toll on your finances. Another issue is that he is becoming violent when he drinks.

Dr. Phil did a series back in 2004 about “Kick ‘em Out!”. It was a series about a 30 year old, still at home and the mom was scared to kick her daughter out because she would feel guilty doing it. Dr. Phil tells the mom, Susan, “You have got to put some boundaries down. What you’re doing is feeding your own guilt. Maybe you do feel guilty because you have not been a great mother along the past, and so you’re trying to make it up now. But if you do not put down some boundaries, you’re going to have this situation for the rest of your life.”

I could not agree more with Dr. Phil. If you do not put down boundaries around kicking him out or getting help with his disease, than the situation is going to be with you the rest of your life. Forever and ever and ever with no peace that you so desperately want.

Remember this, Conflicted, you did not cause him to drink, you cannot control his drinking and you cannot cure his drinking. Take measures to protect yourself until he wants help.

You’ve got this.


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