Ask Amy: Brother’s drinking disrupts tight family


Dear Amy: We are a tight-knit small family. We usually spend five to seven days at my parents’ house together at Christmastime every year.

My brother is a heavy drinker with a huge drinking problem. He is condescending, rude, and berates everyone.

In 2019, after years of this behavior, I had had enough and flung some very honest truths at him before packing my bags, leaving, and spending my holidays alone.

It was also the last time I got to see all of my family before the pandemic hit, so it has been doubly hard.

I’m still very hurt by my family, who have watched him behave like this over the years and still allow it to take place.

My mother told me: “It’s just how he is. He treats everyone like that.”

He has never apologized for or acknowledged his behavior.

I have made it clear to my parents that I will not be present at family functions he is invited to.

My boyfriend and I are expecting our first child around Christmas and I want to spend the holidays with my family, but I don’t know what to do.

I can’t subject myself to his outbursts anymore. I have an at-risk pregnancy.

I know it isn’t my place to ask my parents to choose between us. I don’t want him to spend his holidays alone, either. He literally has no one other than us, is prone to depression, and his health is failing because of his drinking.

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