Driving drunk is not something to be taken lightly. It is incredibly dangerous to get behind the wheel of a car while intoxicated.
Up to 30 people per day die as a result of drunk driving—either as the driver or being involved in an incident with another driver. The odds are against you if you get on the road intoxicated and on your own head should something happen.
However if you bring children into the car with you…something is very wrong, which is how 35-year-old Redditor ThrowRA_CanIFix felt after finding out something very dark about his also 35-year-old girlfriend.
He went to the popular subReddit “Relationship Advice” to see how he should handle this.
“I caught my girlfriend (GF) driving drunk with her kids — And it seems like it’s just the tip of the iceberg…”
This is clearly a hard topic for our Original Poster (OP).
“I’ll start by saying I HATE a long, horribly thought out reddit post, so I’ll do my best to consolidate the BS.”
“I also try my hardest to structure my posts in the most unbiased way, but please, take what I say with a grain of salt, as I would do with anyone.”
“I’m not perfect, and I have opinions, even when I try to be fair.”
After uprooting his life to be with his girlfriend, he discovered it wasn’t the best decision he’d ever made.
“I moved from Denver to San Diego, to be with my GF (Mother of 2 with split custody). I sold my home, moved my company, etc…”
“Sure, she was a big reason, but I also knew it would be an adventure no matter what happened.”
“I could go in for a while about how the adjustment phase has sucked, because her kids (4 m[ale] & 7 f[emale]) unfortunately are not held accountable for their actions; Peeing on the floor, jumping into our bed during sex, telling adults no.”
“My GF says ‘they are kids, it’s so hard to be constant in showing them what’s right or wrong’ (she really is saying their willingness to be defiant, VASTLY outweighs her willingness to be persistent for their developmental growth… but that’s neither here nor there).”
“I could bring up a lot of issues, but most of them are issues I firmly believe can be fixed with time and love. However the other day she did something that made me literally sick to my stomach.”
That thing that made OP sick was definitely dark.
“She took her children to a friend’s parents’ house, who has a nice pool. Of course, those friends show up, plus a few others.”
“I had to work, but could see via IG story that they were drinking. I didn’t think much of it till she got home at 6ish… HAMMERED.”
“I’m not talking tipsy, or drunk.. I mean full on blackout, pointing at random shit, can’t hold herself up, drunk.”
“And then it occurs to me that she drove the kids home, and I lost it. She fabricated a story that the friend actually drove her car home and then walked back home, which was obviously BS.”
“The next day she came clean, after I had to tell her mother and best friend. She obviously feels horrible, but doesn’t seem to be that remorseful…”
After the argument, OP’s cracks in his relationship began to show.
“She has an existing DUI on her record, and we have already encountered tension over her drinking in volume, and in the mornings. She admits drinking is a problem for her.”
“But yet… she tries to push past it and talk about me being too strict with the kids, or other things. All I can think is she doesn’t really care about what she did.”
“So… she told me at the end of the discussion she thinks I should get my own place, while we continue to work on the relationship on the pretense that it will alleviate the tension from the kids acting the way they do.”
“All I can think is are you seriously stepping over the fact you drive drunk, to make me calling your kids out for not peeing, the bigger issue?”
OP is in a terrible position with his girlfriend, now.
“The bottom line… I love her to death. I think she needs someone by her side right now.”
“I sold my home, moved my company, left friends and pets back home… and this is what I’m being welcomed with though? I’m lost.”
“I don’t know if I pack my shit up and leave, or buck up and be the person she needs in her and her children’s lives.”
“Thank you for your input. It means a lot.”
Redditors showed up to give OP his requested advice.
Many cited information the OP provided in comments about the children’s father and his prior dating history.
Unfortunately, most believed his time with his girlfriend is through.
“I’m a recovering alcoholic who absolutely loves children. But I have no children because I could never imagine putting them through a childhood like this.”
“You shouldn’t consider ‘staying by her side’ right now unless she makes the commitment to stay sober. Otherwise it’s classic enabling.”
“The only time I’m in favor of ultimatums is when it comes to addiction, but you can’t force an alcoholic to stop. She has to decide that.”
“I know it sucks that you made a huge life change based on your feelings for her, but you’ll end up wasting years of your life if you continue to let yourself be sucked in.”
“And if she won’t change, leave—but tell the kids’ father first. He needs to be aware.”~Shutinneedout
“She has to choose herself over the bottle. This may come off as harsh, but you’re clearly enabling this woman and have some codependency issues.”
“But she’s not doing anyone (even herself) any favors by continuing to drink. Her alcoholism has likely overtaken her completely if she’s driving drunk, blacking out and putting her kids in danger.”
“For your sake, I’d say leave ASAP. But I know that’s easier said than done when there are kids and you are codependent.”
“As for ‘women not choosing you’, dude you’ve had one relationship prior to this one and she wasn’t the one. You sound kind and accomplished and like you have a lot to offer. You’ll find someone.”
“And in all honesty, you may need therapy or Alanon from what you’ve said about your own upbringing. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’ll just help you learn how you deserve to be treated, etc.”
“Feel free to PM if you need someone to talk to. I relate to many parts of this story and am willing to listen. But I’m rooting for you to make the right call for you…and the kids.”~Shutinneedout
“As someone raised by an alcoholic, please please please OP, tell their dad. He needs full custody of these kids until she sorts out her mental state, addiction, and priorities.”
“It will get to the point that once the kids are old enough to reach the pedals, she will make them drive without a license. She will continue to do this, and no amount of support will stop her.”
“Worse, if you two begin to fight, she may claim you hurt her kids in some way by being strict (which they need.) They need a parent, not a friend to them.”
“Their dad seems like a great guy, and I know you’re trying to make it work with her since you care deeply for her, but you can’t fix her. Keep a log of her behavior, texts, photos, anything.”
“I know you care, I can tell you love her with how much you put up with, but the future of two young children—and your own—are in jeopardy. Their dad may wake up one day to find his whole world has shattered because they died in an accident that was preventable.”
“Those kids could see their mom die in an accident and be traumatized. You would wake up to find the same.”
“At the end of the day, you can’t fix her. She will fight it tooth and nail. It has to be her choice to be a sober partner and parent.”
“She won’t believe her actions are wrong if you stay, and those kids will suffer for the rest of their lives with those memories. She will play the victim, she will claim it is hard, but as a parent she doesn’t get to use that as an excuse.”
“Of course it is hard. If it wasn’t hard, every parent would be a super hero, and the world be utopia. That is the reality of it, and she is still fighting the responsibility.”
“You don’t have to be the parent, you don’t have to be the friend, but you have to tell someone. Otherwise you’re just as guilty for allowing the behavior to continue.”~JustLoadAlready
“You pack your stuff and leave. There are so many instances of ‘fundamental differences in values’ that I won’t even bother addressing them.”
“She does need people by her side, but those people are a case worker and a therapist.”
“My advice is to cut your losses before it goes on too long, get a new place, find a new partner, and move on. Enjoy San Diego. Find someone that at least halfway has their sh*t together.”
“Best of luck to you.”~Lornesto
Unfortunately, OP’s girlfriend has many unaddressed issues.
“I had a drinking problem, I have a dui on my record, and no matter how drunk I got, it was NEVER an option to have any alcohol and drive my kid. She needs help, she needs a call from CPS, and as for the pissing thing, that’s gross.”
“You leave. Get out or get her into rehab asap.”~Myrtlesquirtle88
“You can’t fix her. I’ve read all your comments and it sounds like you put a lot of stock in giving people the chance to grow.”
“I respect that, but at the same time this is a 35 year old woman who shows no remorse over what she did—and driving blackout drunk with her two children is a reprehensible, vile thing to do.”
“You know this. She’s a bad mother, a bad PERSON who endangered not only her and her kids lives, but the lives of everyone on the road that day, and she needs more than your handholding to get better.”
“She is not going to get better because you ask her to, she isn’t going to turn into a good mother and give up drinking just because you ask. If the fact that she drove drunk with her kids wasn’t enough to convince her, you sure as hell aren’t going to.”
“Please leave. Please call CPS, and please leave her.”~fatbellylouise
“She is half right… you SHOULD get your own place. But she is wrong about working on the relationship.”
“You should end the relationship and tell the kids’ dad that she almost murdered them.”
“Anyone who doesn’t see anything wrong with driving blackout drunk especially with their children in the car cannot be helped or fixed.”
“If you stay, and especially if you don’t tell the kids’ dad what happened, you will be almost as guilty as she is when she kills them because you could have intervened.”~the_last_basselope
OP came back with two updates.
“I came home, even showed her this post. I asked why I shouldn’t tell the father?”
“We talked, I told her she needed help immediately whether or not I am in her life. I really laid into her, which didn’t feel good.”
“She even tried to say she could control her drinking which I quickly cut her off and explained to her, that was total BS; she literally just drove drunk with kids.”
“She was an emotional wreck. I told her I would always love her, and relationship or not I would be by her side when she needed help.”
Then her primary enabler got involved.
“Then… I got a text from her Mother. Mind you, I’m 35. She says:”
“’ I know you love ________ and she is not perfect but please don’t threaten to talk to ____ (the father/ex). That is not tactic to mend a relationship’.”
“‘I like you _____ but I love my daughter. I wished that this relationship was a long lasting one’.”
“‘Maybe it could be still. I think if you guys had done it different perhaps it would have been better’.”
“… and I was dumbfounded. It’s not only her, it’s her mother who doesn’t understand just how serious this all is.”
“She’s literally defending her daughter from consequences that have been watered down. I can only imagine what she would have said to the cop that pulled her daughter over …’you’re being a jerk of a cop, not the way to deal with this…’.”
And it kept coming from all sides.
“And then her one friend, who I really do respect calls. As it turns out, after I extended one last offer to help my GF, and told her I was running the show (breathalyzer, therapy, AA, car breathalyzer… none of which I even have to do..) she ran to mom, cried that she was scared of me and that I was going to have the children taken.”
“She blew the story way out of proportion and apparently hadn’t actually come clean about the kids being in the car, or who knows; she didn’t tell the truth, that’s for sure.”
“Once the mother and friend realized the stories weren’t lining up, I got a text from the mom saying:”
“’I don’t hate you and I didn’t know all of what was going on. I just think that it started to feel unhealthy even if your goal was to help’.”
“Grabbed my stuff for the night and bailed. Going back to Colorado tomorrow for a week or 2 to be by myself. I’ve been dealing with other people’s problems for so long.”
And then OP found it was past all hope shortly after:
“I really wanted to show the family this Reddit post, and all the comments. Some people think I have things to work on in my parenting, which is something I accept with open arms.”
“However I think most everyone unanimously agreed that the drinking was the FARRRR BIGGER ISSUE and me telling people was the correct thing, such as my GFs mom, her friend, etc.”
“Today, after my GF’s logical friend (who agrees with me in this situation) asked if I would speak to the GF’s mom. I had said sure, hoping it would alleviate stress on their relationship, and maybe help my GF. Not even close…”
“I was pretty happy when she [the mom] said ‘I saw your reddit post’ cause it meant, well I thought, that she would see what I was doing was loving and for her daughters best interest. Instead, she argued:”
- “that I can’t say her daughter is an alcoholic, despite her recent actions, but then goes on to say that I can’t, and shouldn’t save her.”
- “that if I had driven drunk with her grandkids in the car, that she would be upset, ‘kick my butt’, but wouldn’t call the cops.”
- “that all of the people on Reddit who say the father and authorities need to be notified are wrong. Yep, roughly 1500+ peers…. all wrong. Maybe that gives you an idea of what I’m dealing with.”
- “she wanted to argue arbitrary facts of her daughters DUI like the location of which she was stopped, and that it was 13 years ago, while simultaneously admitting she was driving on a bare rim, and blackout drunk.”
“She, like her daughter, used the ‘bad parenting’ and things I mentioned about the living situation (such low hanging fruit in my opinion…) as an argumentative tactic to detract from the real issue; her daughter put her life, her grand kids, and other people’s lives in danger.”
“But during this portion, informed me that kids don’t have to wash hands (she didn’t) and that peeing on the floor is normal. She seems to believe it’s only the 4 yo son that’s doing this, when in reality the 7 yo daughter has done it as well.”
“Regardless, hearing this argument made it all too clear that this wasn’t something she was going to realize anytime soon.”
“I will always love my GF but I realized as her mother was making decisions for her, and downplaying the severity of the issue, that this wasn’t my place. I told her I was done.”
“I feel horrible as I believe my GF is stuck in the middle of this and doesn’t know what to do, but at some point I hope she will start living for herself and accept her actions, instead of letting mom enable these actions. I love her so much and always will.”
At the end of a terrible situation, OP made a tough decision to end the relationship.
He didn’t disclose whether he notified the children’s father or the authorities.