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My dad is a nasty drunk, his mom is deaf... How can I combine both our lives?

Tagged as: Dating, Family<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (25 February 2018) 5 Answers - (Newest, 26 February 2018)
A female United Kingdom age 26-29, anonymous writes:

I have been speaking to this guy for a while, we have recently made it official. He met my parents the other day, and my father, got really very drunk (he is a drunk, we’ve tried so many times to get him to stop but he just won’t) I am now worried that when i meet his parents, the vibe is going to be very different as they live in a quiet village.

I also am very nervous as his mother is fully deaf and I don’t know how she would want me to behave. Obviously, I wouldn’t ignore her and would still talk to her but I don’t want to make her feel uncomfortable and have to keep asking me to repeat myself because obviously being deaf is a very difficult thing to live with.

So combining his life and my life, which are very different is going to be very challenging and when my dad gets in a way. i do not know what he may say.

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A male reader, Been there Now over it United States +, writes (26 February 2018):

Smile a lot. She'll understand and like you. I've used smiles all over the world and it seems as though everyone has understood and smiled back.

She is probably more worried about making you feel uncomfortable. Your boyfriend is probably ready to be the translator. Talk to him about this.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (25 February 2018):


"Perhaps she speaks sign-language and in time you may learn. Meanwhile; just be at-ease, be yourself and try to relax."

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A reader, anonymous, writes (25 February 2018):

Your boyfriend knows how to speak to his mother and he will communicate for you. Perhaps she speaks sign-language and in time you may learn. meanwhile, just be at ease, be yourself and try to relax.

It is unfortunate that your father is a drunk, but one thing has nothing to do with the other. Just meet his parents and for now handle issues separately. You can't work miracles, all you can do is learn to adapt to each situation.

Your dad has a problem and right now the alcohol means more to him than his own family. That's sad, but for now you can't do anything about that. I recommend that you seek counseling for children of alcoholic parents.


Your father has caused you psychological-trauma that really needs to be addressed. That is evidenced by the fact you're not sure how to connect and deal with the world outside your own situation. At your age, you should be able to move from one situation to the next seamlessly. People are people. Their disabilities don't define them, or make them any less human.

Just be a sweet person, and I wish you and your new boyfriend the best.

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A female reader, Youcannotbeserious United Kingdom + , writes (25 February 2018):

Youcannotbeserious agony auntWell, regarding the deaf mum, you need to ask your boyfriend how to communicate with her. Does she lip read? If so, speak clearly and make sure she can see your mouth when you are speaking to her. If she communicates by sign language, get your boyfriend to teach you a few phrases like "Hello, nice to meet you" and "Thank you" etc. That will show you have made an effort. Nobody will mind if you don't get it 100% right, as long as you try. If there is difficulty, your boyfriend will be there to translate.

Your dad is a bigger problem. Where is your mum in all this? If you have tried with your father and he simply cannot/will not give up the drink, and he turns nasty when under the influence, then all you can do is try to keep away from him as much as possible. Do you still live at home? If so, can you start figuring out how to move out? Not necessarily with the boyfriend (probably way too soon) but on your own or, if that's not possible, part of a house share? That way you won't need to have as much contact with your dad.

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A female reader, Andie's Thoughts United Kingdom +, writes (25 February 2018):

Andie's Thoughts agony auntFirst of all, please do some research of d/Deaf people. Being deaf is not automatically hard to live with. As with many hearing people who have no experience with deaf people, it's easy to think they are somehow struggling or incapable of certain things. For example, lots of people don't think deaf people can like music - not true.

1) Learn a few basic BSL signs, like "my name is...." (learn the alphabet), "I am hearing", "please can you repeat that slowly", "sorry", "water"/"tea"/"coffee", "lovely house", etc. It's not too difficult, if she signs (ask your boyfriend, as not all deaf people sign)

2) Always face her when you speak (but don't stare) and don't over-pronounce things, as it doesn't look at all like what you are actually saying

3) Just be polite and friendly. She's less likely to be uncomfortable than you are because she's used to hearing people, so avoid making assumptions

Most importantly, ASK your boyfriend how his mum communicates (sign, lipreading, hearing aids, verbally, all of the above, etc.)

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