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Aster's avatar

What causes alcoholism when you have 3 fabulous sons and lots of dough?

Asked by Aster (18860points) June 18th, 2018

So one of my stepsons came from money, got his degree, met his wife who has her degree and they married and have three fantastic sons as in handsome , sweet and sober. His mother gave each “child” a six figure inheritance two months ago. I know; it’s amazing, huh? The stepson has been teaching junior high for twenty five years; his wife teaches there too and the two sons who aren’t in college yet attend school there. Sometime within the last couple of months this pillar of the community stepson was caught (we don’t know the details) with half a pint of Vodka in his desk or closet and was fired !! Maybe he was given a warning before this? I don’t know. He is in a live in rehab for a month. Do you think he’ll ever be hired to teach again? His wife is very controlling; I mean he can’t even have a credit card! He’s a big, good looking, sweet man of fifty with everything going for him. What do you think happened? They’re in a gorgeous town of about seventy thousand people. His poor kids; I feel sorry for them.

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30 Answers

janbb's avatar

Presumably he was an alcoholic before he got his inheritance and possibly before he had three wonderful sons. There is a genetic pre-disposition to alcoholism; it is not usually a lifestyle choice.

Aster's avatar

His parents don’t drink at all but his grandfather sure did. Although he never lived anywhere near his grandparents.
We went to visit them once when the kids were small. Two Mormon neighbors walked over to chat. He went into his garage and got a beer out of an ice chest. I thought nothing of it at the time. We just all talked in the yard. HIs “little brother” and wife are definitely into beer and wine but I forgot about them. Interesting.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

Giving a young person so much so soon can destroy, or spoil , a person.

Aster's avatar

You mean the fifty year old? I doubt their sons have much access to it; their parents were told by the man’s mother the money was strictly for the boys’ education. I don’t know how that works legally but those boys were raised in a very nice, middle class neighborhood. Nothing fancy.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

I know one person who no longer gave any effort at life when they knew that a nice inheritance was coming.

Aster's avatar

@RedDeerGuy1 so do I . But the man in question’s wife has a firm stance on not retiring early regardless of inheritances. Her view is, “we work until we’re sixty five, period.”

zenvelo's avatar

Alcoholism has nothing to do with social class, education, money, or even upbringing. I know alcoholics from every walk of life.

And, it isn’t about getting an inheritance at age 50. That doesn’t make one an alcoholic.

Aster's avatar

@zenvelo you think some people think a fortune dropping into their lap would make them an alcoholic ? I’d rather think a yelling, controlling spouse might do it.

Aster's avatar

I’ll be back in the morning. Great answers, guys . Thanks.

stanleybmanly's avatar

There must have been more to the firing than a clandestine half pint of vodka.

si3tech's avatar

@Aster Heredity plays a part in alcoholism. Several of my relatives were alcoholics. I figured that if I drank to any degree I’d be more likely ti become alcoholic. Alcoholics in my family included both grandfathers, my father and both brothers and two children. I never believed it could NOT happen to me. I worked in a substance abuse program where I learned a lot about addiction. In learning, I was more able to understand many things I grew up with.

cookieman's avatar

A has nothing to do with B and C in this scenario.

Alcoholics come from all walks of life.

zenvelo's avatar

@Aster I don’t think that; you and @RedDeerGuy1 seem to think that.

LadyMarissa's avatar

Money does NOT make people happy!!!

As someone who was married to a chronic alcoholic, it really IS a “disease”!!! It’s in their DNA makeup & once they start drinking, there’s usually NO way to stop!!! Since there are alcoholics in his family, he is predisposed to become one. His brother may be one too & just haven’t got caught yet…or he might never become one!!!

My great grand dad was an alcoholic. He never drank; but, IF he ever had one drink he’d go on a binge & it would take the family 6–8 months to dry him back out.

I was just reading today that David Cassidy was a raging alcoholic to the point that he told his friends & family that he had Alzheimer’s to cover up when he was acting crazy. You would think that David was so rich & had the admiration of a whole generation of girls but NONE of that mattered to him. He felt lost & alone!!! Your stepson “appears” to have the perfect life; but, obviously HE doesn’t feel that he does!!! Honestly, having an overly controlling wife keeps his head in a bad place!!!

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

“His wife is very controlling”
Well, that’s likely one reason, their marriage certainly is not a team. You probably answered your own question. Genetics does play a role, so does boredom.

LadyMarissa's avatar

Do you think he’ll ever be hired to teach again?

I depends on how well qualified he was before getting caught. My guess (& it’s only a guess) is that this wasn’t his first time getting caught. IF he does want to continue teaching, he might get lucky & the person looking at his resume might be a drinker & see nothing wrong with his drinking at school. On the other hand, since he’s now wealthy, he might choose to retire from teaching to sit home & stay drunk. Still guessing…he’s probably going to need a LOT of family support no matter which way it goes!!!

Aster's avatar

^^^^^. There is No Way his wife would or should allow him to “sit home and stay drunk.” She won’t even let him retire sober !
I cannot imagine someone hiring him because he’s also a drinker. I really doubt any school would ever hire him and I also suspect this was his “second chance” and he failed . Just guessing; may know more later.
We sent him a loving, caring email since they won’t accept calls or visits.

LadyMarissa's avatar

Then he will get a different job & hide his stash a lot better than before!!! I found vodka bottles hidden in the toilet tank, inside my upright piano, in my dog’s house, under the hood of my car, in the trunk of his car. in the pockets of his pants hanging in our closet, above the tiles in our ceiling. And that was just the bottles that I found & I have NO idea how many i didn’t find!!! Admittedly he went through a LOT of jobs but there was ALWAYS somebody willing to hire him!!! Another drunk will give him a chance IF he promises to not do it again. He’ll promise & then he’ll get caught again!!! YES, he means it when he says he’ll stop; but his body just won’t allow it!!! He needs MORE than a month of rehab. He needs to WANT TO STOP!!!

With the wife’s controlling behavior, I’m finding it difficult to believe that she hasn’t found a way to stop him because he’s drinking at home too!!!

rojo's avatar

Stress, boredom, heredity, fear, loathing, there are as many causes as there are alcoholics. This one is tough, it sounds like he appeared to be leading a double life, a public one and a private one. Perhaps being expected to be perfect was too much strain.

KNOWITALL's avatar

“His wife is very controlling; I mean he can’t even have a credit card!”

Since I’ve been in a similar situation, I will tell you my hypothesis based on this one sentence.

He has issues and has had for some time. She has had to take him off the accounts so he doesn’t spend all their money on something. Perhaps what you see as controlling, is her trying to control a situation she is dealing with that not many other people know about in order to protect him, their family, or his job.

The person I took off of my accounts had a great reputation and a charming personality, along with good looks. He also had a major addiction that caused me to lock my purse in a safe every night. Unless you live it, you have no way of knowing the truth of a situation someone deals with privately.

flutherother's avatar

It seems a coincidence that after 25 years’ service he has been caught drinking just two months after coming into a sizeable inheritance. Possibly it’s just coincidence as alcoholism doesn’t develop overnight. Nor does it go away after a month in rehab. When he comes out the pressures of not having a job and having time on his hands will make him very susceptible to a relapse.

As others have said alcoholism can affect anyone. It is a disease that often runs in families. The only cure is complete abstinence. I hope he can get past this and find another job.

Aster's avatar

@flutherother I have been thinking that one month in there is insufficient. I also agree totally that when he gets out he’ll have to deal with his wife’s anger and embarrassment, his kids’ embarrassment, his guilt and not having a job. And all this will drive him to drink again.
I just remembered that when they were first married he had a “collectors’ car” he would work on all the time. His wife became very upset due to all the money he was spending on that car. I bet she wishes she had handled that differently. He did end up selling it because of her.

janbb's avatar

@Aster FWIW, I know people who have had great success in going to AA after rehab.

LadyMarissa's avatar

@KNOWITALL brought up a very valid point. IF I gave my hubs $50 he spent it ALL on booze. IF I gave him$5 he spent it ALL on booze. So, I gave him $5/day so he’d be less drunk when I picked him up from work. One of his coworkers told me I was a Class-A bish because I expected him to live on just $5/day. I challenged him to give him a better allowance & see what he would get in return!!! A credit card would be out of the question or he’d be buying gallons of vodka by the case!!!

To point out the severity, my hubs finally did work hard to quit & then he began to have blackouts. He was at his parents home one day heading down the steps when he had a blackout & he dove head first into a wall instantly breaking his neck where he took his last breath. His death certificate show the cause of death as “chronic alcoholism”.

zenvelo's avatar

@Aster …And all this will drive him to drink again.

Not necessarily.Part of the recovery process in rehab is dealing with the embarrassment, anger, and resentment in the family when one returns to daily life. A good treatment facility will spend time working out a plan to stay sober.

Inspired_2write's avatar

Alcoholism is a way to escape his controlling wife which probably reminds him of his con tolling mother during his childhood?
This marriage is doomed from the beginning that his wife stopped being a partner and communicated with this man in a loving manner other than outright demands..that is why he drinks and soon will leave this chaotic situation or try suicide if he cannot obtain counselling to determine the “why” he feels that he has to drink himself to death to get noticed? I bet once he gets to the real reason, he will leave his demanding wife anyways.

zenvelo's avatar

@Inspired_2write On the other hand, the wife is a perfect codependent enabler of the husband’s alcoholism. That is not why he drinks. He drinks because he is an alcoholic.

Inspired_2write's avatar

@zenvelo
Which does not bode well for a successful union.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@zenvelo I’d love to have a thread about this sometime. I completely disagree that she’s an enabler. I do agree he drinks due to his own addiction-cause and effect.

Aster's avatar

I saw a photo and post on Facebook of the man , then a teenager with his uncle and his wife and his mother. It said that he had been on a Yellowstone vacation with them and he would not stop whining about missing his friends! His mother told him if he didn’t be quiet she’d put him on a plane ! At some point after her threat she actually did. She bought a plane ticket and made sure he was on it and headed for home! His mother is quite wealthy but taught gifted boys for decades regardless.

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