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I Lost My Alcoholic Husband Downunder: He's Asked For a Divorce Out of Nowhere!?

by Zooey
(United States)

Hi I am struggling with my heart and my sanity. My husband and I have been married for 8 years and together for a total of 13 years. He is a alcoholic in my opinion. He drinks at least a 6 pack of beer every night and chases it with a bottle of wine. He has always been a heavy drinker since we met but I guess I thought he would out grow this addiction.

Last year he got really violent with me on one of his drunks and I was really angry. I forced him to go to a councilor with me. During our session I said I wanted a divorce and he said he did not, that he wanted another chance. So he was to move out of the house for 30 days and each of us were required to continue with individual sessions with different councilors. He never showed up for any meetings and he came back home in only a week.

I of course let him come home as I felt I did not have any choice. We have a beautiful home with lots of darling pets that offer love and comfort to anyone they meet. But I was seeing that this was not enough to make him change. He got a job offer in Australia so I encouraged him to take the job so we could have some space and I would travel back and forth to visit him.

I went down to see him last December and stayed until April. He was still drinking heavily and I promised myself to keep my mouth shut. Well I failed and we got into several fights over his drinking. I think because we were living in a small apartment and I would wait at home for him to get off work and he would always lie about working late and hit the pub before he came home. We even went on a couple of trips and everything he would participate in had to involve a way to drink. We even went to Fiji and I went scuba diving and he went to the bar.

When I got home we talked on the phone daily and it seemed like everything was okay other than the fact that he complained endlessly about how stupid everyone at work was. I listened and tried to tell him happy stories about home and the dogs and horses etc.

Then 6 weeks after I got home I called him to say hello and he said he wanted to divorce me. I was blindsided. He offered me the house and a generous monthly settlement, all done through text and email as he refuses to talk to me. I also had to endure the humiliating task of filing for the divorce as he is out of the country.

I guess my question is I see many wives leaving or wanting to leave their alcoholic husbands but I did/do not want a divorce. Is it common for the alcoholic to abandon their spouse? I just do not understand what happened and so suddenly, with his urgency. I could wrap my head around a request for a divorce with a little time and dialogue but he is just so cold, so distant like I am a shit smear on the bottom of his shoe and I am the one who has to clean it off.

How did I become such a non-person? why don't I count and what should I expect? I purchased and downloaded your book I am in Love with an Addict and I read the first two chapters several times a day to try to self soothe myself. I am just so broken by this disdain and cruelty.

Thanks for listening and any insight is appreciated. Answer

Hi Zooey

Having read Help Me! I'm In Love With An Addict/Alcoholic you'll know that your husband's alcoholism and actions are not about you. Alcoholism is an incredibly selfish illness and the alcoholic will do anything and everything to do what they want to do, i.e. drink, and in the process usually hurting those that love them the most.

While that doesn't necessarily make it easier to deal with the pain you're going through and explain why your husband is suddenly asking for a divorce, you need to remember that so you don't start to blame yourself for any of this, or take on responsibility for something that is not of your making.

It does seem suspicious that your husband has suddenly sprung wanting a divorce on you, especially since you're not getting in the way of his drinking at the moment because you're living so far apart. Which could mean there is someone else involved.

Trying to establish whether that's the case and getting your husband to admit to it if it is, could be easier said than done though. So you're going to have to figure out how to get him to be totally honest with you about his reasons and whether there is someone else involved. And it obviously makes it difficult being so far away.

So you might tell your husband that for you to get closure and be able to move on, he needs to be absolutely honest with about why and that he must tell you if he has met someone else. Because it would certainly be better knowing than not knowing.

But whether your husband does come clean or not and even though you do love him - sometimes we have to accept that things happen for a reason, and that when one door closes on us, given time it will mean another one opens. Because being married to an alcoholic is one of the most difficult things imaginable - and to have a relationship based on real love, mutual respect, honesty and caring when there is so much toxicity involved is almost impossible.

Remember this is a man that has gotten violent with you, which while as much as you love him, is under no circumstances okay. Do you really want that kind of life for yourself in the long run? And you can't hold onto empty promises made that he'll quit or change - because if he doesn't really want to he isn't going to. You can't cure or change an alcoholic, so unless they're ready to turn their life around, there isn't much you can do.

There will be many difficult and dark days ahead, but you can get through this. Chapters 6,7 and 9 of Help Me! I'm In Love With An Alcoholic go into more detail of what you can specifically start doing to start getting your life back on track and start taking care of your needs, so be sure to read those often. It won't be easy, but by taking it slowly and giving it time, things will get easier.

Whatever you do though, try and get closure on this one way or another as soon as possible. Because you don't want this dragging on indefinitely and being emotionally destroyed in the process. You deserve better than you've been treated and while it doesn't seem like it now, one day you will probably look back at this and be grateful that it happened.

Hang in there and stay strong!

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