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My Ex-Husband is an Alcoholic and We Have a Seven Year Old Daughter: Is an Intervention the Way to Go?

I have been divorced for almost two months now. We divorced due to his drinking problem. I do love him but I cannot live with him. He becomes mean and nasty when he drinks.

About two and a half years ago, he became physically violent with me in front of our daughter. I had him removed, had a restraining order and after it was all said and done, I realized I didn't want a divorce, I wanted him to get help.

He agreed and promised to quit drinking. He would stop for maybe a week or two (at the most) and start back up again. He promised five different times and was not able to stop. In two years, he has been in four accidents, arrested three times and now his auto insurance company has dropped him. He has burned quite a few bridges with co-workers, friends, etc. When he drinks, he is always wanting to fight.

He is a great person and wonderful father when he is straight. I care very deeply for him and wish he would seek help, I gave him the choice - our marriage or his alcohol, I thought he would have chosen us but instead he would rather have his alcohol ...

We are ready to do an intervention, do you have any suggestions or advice?

Still in Love with an Alcoholic


Yes an alcoholism intervention is worth trying if you've tried everything else and nothing has worked to date. But the intervention usually works when the alcoholic stands to lose something of great value to them if they don't agree to the treatment the intervention is supposed to facilitate.

Since your ex-husband has already lost his family - what consequence are you going to 'enforce' if he doesn't agree to treatment? You have to think carefully about that so that if you go ahead with the intervention you stand a chance of it working. Because reason/logic won't work - it has to be something of real emotional value.

But even if the intervention does work and your ex-husband agrees to getting professional help and treatment for his alcoholism - there is no guarantee that he'll actually go on and turn his life around. It might just be another short-lived and half-hearted attempt like his previous one's have been.

So as much as you want to see your ex-husband find a life of sobriety - you have to manage your own expectations and make peace with the fact your husband has made the choice to drink and is entirely responsible for the state of his life right now. And until he's ready and wants to change - nothing anyone says or does is likely to get through to him.

There is no harm in trying an intervention - and maybe you do manage to push the right emotional buttons so that he decides its time to turn his life around. But just don't put all your hopes on this because there are no guarantees.

It sounds like you're still holding on to the past and what you had with him. If you're ever going to find real happiness again - at some point you're going to have to move on and start focusing on your own needs. You can't control what your ex-husband decides to do but you can control the choices you make - and so your life and happiness is something you can do something about.

Your divorce is still recent - and so confusion and doubt is pretty normal. Be patient and give yourself time. Things will get easier. We all deserve love and respect from a relationship - which is unfortunately simply not possible when involved with an alcoholic. You made the right decision.

Take Care and Good Luck

Comments for My Ex-Husband is an Alcoholic and We Have a Seven Year Old Daughter: Is an Intervention the Way to Go?

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Sep 12, 2010
Your husband had made his choice
by: Anonymous

Your husband has made his choice. He chose alcohol when you gave him the choice: You and your daughter or the alcohol. He now has to live with that decision. So why are you still trying to rescue him? It sounds like you have co-dependent tendencies - so instead of worrying about your ex-husband, you and your daughters' well-being should be your only concern. A group like CoDA ( is something you should look into where you learn about the ability to develop healthy relationships. Because there is nothing healthy about being in a relationship with an alcoholic who has physically abused you - no matter how good a father he is when he's sober. He's not sober and has chosen not to be - despite you once already giving him the chance to choose sobriety. Time to heal and find yourself in all this. You take care.

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