JC: Shelly, thanks for sharing your story about the alcoholic in your life threatening to commit suicide. I can understand why you would be worried and unsettled about this matter. It is hard to disern what an active alcoholic might do when they are talking about ending their own life. Is there a law in your state where you can have him admitted to the hospital against his will if he is a threat to himself or others? In Fl. we have a mental health act referred to as The Baker Act.
Guest Post By: Shelly
The father of two of my children, my ex-husband called me to ask if he can sleep in his truck in my backyard. He is homeless and has not spoken to his kids in months. He thinks the girls should call him.
He has not been speaking to me because after years of just letting him pull his crap, I lost it and told him exactly what I thought of him.
I have gone out of my way not to speak badly of him in front of the girls. I wanted them to form their own opinion of him as they grew up, always hoping he would get it together by the time they were old enough to understand what he was doing.
He shows up looking like death and looking more defeated than I have ever seen him. He tells me he wants to commit suicide but does no have the nerve. After years of lies… I actually got worried when I looked into his eyes. Our oldest daughter rejected him and he just could not handle how far he had fallen.
He decided to go to a meeting. When he got back he was picked up by an alcoholic friend to go to an AA meeting who could not believe I was letting him sleep in his truck. I have tried for years to help him. (check out Being Kind To An Alcoholic)
My current husband has tried o give him work and help him because he loves my girls and wants them to be happy. He ended up stealing from us and them blaming us for all he problems. (see Why Do Alcoholics Steal?)
I want him to get help but do not want o get dragged back into the mess. I am scared he will kill himself, and cannot bear th thought of telling my girls he is dead. I know this is how it will probably go down but it still upsets me.
It also makes me angry that I am constantly having to clean up after him. I have to try to help the girls understand that it has nothing to do with them, I also have to deal with their anger, both with him and me for making him their father. I can’t win with anyone. I know of he decides to commit suicide it will not be my fault, but still cannot bear the thought. There is always the chance it is all a plan to suck me back in…..
Here are a few articles that may help cope with the alcoholic who you are worried about:
How To Detach From An Alcoholic
How To Have Tough Love With An Alcoholic
Loving An Alcoholic
Am so sorry you are going through years of alcoholic behavior with your ex. As long as he is drinking, he will be the same, so support has to be an intervention before the children totally turn away from him. I understand his addiction to alcohol, but he is causing misery to so many people.
I don’t drink because I have read and seen what alcohol does to people and their families. Your current husband certainly has been marvelous through all of this. Professional advice will set you free – you will be given a course of action so everyone can go forward. I would have told your ex off, too, but you can see it doesn’t change his situation.
Take good care of yourself and get excited about Halloween with your children – they deserve your love and attention not your ex.
so sorry you have to go through this kind of lifestyle, glad that you have moved on though and you are providing your children with a better life. I have been in a similiar situation where my boyfriend told me he was going to commit suicide and while drunk he actually did. I told him and myself at that point that we are all going to die sooner or later and if that is the plan that god has for you than I have done everything in my power to help you and now it is between you and god. He is now 2 months sober and looks to god for help when he has problems. I think his attempt has renewed his faith somewhat and has actually showed him how special life is. Of course there is always a worry he might do it again but for now Im letting god take care of him and I am taking care of myself and my children. We cannot take responsibility for these people,in the end it is all up to them. You did a great job supporting him until now. You have showed him respect and love. He must now find that in himself. Prayer is powerful. good luck to you and take care of yourself first so that you can take care of everybody else mom!
Shelly, I can’t hold everything together for everyone in my life that I care about. All I can do is love each person to the best of my abilities. At the end of the day that’s what helps me sleep without agonizing interruption. I rarely ignore someone’s mention of suicide. One of the best things going here is that your ex has kids. I know when I reached my lowest point in life, it was my love for my kids that kept me safe from crossing the line of being suicidal to committing the actual act.
We always mention Al-anon here. I am encouraging you to try out the program. It will help you tremendously to get connected with others who understand your frustrations.
Hoping the best for you today!
Shelly, thank you for sharing your story. As I wrote a few weeks ago, alcoholics are users and they use people as well as substances. I understand your frustration, because he has now successfully invaded your life again. You don’t need to carry around any more guilt for his choices. I pray that he does not commit suicide and, as a fellow human being, you can recommend that he get psychiatric help; but you do have the right to set up boundaries and insist that he respect them. You owe him nothing and he owes his girls big time.
Shelly, I am moved to tears by your story. Alcoholism really takes away the good things in life. I wonder how old your children are? I think it is important to continue to encourage your ex-husband to get help. This website has an excellent course that teaches how to cope with alcoholics. There is even a section that talks about how to handle this kind of situation that you are upset about. You have to always do the next right thing. Just do what you know in your heart is the right thing to do. You have no control over the alcoholic. If he chooses to commit suicide, you are not responsible for his poor choices in life. You are only responsible for your own life. Make sure you keep your life free from any possibility of guilt in the future by doing what you feel is the right thing to do in this situation now. In other words, life without regrets.
I have been dealing with an alcoholic boyfriend for 5 yrs. He has broken lots of things in places where we have lived. He tells me he is going to commit suicide everyday. What can I do?
Call this number:
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Also, Google search “Suicide Hotline” in your area.
DO NOT WAIT! Find help right NOW from people who are experts in the field of dealing with people threatening to commit suicide.