Getting past guilt of divorce

Old 02-26-2010, 08:58 PM
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Getting past guilt of divorce

I am new to this forum. I filed for divorce from my AH of 16 years in September. His disease progressed from being a functional alcoholic - great husband and father to our 3 children- to getting fired from a high paying job, getting a DUI and becoming abusive. I filed for divorce a week after I called the police because he was threatening my life and had been abusive a few days prior. Since filing, he has been sober, buys me things constantly, tells me he loves me and can't live without me. He has Bipolar Disorder and I worry at times that he may be suicidal. He says that he is a changed man and will never drink again. I've read Co-Dependent No More and several other books which I found helpful. I do not love him anymore, but I feel so guilty for divorcing him. He needs medication and counseling for his depression. After the divorce, he won't have any insurance. I am so frustrated that he refused to quit drinking until it got to the point that I had no feelings left except pity! Any advice for the newbie?
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Old 02-26-2010, 09:03 PM
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Welcome to SR!

I say you're on a good track. You're taking care of you.

I am so frustrated that he refused to quit drinking until it got to the point that I had no feelings left except pity!
Frustrated is a feeling, too. What do you feel about you? When I asked my abusive AH to move out, I felt relief, empowerment, and pride for FINALLY standing up for myself. A flood of other emotions came, too, but I've been embracing them all, good and bad, because to feel ANYTHING means I'm alive. And for that, I'm grateful.
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Old 02-26-2010, 09:28 PM
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I feel that I am worthy of having a great life. I am a strong, independent person who is ready to start living again. I think I'll be so relieved once the whole divorce process is done.
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Old 02-26-2010, 09:39 PM
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I'm glad to hear (er... see?) you feel that way about yourself. Sometimes it's easy to feel guilty or to blame, and to that (if you, or anyone else were feeling that way about an abusive situation) I'd say it's not your fault.

I liked Codependent No More, and I enjoyed Beyond Codependency (And Getting Better All The Time) much more. I really appreciated Melody pointing out that independence is NOT the healthy opposition of Codependence, it's interdependence. Do you have a good support group around you? I mean, aside from the 1,000+ support members you have here at SR...

Friends? Family? Other people that have/had been affected by the awful disease of alcoholism?
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Old 02-26-2010, 09:46 PM
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I am also working through my divorce with my AW. She has been sober since I told her that I was proceeding with the divorce. We all have the same frustration - why couldn't they have done this before? That's what makes this disease so difficult. The new found sobriety might be just a response to your action, or he may be on the path to true sobriety. Please don't feel guilty about filing for divorce - it's what you decided you needed to do. You did it to protect yourself. Once your AH determines that his "changed behavior" doesn't get you to change your mind, I would anticipate a round of the abusive behavior. Stay strong, and stay on the path. If he finds true sobriety, you can rejoin him later in life when he has been on his own and clean for some time.

Best Wishes
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Old 02-27-2010, 04:39 AM
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Hi saneagain - I can share my experience. In the summer of 2006 I had had enough. My AH was drinking constantly, was nothing but an unconsious lump on our couch who we lived around as if he was a piece of furniture, and was even calling in sick to his six figure job so he could stay home and drink. I once listened in horror as he did a conference call while slurring.

Finally, after years of the usual BS, I kicked him out. He quit drinking, romanced me, suddenly wanted to be lovers again, etc etc. I went through the same horror you're going through - will he or won't he, does he mean it, can we ever get over this?

In the end once he realized I was seriously gone, he got worse than ever - got DWI #3, and ruined his excellent credit buying ridiculous stuff he didn't need (kayak anyone?), maxing out his cards, etc.

Here we are three years later. He emailed me at 5 AM a few weeks ago to tell me what a horrible person I am. He was clearly wasted. I haven't even spoken to him in over a year. this was followed by a valentine's day text to tell me if I ever wanted to get together to let him know. Yeah - whatever.

Nothing changed him - not losing his wife and home, not a DWI that cost him about $20k, nothing. One day, if and when he's had enough, then he'll change.
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Old 03-01-2010, 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted by saneagain View Post
I feel that I am worthy of having a great life. I am a strong, independent person who is ready to start living again. I think I'll be so relieved once the whole divorce process is done.
You are worthy of all that!!

I eventually reached this point too even though I didn't really 'see' that future. I didn't really understand how my life had veered off the path. I was deep into the forest of living with alcoholism and couldn't even see the pathy anymore. I felt enormous guilt and fear that I was making the wrong decision. There was so much uncertainty.

It has only been a very short time. I still have all my own recovery work to do but I have to say - the guilt has evaporated. My mind is so much more clear. I can hardly believe how lost I was and it has only been a few short months.
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Old 03-01-2010, 01:38 PM
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Hello Saneagain. I can relate to your story. I recently divorced my husband of six years. His alcoholism had progressed to what was an unbearable situation for me. When he called one morning at 9 a.m. totally drunk and lost while on the way to a jobsite I knew that for me things had to change. The next time he was home and sober I told him I wanted a divorce. He talked me into a separation. That lasted about a week as he kept coming to my house drunk. I put him to bed drunk one day and went to see my lawyer and filed the paperwork. I knew that there were no other options available to me. He lost his health insurance when the divorce was final. That still bothers me but I realize that I did what I had to do. While we were married he went to rehab twice. Now that we are divorced he seems truly serious about sobriety. I have learned a lot from reading this forum and also from attending my local AlAnon meetings. I highly recommend that you find one and give it a try. Hugs to you.
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Old 03-01-2010, 03:45 PM
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Welcome Saneagain. I divorced my AH some 2 years ago, after 27 years of marriage. Needless to say, it was gruesome... the process. But the decision to do so was easy, for I'd gotten to the point of realizing no matter what I did, I couldn't stop him from drinking, and that he was not anytime soon going to get well. Being that the choice was up to him, I just had to let it go. He was also abusive, and like all, even after the fact - pleaded to give him "one more chance". I finally didn't feel guilty, which was why I was able to move forward.

You are not responsible for him. You are responsible for you. He'll find a way, know that.... if not with you, then someone else... that's what they do.

BTW.. two years post divorce - I have been told by his family that he'd cleaned up, was sober and working a job again - low paying, but at least a re-start. We learned yesterday that he's been hospitalized repeatedly with near fatal levels of alcohol in him... brain damage, and now his liver is failing. And so it goes. Would have happened under my watch as well, I am sure.

Go out and live your life, it's so short!
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Old 03-01-2010, 04:35 PM
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Can I join the party?

I separated from STBXAH in September as I shipped him off to rehab again. The last 5 months have been challenging but at the same time, peaceful and glorious.

I don't think he's participating in a program, and can't do it anymore, so I retained my lawyer this afternoon and the divorce will be filed in less than a week. I don't anticipate he'll take it lying down, but then again, who knows. I can't control his reaction, but it's something he'll need to deal with, unlike the rest of his life.

I felt really, really guilty when I knew we were headed this direction, which has been partly helped knowing I can include paying COBRA for him as part of the settlement. It won't be pretty, but it's better than paying him cash alimony. And yes, I'll have to pay. Neither here nor there. There is less guilt now, although I don't know how I'll feel next week once he gets served. Now that's a phone call I might just have to not be home for. Just saying.
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Old 03-02-2010, 05:04 AM
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I went through similar drama as many/all of you. I had a hard time with breaking the vows. My minister said the Bible says 'don't be yoked to a drunkard. " Mine never quit. He had several DUI's, 6 months in jail, lost $70,000 job,lost insurance, no job, added methodone to drinking(a case a day) and smoking pot and growing it in the house........two teens in the house......he was verbally and mentally abusive, addicted to porn, secretly filmed me dressing, hidden cameras in the bath!?!? left two treatment centers, kicked out of outpatient treatment.......I could not eat or sleep.......I lost 25 lbs.......(I've gained back)........I used to grind my teeth and did some damage there. My health was going south. Oh he was buying alot of Sudafed.......?.........getting neighbors to buy it for him, and doctor shopping for pain pills.....he had no pain! Uh......worn out from typing this.......but it is good to remember the ca ca. We are not alone.....we are all one!
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Old 03-02-2010, 05:49 AM
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the guilt stems from you believing that he would be so much better with you in him camp, you supporting him and helping him to become the strong man that everyone wishes he would be. stop. you do not have that much power. some people feel that leaving him to fall down and pick up the pieces, on his own, with the assistance of appropriate helpers, is the ticket for his success. i think this is true whether it's mental illness or addiction problems. you are not doing anything "wrong"
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Old 08-24-2013, 12:56 PM
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Getting past the guilt of divorce

My ex-husband was a high-functioning alcoholic for apparently many years until he wasn't anymore - realized he was an alcoholic about 4 years ago and then tried to get him to stop drinking - after 2 failed rehabs and much grief I kicked him out and then later filed for divorce. We had been married for 20 years and had managed to save money in a 401K - I was awarded the majority of the funds for me and the 2 kids. Since that time, he has been fired from his 6 figure job for drinking and has turned over the rest of the funds for the kids' education. Just found out he is on the way to Colorado with $1000 - all that he now has to his name - and of course 2 rehabs later he is still drinking. I feel VERY guilty about getting out of things relatively unscathed (except for emotional scars). What to do?
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Old 08-24-2013, 01:36 PM
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Originally Posted by miriam77 View Post
I feel VERY guilty about getting out of things relatively unscathed (except for emotional scars). What to do?
Thank God, and whomever may have helped that you survived the drunken rollercoaster ride from (and to) Hell and back?

At least that is where I think I might like to start. A LOT of Gratitude.

add on edit:

BTW, THIS is a Great Older Thread, huh?

The story never really changes, just the names.
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Old 08-24-2013, 10:01 PM
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I understand the guilt. I am feeling guilty just thinking about leaving, even while he is in the throes of a temper tantrum.
I also feel guilty that I am so fed up even though my A's behaviors are not as severe as others have posted.

Yes Hammer, this is a great older thread to read.
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Old 08-24-2013, 10:41 PM
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Yurt, I get your guilt. But you should feel fed up! My ex's behaviors weren't severe either (he was mostly just a lump on the couch) - but I kicked him out hoping that would FINALLY get him to stop - the house was so sad with him there drunk all the time. Kicking him out didn't get him to stop - he just got worse - but, we felt immediate relief. Two years later I only feel occasional guilt and the kids and I are 100% better.
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Old 01-30-2014, 03:25 PM
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I found this thread with a bit of Googling to try and help myself.

Last year I split up with my alcoholic partner. The final straw was when I found out he had an affair.

However, he managed to pursuade me to take him back a few months later as he was going to spend the rest of his life making it up to me etc etc.

I feel so stupid for taking him back. I instructed the solicitor but I could't go through with it. I sought some therapy which did help and the therapist was of the view that he wasn't beyond help and there was the possibility he could sort himself out (he has mental health issues too - they suspect he was bipolar or had a personality disorder).

What did happen is the drinking and DUI continued. I got to the point where I was screaming and shouting and calling him some really horrible names when he was drunk - I feel really bad about that now as I really don't like the person I was becoming. This disease was making me into a nasty spiteful individual.

The final straw was that I found out he was going to see another woman behind my back when he claimed he was going to AA. He even spent the night and I had no idea where he was. He spent the night there several times since whenever we had a row.

He has gone to stay with this woman now as he has nowhere else to go and I suggested he leave in one of our rows. But I feel really sorry and guilty about him. He has been kicked off his alcohol programme and disowned by his family and clearly doesn't want to be be with this woman. I am really worried that he has nothing to live for and he will do something silly.

I don't think I love him any more because of what he has become. But that is not to say that I don't care about him because I do. I feel so mixed up at the moment. Part of me says that I really need to push the button and start the divorce now. But another part of me is finding it so hard to go down that road, despite the knowledge that it is the right thing to do and I am so much better without him.

I too have been asking myself why he didn't read the warning signs and do something about it before we got to this stage. I just hope I can look back and see I did the right thing. I want to be with someone who makes me happy and he does not. But I would be distraught if he didn't sort himself out and something bad happened to him.

Sorry for the ramble.
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Old 01-30-2014, 03:30 PM
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Grumble, I am really sorry you are dealing with all of this confusion and pain right now. Try to remember that where he is and what he is going through are the natural consequences of his own bad choices, not because of anything you have done or said. Now is a good time to step back and start figuring out why you feel guilty when you have done nothing wrong but try to protect yourself. Sending you strength and courage.
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Old 01-30-2014, 04:51 PM
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I was surprised to read comments that I posted in 2010:

"Now that we are divorced he seems truly serious about sobriety."

ha! He's been arrested twice for DUI and in the hospital for alcohol poisoning. I'm thankful that I'm out of the loop.
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Old 01-30-2014, 08:59 PM
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You and me both, RollTide!

I think mine only got 1 DUI, but I didn't find out about it until years later. I am SO grateful to have closed that chapter of my life. I wish him the best, and have moved on.

Life is peaceful, serene, and filled with light and love. I am very blessed, but I had to gather up the courage to actually go through with it.

Hugs to you, Grumble
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