While Hoping For Long Term Soberiety, He Filed For Divorce

The following story was submitted by one of our faithful participants. Her husband has spent years attempting to overcome an addiction to alcohol. This last time, as she was hoping he would achieve long term sobriety, he decided to end the marriage.

Please, please reach out to her with encouraging words in the comments are below the article.

Guest Post From: Ross
We have been married for 23 yrs and engaged two on top of that. We always were proud that we made it so far .This relapse here is something else. I lose track of how many he has had. I have posted comments before and my situations may sound familiar.

I received the divorce papers today. It is unreal. I never wanted this to happen. After all the ‘working with him’ that I’ve done, it has been as if it was all for nothing. I never thought it would come to this.

I couldn’t let him move home, because his prior actions leading up to his brief sobriety (3-4 wks, and 3 AA meetings),  left me feeling like he was doing the least he could get by with to move home. I am imagining him gloating over ‘filing’. As if his reason was that he had to.

I’m not saying I ever handled everything perfectly. But I sure have tried. I needed something to work with. I needed to see a longer period of time of sobriety  because the damages over his relapses were too great for me to bury my head in the sand.

I wonder if I was wrong in waiting/expecting a little while longer to see if he was for real? I was just so burned out. I know this is hurting my teenager and 23 yr old daughter.

I am taking things one day at a time. It’s all I could do for over a year. I wanted all these problems to go away. I wanted the sweet guy that I thought he was to prevail and help save our marriage. I cant believe I’m gong to be divorced.

JC:Thanks Ross, I was struck with sorrow the moment I read your story. I know this pain all to well. I have healed and you will too. I was told by a very wise lady: “God knows the end before the beginning.” I was told by another wise friend: “be prepared, the alcoholic will replace you, probably pretty fast because that’s just what they do.” Her words came to fruition within two months after we separated. An older gentleman, who I esteem highly said: “hire a good attorney and let them take care of things; don’t worry about it.” Someone else said: “your divorced needs to be handled like a business deal, leave your emotions out of it.” Ross, please heed to the wise words I have shared with you. I promise you they will strengthen you during this difficult time. Finally, another friend shared with me that we never know what the future holds, it’s possible that remarriage to this same man could be in the plan of things.

63 comments to While Hoping For Long Term Soberiety, He Filed For Divorce

  • denise

    Hello Ross,
    Although I feel sorry for such a long relationship coming to an end. I can only say that it is also a beginning to a whole new life that you are now free to choose daily events without checking in on the alcoholic. It is bittersweet. I am sure at this moment it feels bitter. A divorce of any kind is a blow to your selfesteem as well. I assure you that like every woman who has an alcoholic spouse you have went above and beyond your duties as a loving wife. You should be congratulated for sticking with it for this long! Now take some long overdue time for yourself! I am sure you forget how to do things for yourself as you have probably put others before you. Remember the good times that you and your husband had and remember the bad times as lesson learned.
    Take care,

  • Rachel

    Sorry to hear that too Ross. My husband and I have been married for 37 years. I couldnt imagine either one of us filing for divorce. Even though it has been suggested to me by a family therapist that I should leave him! I can’t, we’ll get through his disease together. God will get you through this and this website will offer you support. Take care.

  • Brenda


    I’m so sorry to hear this. I’m in a very similar situation to yours. Papers haven’t been filed yet, but soon. I understand that “unreal” feeling, but now is the time to grab hold of your faith, hold onto God because he will get you through this and thought this process you will have a better life. It’s not easy, but you will make it. Get all the support from people you can right now, talking about it helps so much.
    I’ll be keeping you in my prayers.

  • uncadiane

    Ross, while I understand your sadness, YOU are not responsible for this divorce. You did everything you could for 25 years, while your husband did the “least amount possible.” No, you were not wrong to hold out for a longer period of sobriety; 3 weeks and 3 AA meetings does not demonstrate commitment to a new way of life. Please try to accept this as a gift from your husband.

    My husband and I were also married 23 years and dated for 2 years before. Last June I left; I simply could not take one more day or one more nasty word or one more drunken brawl. I was done. In 3 months I will file for divorce. (Maryland requires a 1 year separation.) My husband was so unable to be responsible for himself that he is now in an assisted living facility. But, you know what, we can be civil with each other now; we can engage in polite conversation. We don’t hate each other. But I hated him while I was living with him at the end.

    Move on with your life, Ross. Okay, your children are sad; they were probably sad living with a drunken father, too. Sad things happen; they will survive and so will you. You didn’t give up. You are not a failure. Take care of you.


  • Mara Paradi

    Dear Ross,
    my mom and dad have been married for 45 years, that’s almost twice as long as you, and I remember that back about 25 years ago mom was on the verge on giving up on the strugle with dad’s alcoholism. At that time, so it happened that while she was away on her first trip ever without him, with a female friend, he hit his bottom after a celebration that’s gotten him in unimaginable situation – with the law, even (believe me, it was unimaginable, he’s an academic through and through). So he had grasped he had no control over his behaviour, and stopped drinking. He remained sober for 10 years, sober but not at peace with it all. Then, one day, he obviously decided life had no “real” feel without alcohole, so he announced the sober days were over… Since then, their relationship has been deteriorating at a slow but steady pace, and now, at 70+, mom is… chronically heartbroken, for it’s obviously never too late for the first really nasty words to fly between them, after which it seems there’s no turning back. As their children, my brother and I do not believe it has been worth it. Please, give yourself time, and I think you shall see that this is a blessing in disguise, maybe even for your husband. Take care.

  • Julie

    You have fears of abandonment and lonliness. Please seek a support system? I am with a recovering alcoholic… Sober since Veteran’s day when I took him to the ER for the 3rd time in four months. I am allowing him to stay with me for a couple of reasons… Him being pretty much penniless and he has threatened blackmail. I don’t mean to divert attention to me, however, I realize it takes two to have a toxic relationship… One is the primary abuser and the other is the secondary abuser or enabler… Allowing bad behavior to continue because you think one day you can work it out. It’s a catch 22 and hard to deal with. I’m sure your relationship met it’s end sooner than you thought because you fooled yourself thinking things can get better. Toxic relationships generally get worse. Please try to think of this as a blessing in disguise for you!!! You now have the OPPORTUNITY to find yourself and start new… possibly finding a happy and healthy relationship. Vision happiness with someone new! It will come to you if you MAKE it happen! All my best!

  • Laura

    Hi Ross,

    I wanted to tell you that I am praying for you, and I know God is with you and has you AND your husband in his plan. As I was not married to my fiancee yet, we had been together for 2 years. Our relationship was as we were married, we were truly soul mates. He had a lot of issues, one being his 22 yr old daughter being a heroin addict and him trying to save her. In the process, he started drinking again and it got REALLY bad. I knew I couldn’t live that way, but I loved him with all of my heart and soul.

    Last October he left and moved most of his things out of the house. I didn’t handle it very well and had 2 mo. of depression and felt like my whole world fell apart. To make a long story short, I prayed a LOT, I had prayer groups that I found on the internet praying for him, and everyone I knew.

    I am a Christian, and although I was I briefly forgot how to give it all over to God. I knew I had to start focusing on myself, and just trust that God had a plan and already knew how things were going to turn out. I read the Bible every day, and truly gave it all to God.

    He helped me see that “I” could not “fix” him, and could only fix myself. Each day got easier, I was happier, and I came to accept God’s will…that if we were meant to be together, we would be…and if we were not, I promised God I would accept that as well! After another month went by, I found out that my AF had basically hit rock bottom and I prayed even more for him. Things weren’t going well for his daughter either.

    Two weeks after I found that out, I decided to try to call him and check on him. When I called in the past months he would never even answer the phone (we had “talked” the entire 4 mo.) all I ever got were very mean texts. But this time he actually answered the phone. He sounded very different, he didn’t sound like the evil man he had become that I didn’t know anymore. Even though we weren’t really communicating over those 4 mo., I had been emailing him Bible verses, inspirational things, even copied some of the comments from this site from others that were SO much like our situation. Part of me thought he probably wasn’t even reading them…and even stopped sending them for a while, but when I stopped something inside was telling me to just keep sending them anyway. I realized that was God speaking to me, telling me to continue what I had been doing.

    So when he answered his phone and I heard his now gentle tone in his voice say he had realized everything, that he had not drank a drop of alcohol for the last month and he had gotten so tired and sick, that he was not able to “fix” his daughter, and that if it hadn’t been for the emails I had been sending to him…he probably wouldn’t have made it.

    He told me I was right about everything and believed what I had told him the night before he left that the devil himself had attacked him when he was so bad. When we listened to the recordings together (I had recorded that horrible night before he left on my cell phone so he could hopefully one day hear for himself when he was sober)he could NOT believe it was him saying those awful things, and it wasn’t just “selective” memory loss, he was truly mortified by it and even cried.

    He thanked me for standing by him and never giving up on him…and we are now back together and happier than we were even BEFORE he started drinking.

    I KNOW that God heard my prayers AND that my letting go of the whole situation and giving it to HIM was the key to everything! FAITH in God, that He is in control of everything, FAITH that things will turn out the way they are “supposed” to…and FAITH that even if it isn’t what we may “think” we want or “need”, it IS what is best for us…and we must accept that.

    Ross, just pray to God for peace in your heart, and comfort for your soul, He WILL hear you and give it to you. Trust that God has a plan, and his “timing” may not be the same as ours is…but it’s the RIGHT timing. If you will believe that with all your heart and soul, no matter what the outcome…you will KNOW that God gave you what was best for YOU!! I will keep you in my prayers. God will make you a stronger person than you already are. Believe…and have FAITH, it really IS the key to everything!! Stay strong! You WILL get through this!


  • Pez

    Hi Ross,
    So sad to hear about such a heartbreaking situation. I know how it feels to try and try and hold on and hold on etc… Attempting till the last thread of hope is gone. When I gave an ultimatum to my BF A he was with another woman the next weekend!! I was hoping he would respond to loosing me with a turnarround not another woman-Talk about trama & feeling F’d over for all I put up with for 3.5 years! So be prepared for this as JC noted if it happens. He probably decided it was too hard to quit and did not want to try right now or ever. Another quote from JC “God knows what will bring him to bottom” or he’ll try to reach him. Don’t give up praying with no expections but also try with tiny steps to move on. God love you Ross. I will cry with you tonight!

  • Debbi


    I feel like I know you so well after reading your posts of all your struggles & your hopes that this separation would finally cause him to seek some help–So, I know how let down you feel right now. Although I agree with everyone’s sentiments here that God is definitely watching over you and has a plan I also want to share part of my story with you that might help make some of this make sense–when you look at what is happening to you it’s hard to see things objectively but try to look at it with someone else’s eyes. It will seem so much more clear so I’ll tell my story & you will see maybe some of my story in yours & take hope.

    My ex’s way of dealing with anything I questioned him about doing to me or behind my back was to dish out the silent treatment like you would not believe–from totally not speaking to refusing to acknowledge my existance. But when he wanted it to stop, he could not figure out a way to stop what he himself had started so he would use all kinds of childish tricks. I stopped caving to those childish tricks so the last one went like this: 1. stopped speaking to me 2. tried to behave like a child to get attention 3. tried to make me dinner and go grocery shopping (first time in 20 years). When these failed–he hired escorts & went to see a mediator about divorce. I agreed, met him “head-to-head”, got an attorney, drew up divorce papers & sat & waited. One month, nothing except him trying to reach out to me–Oops maybe he realized he went too far. Could this be the same for you–I think it’s possible after I looked at your posts–so similar to mine.

    I don’t know your husband but I would bet my last $ that this is a trick to manipulate you right now–hold your ground. This sounds like desperation. One minute he wants to move back, you say no until you see those changes (and rightfully so I might add) and Bam…he files the divorce papers. He’s mad, he did not get what he wanted immediately, the alcohol is making him childish. Hold your ground. When your daughter was young I’m sure she had a temper trantrum–I know my son had many and as mothers if we caved, they won & we were not doing our parenting skills. So if this man is going to refuse to comply with your reasonable demands you are doing right to stand firm. Meet him head-to-head. This does not have to mean the end of your marriage like mine. I only decided it was over because infidelity was a deal breaker for me. You decide what your deal breaker is (draw the line in the sand). It does not have to mean the end of your marriage and even if it does–it does not mean that maybe after you can go on later to a better relationship with him.

    But please consult with an attorney since he has filed. If this is what he wants, you have no choice–we cannot control someone else. But me personally, watching this from a distance I think it is retaliation to you because you held your ground and now comes the acts of desperation. Hang in there girlfriend. Even though he filed the divorce you still control how much contact you will have with him. My favorite saying is from a movie called “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” where the mother tells the daughter. “The man is the head of the house, but the woman is the neck and she can control the head”! Be strong it will all work out!

  • Earnest

    Ross, when my ex wife told me she was divorcing me, my therapist told me to see the reality, the relationship was over. Those words were very empowering for me. At the same time he told me I needed to stand up for myself through getting an attorney.

    As it turned out, I was shocked at how adversarial she was during the divorce and many years that followed. It was like a completely different person. I am glad I chose to see the reality of what was happening.

    Do the best that you can. I recall that some days all I could do was nothing but ask God for help. He did see me through the difficulties and was an amazing source of comfort.

  • Bill

    I am so sorry to hear that your relationship is troubled. I like what J.C. mentioned about treating this as it is a business deal. You are just diving assets and debts. Keep things fair for both of you. Hopefully his drinking won’t cause too much insanity and run up attorneys fees.

  • L.

    Hello Ross … the best initial advice/suggestion(s) that I might add would be “One Day At A Time” and know that you do not walk alone … after only eight years of marriage it took three years for our dissolution to be finalized … then another twelve (yes, 12!) years in civil court surrounding custody … conserve your energy 🙂 …

  • Ross

    I’ve been flip-flopping between hope for us to acceptance of divorce.I see he tries to think and looks guilty, sad,rebellious,smug,confused.And he propositions me too.I wasn’t sure about the last one, as I know
    that,that is an important part of marriage and I’d struggled with it as I felt it would help keep us bonded and not grow apart and leave room for divorce, cheating, etc..But I saw us cycling with him saying he’ll get recovery to ending in avoiding, shunning, punishing.Then he would want to ‘get close’. I felt I had to make another stand and let him know I saw a cycle that we were on and wanted to get off and if he wanted to show he was serious, then we could discuss it. I see his irrationality. But at the same time, I think he may be flirting, etc. with others. What a thing to deal with.

    Thanks for the support, I really needed to hear from someone. I’ve always considered myself to be a fighter, it’s hard to accept this and drop my hands and give up the fight for my marriage. When the world seemed to tell me no, reject me, assume I couldn’t make it, didn’t have the decent heart and standards that i do- I’d say within myself, I don’t accept it, I don’t accept what you’re trying to assign to me.

    Accepting this is like defeat, like it got the best of me, my marriage. That’s a hard pill to swallow. I’m tough at times and others the floodgates open so strong, I’m embarrassed. I just know I will be crying and wont be able to handle it when we go to court. God forbid if someone seems compassionate. I cried while reading through your responses, thank you…

  • ER

    Sorry to hear of your struggle and the divorce. It is a roller coaster and I don’t think the alcoholic is aware of the damage that they do to a relationship. You were doing the right thing in protecting yourself from the abuse and allowing more time to make sure you wouldn’t be right back in that situation again. To me it is confusing because the alcoholic can seem so nice when not drinking and then turn into someone very mean and frightful. It is such a sad disease. I hope you find peace and happiness.

  • Ro

    So sorry for this. Losing someone who has been a companion, lover friend is very hard. I am sorry for your loss. When the pain gets too much and you need to get strong an alanon meeting helps plus phone calls. Sometimes when I lose someone special in my life and the pain is too intense, I go to Youtube and type in EFT pain or love pain or rejection (whatever I am feeling at the time). Because I am a stubborn spirit, I usually have to tap like crazy (every 15 minutes). This tapping gets me stronger both mentally and physically. I also, when I can afford it, think therapy (with a dr. who specializes in addiction–VERY important) is helpful. I agree with a post above that you have to treat it like a business deal. Many a times addicts/alcholics would reject me only to come around again for another round. I hope that if he does — you will be strong enough to be with or without him. This life is all about you now. You have paid your dues. Restart this day again. You deserve joy. Peace.

  • Karen

    Ross, you may not feel like it right now, but you are like an eagle that has had a crash landing. You feel like your eaglets are abandoned in the nest while you are just trying to pick yourself up off the rocks you crashed into. But you must get up. You are and eagle. You have soared above the clouds over many storms. You are skilled at overcoming through all the crazy experiences. This has NOT been a waste of time, energy, love and tears. You are an eagle whose strength comes from God and you ride upon His wind. Take courage from Him and rise up to soar gain

  • Karens


    I would like to suggest your being aware that alcoholics
    Love control. If they cannot fix it they will control
    it, no matter what it is that they make an issue about.

    He could not control him self, he cannot control you.

    He chose the life style he wanted which will not help
    or heal anything until he is entirely sober. He may
    never be entirely sober at any time in his life. He
    lost control over himself years ago. He may enjoy that
    life style and drama. Any excuse he may use is the alcohol
    talking. They can carry the controlling part of their
    game drunk or sober.

    Sometimes we have to do what we have to do. You will make
    it. With the energy spent trying to keep the marriage
    together is used to accept the divorce as a unfortunate,
    unplanned state of condition. The energy then becomes
    positive and a new life emerges. A new you. With out
    this person controlling your every moment a good life can
    and will happened.

    God will be your guide, look to him for strength.


  • Sandy

    Ross . . I feel your pain, after 23 years of standing by him and his disease, now he is abandoning you – or at least it feels that way I’m sure – try to remember, this is his choice not yours and God works in mysterious ways; I have a feeling this could be a blessing in disguise for you, maybe he’s headed to a dark place and God got you out before he gets there – I am in a similar situation now, I haven’t been married to my current AH 23 years, only 2 in fact, but about 8 months ago I had him put in jail for abuse, he quit drinking and came back home, the court orders were finalized a week ago and he has to do work furlough every weekend for 6 months on top of his regular job . . he’s furious at me and threatening to divorce me . . I told him to grow up and not bite the hand that’s been feeding him the last 8 months while he paid bail bonds and court fees . . of course it’s all my fault according to him . . but I’ve reached a point where I know better and I do NOT regret what I did . . your recovering AH is in the anger stage where he’s not happy about having to quit drinking I think, let him be angry . . the divorce will only hurt him not you . . try to remember that you will now have freedom from this awful disease that has consumned your life . . you are in my prayers . .

  • Debbi


    Karens & Sandy just posted some great advice for you and I can see & apply their advice even in my own relationship that is now over & divorced. Make sure you have some people in place to help you right now: attorney to handle the business end, see a therapist or counselor to help you through your grief & a “possee” (a great big group of your family and friends to help support you through this). Don’t keep it “bottled” in. Sandy said in another post that letting the truth out & telling the truth to others helped her move on and let go. I too am following her previous advice. Reach out to others when the feelings overwhelm you or post here. Everyone hear knows & feels your pain & we all want the best outcome for you! God Bless!

  • Ross

    I have been re-reading the posts and trying to absorb it, it all has been helpful and encouraging
    Debbie, the post you had about your story and our similarities were unreal.I and friends of mine feel like he was punishing me for him not getting his way.Also how immature and doing childish things, and not knowing how to stop.I have a feeling the divorce will happen .I’m sad but no longer have much fight left to contend for our marriage with so little offered other than the benefit of his income if he wouldve gotten to come home.

  • Bill

    As I was reading Debbie’s comment, I was reminded of how the alcoholic talked trash about me when there was a beak-up. I had to go get a couple of Al-anon tools to help me with that situation. The first thing my sponsor reminded me of is that I had no control over what she was saying. Then he told me to let it go and not say anything to the alcoholic about what she was saying.

  • Ross

    thats an interesting thing you mentioned Bill.I know my husband has said things about me to make me look like its all my fault.I on the other hand havent mentioned anything when people because I was trying to deal with things my own way, maybe that was protecting him and I didnt know it?Now I’ve only told a few close people,what I’ve been going through.God forbid if someone makes any off kilter remarks about me.See he is a charming personable kind of person.But I’ve been the target of his disease’s punishment over and over again.
    Makes me resentful if I dont watch and bury it.I honestly think he wanted me to do all the work and he do lip service because I see in the past that is what “I” settled for and smooth things over.

  • Ross

    Also, my husband went back to drinking after a month, when he saw that i wasnt going to let him come home with so little effort for recovery.I dont know if I mentioned that before, but I think i read somebody had mentioned something like he was sober.

  • Bill

    Ross, sounds like you are going through a rough time. Do the best that you can every day, that’s really all that any of us can do. I love to listen to inspirational music. It always brightens my day no matter what I’m going through. Thinking of you and praying for you now.

  • Debbi

    To Ross & Bill:

    Yes, they do bad-mouth you. They do it for a couple of reasons: when drinking and mad at the world they speak ill of the person they love the most, they also do it when they lose control or feel they are losing control over someone and finally they speak ill of others to cover up their “dirty deeds” of whatever they may have just done or lies they just told.

    This fact alone was the one that hurt me the most when he did this to me. He spoke ill of me everyone and then he passed it on to my job and I was called in by the owners to explain the rumors going around (furthered by his sister).

    This behavior is the tough one to take from them because of others involvement and sometimes they can be so charming that no one believes us the victims. I try to always re-train my brain so on this one I told myself he is doing this to me because I am the closest one to him and he is afraid of losing me. So when their attacks are strong against you, it is because they are afraid of losing you the most.

    So Ross, if you think it is truly over then you need to ‘Lawyer UP” and save your energy for that and no longer waste your energy focusing on him, but I still believe he is doing this to retaliate against you–which means you now have the upper hand–he’s afraid of losing you. The ball is in your court as to whether you want to make a new life without him or not. You will have to respond to the divorce paperwork but I have a gut feeling if you offered to take him back he would stop the divorce but is that what you want? This time Ross, do what’s in your heart and what you want out of life.

    Bill I too listen to inspirational music: great idea.

  • Ross

    Debbi, you may be right.Only I don’t see how him filing for a divorce would get him anything?
    He is shunning me and making no attempt.I know he did this after each time he tried to get home and I wouldnt because he wasnt in any recovery.He did file under something that they dont consider a legitimate claim for divorce, I was told by an attorney.I dont know how to procede but to cover myself.It would be easier if they would grant me support but throw his out.I have till wed. to respond and found that wont be hard to do.

  • Debbi


    What he gets is Control–he is pushing another button with you and you have to decide what YOU want. Since you must respond to the divorce, do so & get an attorney to handle that end of it for you. And you then decide where you want to go from here. When he sees you are doing what you have to, responding to his divorce complaint I have a suspicion he will do what mine did after going to a lawyer/mediator when I agreed to it–he started back-pedaling.

    But, bear in mind–reconciling with him at this point is only going to get you more of the same treatment & maybe worse because he knows he “pushed the right button”. Although it broke my heart to forge ahead with the divorce I could not share my husband with “other ladies” and it was the deal breaker. Even if yours has not gone that far, do you want to continue living like this. I am still depressed over having to divorce after trying SOo… hard to save my marriage but every day was just digging my hole deeper. Set your mind to the divorce and yet save the relationship that way on your terms. . .a better relationship with him when this is over. I’m sure you are stronger than me and able to maintain a better distant relationship with him. Stay strong–you can do this. God Bless!

  • Ross

    Karen, that was a very inspiring thing you posted on the 21st,thank you, it was lovely.
    Well,if I ever wondered where are all the great personalities of the world are, I just found out…
    Their on here! and the support groups!!
    I hired an attorney today and I didn’t burst out in tears!I know it is because of the care/support I’ve found
    from people I may never meet.What a blessing.I keep trying to turn it over to God.And words of wisdom , encouragement, and recovery have nudged me on.
    Thanks for being there,

  • Debbi

    You Bet Ross – Hang in there!

  • Ross

    My head stays in a spin.I don’t think I can do this on my own. I literally don’t have gas money most of the time to even go out of town to a meeting. There is/has been so much going on ,sometimes I think I’m making a little headway, then it seems the list of issues/responsibilities is so long that I am constantly trying not to see it all at once. More and more problems are piling up and so are the bills. I hate feeling like I’m over a barrel. Seems like its been that way since over a year ago. Mentally I don’t know how I’m doing what I do, and that doesn’t seem enough. I find myself wanting to go to bed and hide for a long time and know I cant do that either. I wonder if I had a breakdown? I know I have been different since all this came about after my moms passing and husband’s relapse,too many other things over a year ago. I have no energy for each day, yet no matter how hard I try its not enough to scratch the surface. I cant afford nothing and its all a trapeze act to get though each bill, problem. Then they repeat the next week/month. I catch myself wondering for over A YEAR AND 4 MOS(oops capslock)just what is going to happen to me? I cant keep this up-which seems very little anyway. I’m so tired, depleted, mentally sucked way past dry-years back! What is going to happen to me? I cant keep any of this up. If I didn’t have kids, and I’m so completely and utterly wiped out, that I almost think I could just give up the ghost and be relieved.I work like heck at every turn to secure my borders. The thought of one more thing is enough to make me avoid anyone who might need something. Then I feel guilty that there isn’t anything left of me to give to those who have given to me. They wouldn’t have the patience to hear how it really is in my life. They would switch the subject and run because I am done. It’s not just one of those days for me…I have fought this for way too long. I wonder what is going to happen because I cant keep this up for too much longer, yet this is it. I am all I have. I feel I’m fighting quicksand.I don’t know what to do. I have been pulled in so many directions and mentally overloaded. I feel so overdone I could almost die. This is where I am at, its where I have been for so long and fought and fought it. I try to get help and even that has been insanely excruciatingly complicated. I don’t think anyone cares or grasps my need for help. I’m afraid I will lose my mind and be lost forever and here I tried so hard to do everything I can think of to be responsible to help myself and kids. Nobody can handle the depths of my depletion. If I had a place to go for hands on help, I cant even go, because I am the only thing standing between my husbands spiral and sons stability.

  • PEZ

    Ross, If you haven’t already, you need to seek all the social assistance you can! Single mothers with children can get a lot. If you can show you are in the process of divorce and abandoned, basicly you can get help from your state social assistance, food stamps (card), help from utility companies some offer, local food banks, churches etc….. seek them out and get qet all the assistance you need to help you save money which will help mentally as well.

  • Debbi

    Oh Ross-
    I have felt just like you & went through one of those same moments you now going through just yesterday as a matter of fact. What few friends I had bailed on me too–did not want to hear my problems. Don’t understand what it’s like living with tumors in my body that I can no longer get medical assistance for, unable to get support groups while I watched my ex trot off to recommended support groups, help from his family and friends, all kinds of help because he had insurance and told such horrible lies about me that people still believe. I have not had enough money to even stop out for a simple cup of coffee. Maybe a job would help you or a different job. But when you have those moments where you just want to crawl into bed–go ahead & do so. That is exactly how I pamper myself. When my body & brain tells me to go to bed it is telling me TOO MUCH – REST! Indulge yourself & you are not holding up your responsibilities because you need to rest–go ahead, rest & sleep. It stops those thoughts for awhile and lets your body heal. We may all live states or even continents away from each other but we can all still help each other through this in small ways. What can I do to help? I can make phone calls for you when you are on overload & you can do the same for me. I would be willing to research assistance in your area rather than just tell you to go get some. I can’t take one more minute of ex A getting his hands on my mail so I have decided to send a forwarding address in my name from my house & every place I know of that he had my mail forwarded to and I am sending to my mother. She will go through my mail & only give me what I need to know. She can filter out alot of things for me that way & is making some of the calls for me that I just can’t handle right now because I am still at my wit’s end even 7 months out from divorce. Is there anyone who take some minor burdens off you. I’m willing to make some inquiries for you–I feel your pain & here to help–if any thing I can filter for you or research for you from my end please don’t hesitate to reach out! Accept the help when it comes–it’s okay sometimes to admit when we just can’t handle it. That’s being a wise woman!

  • JC

    Ross, has your attorney suggested trying to get awarded through the courts emergency relief money/help from you husband?

    I guess I am also wondering, when the divorce is final will things lighten up on the financial side? Settle things as quickly as possible, without fighting if possible.

    You can do this Ross, one moment at a time. As crazy as this sounds, you might consider making a long gratitude list. I always start with the basics, “I’m grateful I have eyesight, I’m thankful my children are healthy today, I’m thankful I have a computer, Thank you God for always being the one who never rejects or abandons me.”

    Also, if you can’t get to any Al-anon meetings, use the phone. Call someone from your support meetings.

    DON”T GIVE UP! This too shall pass and I promise you.

  • Mia

    Hi Ross

    I’m so tired and sad right now I haven’t read all the posts but somehow without even reading it I can probably take a guess as our beautiful people are gone , lost to alcohol . We’ve tried every angle and tried to take whatever is thrown our way just to stay just in case the beautiful person has a day or even a few hours alcohol free. Why ? Because that is when they love us and that is where our hope lies. The longer it goes on the less we need to give us hope. We keep going even when we know the glimmer is just about out now. Then it’s just beautiful memories that hurt us, the things we were going to do . I have finally let go and handed my man over to god. I found out this week he’s been dating other women in our rocky times when he decides to find someone else. Because we would imagine the someone else would be happy with them it hurts. But I know deep down that the new person will get the same as we did. The new person is not our replacement but the nd t person in their life that they think will let them drink . They won’t. Someone said to me the other day “goodness it’s like he just wants to stop you from living your life and being successful just so you become like him” she was right. I’ve let friends, family, my career and simple happiness go without just cos I had to because how demanding he was. I’ve got to build those back up now , build some bridges of friends I’ve neglected.

    I guess what I am trying to say is that no matter what we do or try if we can’t get through to them it’s not cos we aren’t doing it right it’s cos they are not ready to hear it.

    I’ve been angry, sad, hurt and inconsolable. I’ve exhausted myself with every negative emotion there is. I’ve given him a piece of my mind and explained in enormous detail with happy photographs of us to show him just how hurt I am by his behavior.

    I don’t regret it but it’s left me in a very dark and lonely place. He came banging on my windows last night and wanted his things. Very very angry. I didn’t let him in I called the police. He left and they turned up . They said I’d done the right thing and they said to me. If he’s an alcoholic he probably isn’t thinking straight . Be careful , if you do get together with him and he’s drinking you will be ringing us again. Each time it gets worse so maybe it’s best to let him go

    They asked if I had a friend to call or come over and I said no. They looked surprised but they probably knew my friends were tired of this relationship and like me thought why bother she will just forgive him again .

    So I didn’t call anyone. My son is upset and I stayed up all night staring at the wall

    This morning I feel at my end.


    I’ve realized I let this happen, we all do, we don’t cause it but we let it affect and change our lives. I feel horrendous because he doesn’t understand why this has happened or that I love him

    He’s not thinking straight ! Funny how it took a policeman to remind be of that. We take it all to heart as though some sober guru had told us we were nuts. No my very drunk X boyfriend says I’m nuts cos he can’t understand why I ended things

    So today I read yet again a lot of articles and it struck me

    I feel bad because I didn’t end it with love but hurt

    I feel hurt because he’s too drunk to care

    I m tearful because I couldn’t find a cure

    I’m alone because I spent all my time with him instead of also with friends

    I sat down and wrote a list of all the things that would be happening today if he were here. He’d gave had four ciders by now . He’d be passed out by now. He’d have got annoyed with me doing my things. Etc etc

    So what is it I’m missing , I’m missing the possibility of a future that is unlikely to ever happen

    It’s more likely to happen if I let him go

    I don’t want to but I must cos he’s not going to stop by me staying

    So I’ve sent him a link to two great websites and said I love you and I hope one day you will understand why I had to let you go. You will be in my heart always but now I hand You over to god to care and love you the only way he can. Alcoholic relationships are never healthy and I’ve come to finally realized that sober is the only way . If you can’t be sober I can’t be with you. I won’t stop loving you but I need to go so I have a chance to find someone who can love me

    I’ve now completed my final step now that I realize just how futile it is. The police in my house , the anger in him

    I feel better now and I think I will just try to think I’ve been given my life back to have a good happy alcohol free one. Every time I have a memory that hurts I will say Mia, stop hurting yourself. Cos that’s what we do

    We don’t cause it but we allow it

    So please please stop going over it, you will only exhaust yourself. Do something loving from a distance for him that won’t stir things up or get hopes raised

    I think finding something loving to say to them somehow takes hurt and anger out of ourselves for some reason. It doesn’t matter how they respond . What matters is you do something for you to make you feel at peace.

    In the end it doesn’t matter what the history of events are, the words or bad things they’ve done . At the end of the day we just have to leave them to their lives and get on with ours

    Sometimes I feel a guilt there. It’s OK for us, we can leave an alcohol driven life . They have to stay there. That’s why it’s so hard to go. It’s like leaving someone you love on the edge of a cliff to fall instead of holding out your hand to save them . But we can’t save them and we can’t blame them for not letting us

    If someone who had cancer who we nursed didn’t get well , would we blame them for not appreciating our care. If course not

    Somehow we still believe , they can think like sober people do, make all the right choices and stop drinking . But if they could do that they wouldn’t be alcoholics

    So there’s no point us saying why this why that, after all I’ve done etc etc. we chose to be with them and we have to chose to leave then to god

    I know it’s hard but it’s the only way . So no matter what the fall out , no matter what the outcome I’ve realized I have to take responsibility for allowing this into my life and now take responsibility of letting it leave my life in a peaceful gracious way no matter how he reacts

    That’s his choice , he may never read my email or look at the links but I know u sent them and that’s all I could do

    Every step you take us a step further towards a future of smiles instead of tears.

    Finally I remember a pastor said to me once when I felt down

    Don’t ever forget Mia, god hears us always, but sometimes a prayer not answered is not denied its a prayer just delayed . God has a plan and he waits patiently for us to follow the path he wants us to be on before he sends us his full blessings .

    I try to remember those words as they always encourage me to do what god would do and hope that one day if I keep doing it I will be blessed with a loving sobre husband

  • John

    Ross, I left a country I was living in to get away from an alcoholic “friend” because life even in the same country as him was unbearable.Controlling, paranoid , nasty, extremely abusive and fall down drunk.I don’t have any advice.My experience is that removing myself from being “in circulation” around any substance abuser has improved my life every time. I have really lost nothing and have regained my soul, my sanity and my peace of mind. Stay strong, Ross, you’re doing all the right things.


  • Shenzi

    As my mother, who was a member of Alcoholic’s Anonymous, often said,


    My dear, he has done you a favor.
    Cut him loose
    Bless him
    and get on with your precious time here on EARTH!


  • L.

    Awareness: managing this “burden.”

    “Just as the common cold has symptoms such as a runny nose and sneezing, alcoholism also has symptoms such as blackouts, mood changes [fill in the blank]. I have to accept that I, too, display symptoms similar to those of the alcoholic, among them: obsession, anxiety, anger, denial, feelings of guilt.

    These reactions to alcoholism affect my relationships and the quality of my life, but as I learn to recognize them and to accept that I have been affected by a dis-ease, I begin to heal.

    In time I discover feelings of: self worth, love, spiritual connectedness that help me to counteract the old responses.

    No matter how severely I have been affected, Al-Anon can help restore me to sanity.

    Alcoholism is stronger than good intentions or genuine desires. [I didn’t choose this family disease, neither did the alcoholic.]

    So I try to behave with compassion for US BOTH!

    – CAL/my journal 4/6/13

  • Julie

    Ross, Do not feel alone. I have been going through the same thing. but i have found that on my meager income without his income which was 4x greater than mine, I can actually work out a budget and pay more bills than I could when he was here drinking all our money away and causing so many bills with his court costs, and DUI fines etc…etc… My children are happier without the constant threat of his badgering and other abuse. It is very difficult to say the least to make change, but change is what it sounds like you needed and great job to you for taking that step in the right direction. As far as getting help with bills, I understand your frustration. Even trying to reach out to Salvation Army and United Way you are given a run-around or hoops to jump through for assistance. I found that local charities (like the Lions Club in my small town )were more helpful than HEAP or any other programs run by larger charities or the county/state assistance. However, file for any assistance you may qualify for to get whatever you can. Even a couple hundred dollars of food assistance goes a long way in a budget. And local charities sometimes have connections and information that is not always readily available to the common people. For example when I explained to my children’s’ school things that were going on, teachers and the principal recommended us for a program at Christmas time where families in our town adopted needy families in the town and bought their children Christmas presents. I was totally unaware that such a program existed in our small town, but was ever grateful for the gifts my children received last Christmas that they otherwise would not have had. So my advice is to not be embarrassed by your situation and to discreetly let anyone in a position that may be able to point you in the right direction know that you need assistance.I understand that it is difficult to find the help you need. So look to local charities or churches and ask them if maybe they just have information of someone else you may call for help. You are doing a great job! And trust that God has your back because He does. Don’t worry but be productive in finding a solution. Don’t let depression get to you and talking to someone who can just listen and not judge you may help you feel better. I know how you feel because I have lain in bed in the morning and wanted to pull the covers over my head and just cry. But the fact that my kids needed their mom helped me drag myself out of bed and to keep going. Focus on good things that you are grateful for so you can help your perspective change and you can start enjoying the fact that you are on the road to a better more fulfilling life. God Bless!

  • Julie

    Mia, Your words were something that I really needed to hear today! Thanks for sharing. It is reminders like these that keep me on the right path. 🙂

  • Nellie

    Dear Ross,
    You may have had a ‘breakdown’as such. Clinical Depression comes about from having lived with too much stress for too long. It is time to see a Doctor. Be honest with him/her. Tell them what you have been living with and through. Tell them how you are feeling. This is the time for you to put aside all other concerns, and focus on surviving. This is the time to surrender into the loving arms of Jesus. He will carry your burdens until you are strong enough to carry them again yourself.
    Love and prayers are surrounding you Ross.

  • ross

    Hi Mia, you write very wise words, a woman of experience and when you reach a serene place that you appear to have found in your life,it takes on-going self awareness to live by this philosophy….I admire your courage and strength and the work you have obviously done to get where you are,only when others come to self actualizing that how they perceive and interpret the alcoholics behavior,is an attitude they may choose, to take full responsibility how events unfold in their own lives and to let go and let God take care of the things they have no control over, then and only then will they find inner peace and self acceptance of their personal journey in life,and to live this moment as if they had chosen it! A beautiful place to be, it is not in doing,but in being we survive our challenges in life, a presence of calm,acceptance and peace!!

  • Mia

    Hi Ross

    You are so right. The serene place is not with me today. Well, maybe it is but the tears and emotions are covering it. It’s so easy to know what’s right, but emotions pull so heavily to a sad place. I’m cleaning, sorting and doing all the things that have been neglected. The sun is shiny today, but Its making me cry as we had such fun on sunny days. On the beach with my stupid dog! Simple things seem to hurt the most. I know it will get better as my life becomes less of a roller coaster and things that need to will now get done. I guess it’s just time as I move away from the crazy life and begin to see just how bad it was. I know I must be strong and let God take over . I hope you are feeling good today .

  • Ross

    All of you are so encouraging and wise. Also, experienced. I must have subconsciously been
    looking for ‘the’ solution. I noticed disappointment at not finding ‘it.’ But what I do get here is gentleness, kindness,compassion, strength, wisdom on how to go ‘through.’ Not magically be taken out of the problem.

    I am comforted by what you’ve shared. I’m asking myself? What exactly is it that I’m going through right now? Am I struggling with denial, grief, avoidance, unwillingness to accept the fact of impending divorce? Yet, it is so many things. Leaves me wondering which thing to deal with.

    Quite a few issues can be important at once. Hard to decide a lot of times. There are those things that I am struggling with like the divorce. It wasn’t supposed to be this way. My husband and I had discussed throughout our marriage of making it work and be together, how we’ve come so far. And now “he” uses a dumb reason (blame shifting me to excuse his choosing alcohol over me), to justify a divorce.

    Also, I run into a wall, when I consider working outside the home-there goes the last stretch of the homeschooling! If I go to work, I’ll have to TACK on an additional 600.00 on top of bills that are to high. I’d be worse off in a way, that to stay put for a season and have support and take son back and forth to activities for socialization (there aren’t kids in neighborhood for him to get with).

    On the flip side, husband isn’t getting better. Could get a lot worse?? He already has gotten a DUI/fines.
    I just try to figure out the best move and do not see a solution yet. BUT,the fiances are getting worse as he spends more,foolishly and gives me less, till I can get court ordered support.

    I hope I don’t seem like I’m just complaining, I’m really trying to figure a way to stabilize things and don’t seem to accomplish as much as I need to. I cant afford to spin my wheels, but don’t know what to do about some of it.

    I’m so thankful for your fellowship.

  • Debbi


    JC is correct then, if your circumstances don’t allow you right now to supplement your income, you need to get to that attorney ASAP to draw up court-ordered support until divorce is final. Don’t wait too much longer. But my offer still stands to research things for you. I was able to find the specifics to my local Food-Bank, assistance for utilities. It’s just temporary until I get caught up on all my medical bills. At first I felt weird about it because I used to donate food & money to the food-bank & now here I am using them but that’s what’s its for. I still donate to them every time I go in–last time I found extra reams of paper for a printer I can no longer use so I took it over. Next month I will offer them my old freezer, still working that they can use or donate. I’m willing to help from a distance with reducing your expenses & research things for you but don’t wait any longer in contacting your attorney & getting that support order started. Keep us all posted.

  • Ross

    There are some really good comments shared on this.

    Debbi, thank you for your kindness.I think I will take the ideas from you and everyone and do
    what I can to help myself. It wouldn’t be right to let you help me do what I must do.After all,
    look what you wonderful people on here have been through.God helps those who helps themselves.
    The table is set, but I must get myself to it and pick up my fork. I love you guys, your strength and perseverance is encouraging/inspiring. I’ll keep trying to do what I can.Like you good people have had to do too.

  • Debbi


    Just remember we help ourselves the most when we reach out and help others. I always can find a few minutes to look things up for you and I’m sure you have one friend near you who can just take some every-day burdens off “that plate of yours” right now. If your friend asked for your help in that way I’m sure you would help and feel honored that she came to you for help. Always reach out!

  • Ross

    Where my AH has controlled the finances and giving me less, I have had two different shut off notices for the elec.w/in a month.One bill I had an energy assistance org.help stay the shutoff,the other shutoff I finally had gotten the money .The remainder that I owe will be due the 23 or 26 of this same month.And since they have been on top of me to try to shut me off, Ive no doubt I will get another notice in this same month.
    I owe the internet bill, which was suspended and turned back on this month(son does homeschool on computer)
    and theyve been calling me and I probably will get a shut off from them too.I will probably get a shut off notice for the water on the 26th,for water because it will be the last day for it.
    Where my husband has cut me down so much, I couldnt pay my home ins. and have till the second.My car payment is due then.Mortgage due on first.I wont be able to go to court to get husband to pay a fair amount till tenth of may.Husband seemed cocky as if any of this is because I didnt do right by him.Yet he would have came back home the other day if I had let him.He is so sick.I’m amazed at the links this disease takes him-to the one who has stood by him.I am thoroughly punished and overwhelmed.I absolutely do not know what to do.I cant wrap my mind around this….I just need to vent here to keep from losing it.God knows I do not deserve this, but I’m in it(and I know others have been in bad situations too).I dont know where to turn.No family that can afford to help.Husband is absolutely shunning me in his ??? sick mind, and thats ok. I can hardly afford to get out of the house.
    If i worked it would tack on an additional 600 or? on top of high bills and I figured it would just make things easier on husband and worse on me.I am also trying to finish treatment for whiplash.I have called organizations.I found one that “might” help after I get my electric shutoff .I worry if that happens as i have tried to save back some frozen food.I kept our heat on 60 all winter,plastic, caulk, blocked stairway,unplugged things to keep elec costs down.I cut way down on laundry-as we hardly afforded to go out anyway.I make my own detergent, dish liquid , handsoap.I pinched everything to death.I cant figure how to keep it all together.

  • Debbi

    No you DO NOT DESERVE THIS–none of us do & people just tell me “life’s not fair” & I have been on this planet 55 years so you would think I might have had one year, one day, one hour where things turned in my favor but no.

    I can offer only one suggestion for the electric. If the bill is in his name–call them, tell them he left–you are in dire straights, put the account in your name & wipe the past amount due off the account. Give them his new address or his attorney’s address & sent the final bill to him. This will start you over but can you afford it? How about a roommate or will you have to sell the house soon? Just a thought.

    I go to the foodbank once a month, when it runs it, it runs out. I might make one stop at a produce store in between but I know about pinching. I have to go because I am on my last legs & I will move away to be with family–you might have to do that to get some stability back & get the stress off.

    As always reaching out with a ((HUG)).

  • Ross

    Bless you Debbi,I’m sorry for your trials too.
    Big fat hug back)))))))))))))))))))))

  • Ross

    I can’t believe this.My husband told me today, that he ‘met someone.’In the next state, where he’d just been to a friends house overnight.Now all this mind you, after telling me yes he loves me and didnt want us to get a divorce, if only I would accept him the way he is……
    How could he.25 years.this is so hurtful……how can he do this if he said he loves me?

Leave a Reply