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Help: AW in Hospital Right Before Divorce

Old 12-14-2012, 12:46 PM
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Unhappy Help: AW in Hospital Right Before Divorce

Hi Everyone:

I am at the tail end of an 18 year marriage to AW. We have been living separately for 6 months and the last 2 years have been a hell ride featuring AW's bad decisions, questionable relationships and "I love you" text messages with other men, medical problems, and all kinds of other vodka-fueled drama.

I filed for legal separation one year ago, and very recently I gave AW a nice printout called "Converting from Legal Separation to Divorce: What This Means for You". I intended to convert to a divorce, which is a big deal because it will force the sale of our house where AW has been living, forcing her to find a different place to live, breaking up our possessions and dividing our lives once and for all.

I figured, I have nothing to lose by doing this, she is still drinking and heading in a bad direction, as my motto says, "nothing changes if nothing changes".

The more I thought about being divorced and no longer owning a home with AW, the better I started to feel. I would be more detached, I would feel a greater sense of control over my own future, hopes and dreams, and most of all, I would not be frustrated, bitter, or angry. I could just grieve and let go. I pictured myself giving her a clean slate, and we could be friends, and this was appealing to me.

All of that "blew up" 9 days ago when she collapsed from alcoholic starvation and a bruise on her brain. A dramatic sequence of events got her to the emergency room, and she came extremely close to dying.

Seeing her emaciated, thin, confused, and basically dead, hurt me terribly. In a private moment, I fell down on my face and broke down in tears. I begged the Good Lord to PLEASE save AW, please help her, please . . . and I prayed as earnestly and honestly as I ever have.

So here we are: God has saved AW. She's about 70% better physically and 90% better mentally, she is sober, talking recovery, saying she's "done", and she's being really, really nice. I can't help but feel proud of her, or at least happy that she is OK. It's a medical miracle, this is like the 7th time this has happened -- this one is the 2nd worst of all time.

So I have big time deja vu -- in a bad way. I am being reminded of the "zillions" of times I have been in a hospital trying to encourage AW to get better. As a huge codie people pleaser, I can only seem to say nice things like "way to go" and "you're doing great".

But OH MY GOD I AM SO SCARED of getting drawn back in with this woman! It feels weird, because when she is sober she is harmless as a bunny rabbit. It feels weird, because I am agitated and freaking out and fearful of the future, just as she is getting nice and sober! I should be happy, but no, instead I am SCARED.

I swore to myself, possibly even on these board, never, ever, EVER am I going for another ride with AW on the vodka crazy train again, because I end up getting hurt. The last 2 years have just been the worst.

I am so confused at this point. Why did God save her? Why did I pray so earnestly for her to live, when part of me feels life would be simpler if she would just die? Does the timing mean anything? I was just about to go for a final divorce, perhaps now I should delay? Or maybe I should file papers, have her served, and keep the process going forward anyway?

It is unspeakably difficult for me to face this sober, kind, trying-to-recover woman, in a hospital, at Christmas, to tell her I don't want to be married anymore. I really don't think I do.

She's doing too little, too late -- right?

I know I need boundaries, I am going to Al Anon 2X per week and I have another support group as well. I'm not alone trying to figure this out, but anyone who wants to share their ESH with me right now, I need it bad. I love this woman when she is sober, but her vodka drinking has put me throught the meat grinder which is why I am twisted up like a pretzel at the moment.

Thanks for listening.
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Old 12-14-2012, 12:56 PM
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My 1st wife during the divorce went down that same road. She wasn't so luck and died at the hospital.

Today married again I am so amazed at how Awesome marriage can be without all that drama and a normal woman. Would I have go back IF I had the chance today? NO! No Way, no how, not a chance!

If you were to start a relationship today... Would you date this woman? With that answer, it is time for you to heal.
AG
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Old 12-14-2012, 12:57 PM
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Wow I'm sorry you're going through this.
Alcoholism is so destroying.
I think it's normal to feel emotion for this lady. You must have some good memories & history together.
The fact you broke down & prayed shows you are a caring person, nobody wants to see someone go through what this alcoholic has gone through, it is soul destroying.
I don't know what to advise but want you to know we're here for you.
Sending you the biggest of hugs. :ghug3
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Old 12-14-2012, 01:10 PM
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You've been down this road a number of times and the scenery should be quite familiar. Only you can decide if you prefer the familiarity of this road or are ready to take the nearest exit....or the next one....or the next one.....
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Old 12-14-2012, 01:15 PM
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I am sorry, djayr. Crazy train ride is right!

I don't think there is a good time to have that talk with her. Its a painful conversation regardless, for both of you.

Just remember, actions speak louder than words. Her words are all well and good right now, but history has proven her inability to stick by those words. More will be revealed.
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Old 12-14-2012, 01:27 PM
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Originally Posted by djayr View Post
I am so confused at this point. Why did God save her? Why did I pray so earnestly for her to live, when part of me feels life would be simpler if she would just die? Does the timing mean anything? I was just about to go for a final divorce, perhaps now I should delay? Or maybe I should file papers, have her served, and keep the process going forward anyway?
Because you are a decent human being.

When I learned XABF was in the hospital with cancer I knew it was the end, especially with the added information that he was in an induced coma "because he was completely freaked out and it was the only way left to keep him from hurting himself."
I'll confess that while I didn't go to the hospital (it had been almost a year since I had gone "no contact" with him) I did not want things to end that way for him. Nobody deserves that. Everyone deserves a chance.

Would I have gone back into a relationship with him if he had gotten better? ABSOLUTELY NOT! But that didn't stop me from wishing the best for him and his family, because it's just one of those things... We have to have compassion, it's what keeps us human, and while a lot of times it's what keeps us stuck in the situation much longer than we should remain, it's also a large part of how we can continue forward with our lives knowing that we are doing the right thing.

Originally Posted by djayr View Post
It is unspeakably difficult for me to face this sober, kind, trying-to-recover woman, in a hospital, at Christmas, to tell her I don't want to be married anymore. I really don't think I do.

She's doing too little, too late -- right?

I know I need boundaries, I am going to Al Anon 2X per week and I have another support group as well. I'm not alone trying to figure this out, but anyone who wants to share their ESH with me right now, I need it bad. I love this woman when she is sober, but her vodka drinking has put me throught the meat grinder which is why I am twisted up like a pretzel at the moment.
I think it's part of the whole cycles, the whole "When it was good is was really, really good and when it was bad it was horrid." It's a different part of the cycle, and unfortunately with the timing it makes things more difficult.

Ultimately, you need to do what is right for you - and that also means making a decision you can live with. If you feel the timing is off right now there's nothing wrong with waiting until after the holidays and after she's out of the hospital. If you want to wait and see what she does then by all means wait and see - but YES, boundaries are critical here, to ensure you don't get sucked back in again.

Meantime, remember that if she's going to drink she's going to drink, and nothing you do will "cause" that. If/when you decide to serve her the papers, SHE gets to decide whether she will use that as an excuse to start drinking again or an additional wake up call to get better or however she wants to justify whatever she intends to do in her head.


That is outside of your control, and whether you serve her the papers now or wait fifty years to do it your actions are not responsible for her decisions.
...Perhaps you simply need to be certain that you believe that before you decide what you are going to do next?
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Old 12-14-2012, 01:48 PM
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So what would happen if you do nothing for the moment?

You don't want to kick her while she's down or wind up down where she is again.
You don't want to retreat from the brutal decision to walk away and risk a repeat.

So what if you do nothing? If you just put things on hold for a few months you are still seperated and not sucked in. You won't be taking an action you are conflicted about.

Doing nothing feels good. Oh crap, I sound lazy there!

Doing nothing requires no effort for some people, for others it is pretty tough.

A wise friend will tell someone who just divorced or lost a spouse not to make any big decisions for a while. We second guess ourselves when we make big decisions at times of great stress - some we can take back, some we cant.

A resolution is obviously important to you, but only you know if it is urgent. Is the sale of the house urgent and important? Would a few months significantly harm or help?

Clearly this has shaken you and good lord - it shook me just imagining the hell you've been through - I can't imagine how hard it is for you to know the right questions let alone answers right now.

A few months from now she may solve this by confirming your decision to divorce or she may make it harder and you will have to arrive at a decision that makes you very sad even if she is the poster child for recovery. What if, but, maybe, what have I done.... Those can be tough words to have banging around your head.

If you did nothing but reset the date - neither engaging nor withdrawing but just standing pat until you resolve those feelings, do you think you would feel more at peace with your decision?

Just a thought, learning not to react right away helps me but you may be wired very differently.

I'm sorry you are going through this pain and glad you reached out to your friends here.

Also, I'm glad to hear that your wife is alive for her sake as yours. I pray that she gets well but even more I pray that if she does not then you don't have to witness it.

Good luck and take care of yourself. I'm sure the mixture of grief, relief, sadness, joy, hope, fear, guilt and resentment that this scenario must cause you is exhausting. Get some rest.
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Old 12-14-2012, 02:06 PM
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I can't tell you what is right or wrong because my AH drives the Vodka Train too but other women don't ride in the caboose and if they did, I'd be pulling the break and jumping off right away. I have riden his train for 3 years now and although it's stopped at the moment, he knows that if the engine starts again, I am getting off and we will live seperated. He told his son and friend who were here yesterday evening, I'm not drinking... and I added, because you'll end up divorced... and he looked at his son and said, Yes.

I can't ride it any longer. It's a run away train and scares the hell out of me anymore and it's only gotten faster with every bottle. I swear, I have watched it literally possess him and although he has not harmed me physically, he has verbally assaulted me and hearing him say *Shut the fawk up!* and *Fawk You!* Wow... that's not how my husband would treat or talk to me. EVER! He has never called me out like that until recently on a vodka fueled binge and scary is an absolute understatement.

I think the best piece of advice I could give you about an up and coming divorce and you being wishy washy is this. Let her actions speak for her. That's what I am doing with my husband because he's lied so much to me. He says, I'll quit and he goes to buy another bottle. He has not boughten one since the 7th. He's been sober since the 9th and I'm letting him show me instead of lie to me. I believe more of what I see instead of what I hear.

We have a looooooong road to hoe. I so want it to work out but only he can do that by showing me that he wants to get well. I have forgiveness in my heart for him. His biggest trigger is yet to come and I will see lots of action come Spring and I so want to not have to do what needs done if he does not stay sober.

So for you, I say... Lights.... Camera.... ACTION!
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Old 12-14-2012, 02:11 PM
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I am so sorry you are going through this.

I am getting papers ready for the big D, but totally waiting til after the holidays. I think this time of year is about being in it, the darkness, the cold, interior. You stare at the candles glow and you keep cozy and you wait for the new year before you take action.

I can't wait for spring to come and the lightness and freshness of a new beginning after a 17 year marriage to someone who is increasingly cruel and desperate.

It must have been traumatic, seeing your AW so close to death. Give yourself space to move through this and be kind to yourself.

And hold on to the dream of what your life can be when you move on.
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Old 12-14-2012, 03:36 PM
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Oh so sorry about this how traumatic. Of course you prayed for her to live, you care - you probably always will. I can't really think of anything sadder than dying of alcoholism or addiction. I sure hope this is it for her - that she lives, and not in a vodka coma.

You know Djayr, sometimes it is too late. There is too much water under the bridge - could you love her like you once did, trust her, be with her and forgive her for all the torture she put you through? Sometimes forgiveness comes when we are away from what caused it. I can't answer those questions for you of course only you can. Perhaps yo uhave already laid out and planned your new single life and are getting a little excited about the future.

You certainly don't have to discuss it with her now and I wouldn't. I wonder if she will bring it up with you soon?

If it were me I would press the hold button for a while. See how you feel when she is back at home and healthier.

I hope she is better.
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Old 12-14-2012, 03:55 PM
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Thanks for the great feedback. It helps. I don't have to figure this out right this minute. Her actions have spoken and will speak again. I'll take it one day at a time, count my blessings, and try to get a grip on myself. Anyone else who wants to chime in, your wisdom is appreciated.
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Old 12-14-2012, 04:12 PM
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Hi djar, I get the feeling that even if your AW continues with recovery you will go through with the divorce process. Are you afraid that you will cause her to relapse if you have the papers served now? Or people will think you're hard hearted?
I think that's going to happen whether you do it now, or in the New Year. If she continues with recovery, you will always risk 'causing' a relapse, but any setback could do that.
For what it's worth it might be better to go ahead while she has intensive support. As you're in contact with her you could make it clear that the divorce is not an indication that you don't wish her well. Just a few thoughts; only you can choose. Whatever way you go my best wishes are with you.
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Old 12-14-2012, 04:16 PM
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djayr,

I don't have any words of wisdom. I'm nearly three years post divorce after six years of insanity. I am living a healthy, wonderful, normal life and I love it. I thank God for the day that I finally said "no more!"
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Old 12-14-2012, 04:51 PM
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No advice here...

...the consequences of giving any could be too great. But I will say this-- there are people who have had the experience your wife is having and it was what they needed to find recovery, there are others who are sober until they "feel better," and then it's off to the races again, and there are those that start drinking again as soon as they get the chance. I think it's impossible to know which of those applies to your wife.

However, whatever you do, please make sure you have appropriate boundaries set that you are willing to follow through on. For example, there are alcoholics who do what yours did specifically to manipulate an outcome that they want-- this is totally normal behavior for an alcoholic. I'm not saying that's what your wife did, I'm saying it's been done and is not out of the ordinary. If you decide to not follow through, and later you end up in the same place (and she does the same thing), then I'd suggest you seriously consider ending the marriage for good.

Good luck my friend,

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Old 12-14-2012, 05:23 PM
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Oh my do I know how you feel. Similar situation here...........separated for over a year after a 21 year marriage, weeks from finalizing the divorce and he ended up in hospital after a bad fall, then DT's, pneumonia, heart arrythmias. My AH did not survive and died in the hospital at age 63, all of alcohol related illness. Is it easier this way? One might think so. At least now I can say I stuck it out to the bitter end, could say my goodbyes, give forgiveness so in a sense I'm glad the divorce was never finalized. But after having minimal contact for some time I know the feeling of getting sucked back in though........constant bedside vigil, I swooped right back into co-dependent mode the minute it became clear he was truly critically ill. I couldn't walk away from that.

On the other hand was it worth a life.........no. I would have rather seen him live. I have to agree with those that said to just do nothing for right now. Likely nothing will change in spite of the promises. But if you are not sure I agree with expectant watching. Her actions will show you the right course but that doesn't mean you have to get back together, move in etc. Anyone would be confused in your situation.
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Old 12-14-2012, 05:53 PM
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Djayr, you are free, still free, to follow your heart, wherever that may take you.

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Old 12-15-2012, 03:15 AM
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I can tell you I've been where you are now. I continued with the divorce based on one idea. That if at anytime int he future M embraced long term sobriety I could always decide at that point if I wanted to attempt to heal the relationship. As it turned out two years after we divorced she did embrace sobriety and we did date. Unfortunately for M it wasn't long term sobriety and ending the relationship at that point was far less complicated.

Good luck.
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Old 12-15-2012, 06:56 AM
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Something has changed. I looked at her phone last night. Just weeks before going to the hospital she was exchanging provocative, sexual text messages with one of her many "friends". These guys just hang around and she is clearly a willing participant.

She has always claimed 100% purity with her faithfulness, which is a complete joke based on a mountain of circumstantial evidence. I've never caught her red handed. This is the part that REALLY hurts and I am really done with. The facts are the facts.

As usual, the "watch and wait" strategy is working, I am getting clarity. It comes down to my emotions versus my intellect. The emotions bounce me all over the map, magnified by the fact that I am an emotional person. But give me a break.

I'm going to try to detach, be supportive, have a nice Christmas, and shortly thereafter, resume my divorce proceedings.

I can see my own denial of the truth of this relationship. The fact is, any time in the last 2 years of hell, whenever I was confused, I could look at her phone and see painful truths that slam me back to reality. It hurts like hell every time, but I am batting 1.000 with my suspicions that she has a secret life, an unfaithful agenda, and Plan B, Plan C, and Plan D in the event that things don't work out.

I have been dealing with this nonsense for long time. It has been long, difficult, and expensive to extract myself without hurting feelings and creating conflict. Avoidance of conflict and peace making is in my DNA. But I am not stupid. So I will patiently allow this to continue to unfold.

A lot of my hang ups are because of God, my Christian beliefs about forgiveness, and the backdrop of "what would Jesus do?" I have attempted unconditional love and forgiveness with regard to AW, and even now I feel like crap. But I am getting through it, with the help of this board, al anon, a church support group, and many friends and family.

I would love to be done. I would love to be normal. I would love for AW to move on so I wouldn't have to think about this all the time. Unfortunately, I feel bad, like a quitter or someone who is abandoning someone else, shirking responsibility etc., even as I type those words.

God I hate alcoholism. I'm not trying to feel sorry for myself, I do have many blessings and I have enjoyed a physically healthy, interesting and abundant life. I am 46 years old and anything can happen going forward. Somehow, I just need to keep plowing forward through this discomfort and someday, maybe, I will feel OK about my journey.

Thanks again to everyone. You truly, really, help me with your ESH.
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Old 12-15-2012, 06:59 AM
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Forgiveness is separate from enmeshment. One can freely forgive but ALSO remove oneself from enmeshment, if one so decides. They are two different things, but may FEEL like the same thing.

Sending support,

CLMI
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