“I need your help with a very sensitive situation with my in-laws. My mother-in-law drinks too much at family functions. We recently celebrated my son’s first birthday party (her first grandchild) and she (again) had too much to drink. She was slurring her words, wobbly on her feet and was having uncomfortable conversations with our other guests.
When my wife confronted her about her behavior (at the party), she became defensive and immediately responded that my wife is too judgmental. She used profanity at my wife and said she was never coming to our house again. She also began to act like a teenager and stomped up the stairs and slammed doors, etc. We are concerned for her safety as well as the safety of our son.
This has been a pattern for her over the past 15-plus years. I am only just coming into this situation within the last four years since marrying my wife. It seems to be a cycle where these situations occur, my mother-in-law backs off drinking for a few months and then she starts back up again.
How can we address this issue without having her feel like we are having an intervention or attacking her?
When she is not drinking she is the best mother-in-law and grandmother in the world. She is very helpful and always goes above and beyond for the family. — Concerned Son-In-Law”
What kind of response did you expect from a drunk person? Of course she’s going to throw a tantrum, call you names and swear at you! That’s what drunk people do when they get defensive! There’s no point in trying to talk to them.
You answered your own question. When she’s sober, she’s great. Ergo, talk to her about her behavior then and bring up your concerns.