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I’m a few days later than others here but your post resonated. I am a parent of one child, now a 23 yr old. While he was growing up I had to make some difficult – at times complicated – choices on his behalf. There are things that sometimes we just do have to give up on behalf of children, no matter how much we like them. You have chosen to give up heavy drinking w/ the family friend. You were right to see and ‘listen’ to your son’s reaction to this. If I were in your situation now I would 1) tell my wife that you are no longer going to ‘party hard’ with “Tracy” and others, 2) tell your wife that you and she need a united front that your sons will not go to the friend’s house unsupervised and not be with that friend at all when she is drinking heavily. 3) You and your wife can go see the friend and talk with her unaccusingly about your concerns. 4) Regardless of the friend’s reaction, you maintain your decision that your sons will not witness that behavior at your home or anywhere else you allow them to go.
I don’t have all the answers…sometimes not even the right ones for me. But that is how I would handle things. You didn’t mention how old your sons are, but I had a #5 of things to do to fix a situation in my own life years ago. After a verbal incident with my exhusband at home that shocked my 16 year old son, who I did not know was nearby, I did go to my son and apologize, and commit to not repeating that. I told him that adults to should not behave that way. So my situation was different, but you son(s) may appreciate knowing that you saw that they are uncomfortable and that you will prevent that in the future. Wishing you the best.
Thank you, sunflower, for posting about my question. Glad to know that there are others who have touched on the same situation. I appreciate the empathy. As for the marriage, I am learning that solid relationships can come in unexpected circumstances. Always have hope.
I appreciate you making time to read and comment. The “blind spot” observation makes a lot of sense. Often we family members are not aware of the old biases we carry thru life. I have thought a lot about the original story of The Ugly Duckling this year, so your suggestion to find my ‘real’ family is timely too. Thank you for your comments.
Thank you for taking time to review my original post and reply in a thoughtful manner. I do appreciate your input and time.