Divorce is Not an Option
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I’m 53 years old with five children. I had four of them with my current husband. He and I have been separated for six months after 20 years of marriage. I have always been the primary caregiver of our kids while my husband has been an alcoholic. He prefers whiskey to his family and emotionally abandoned us. However, I don’t believe in divorce. I was hoping that my husband would hit rock bottom and then realize how important we are to him. While he gets healthy, I want to heal emotionally.
My husband went out of town with a woman. He posted pictures of their trip on Facebook. In one, they are kissing. I don’t have Facebook, but four of my kids do and they saw the pictures. Of course, they asked me about them and we talked about it, but I don’t know if my husband is romantically involved with this woman or if he was just trying to get a reaction from me.
I want to know if he has moved on already even if I don’t believe in divorce. Or, is this a fling and eventually we’ll work thing out? I have a broken spirit and a heart that needs mending and direction.
20 Years Wasted?
Psychic Kallista ext. 9623 responds:
Your pain is palpable. I can feel it from here and my heart goes out to you. I can also feel that you are a wonderful mother! Your kids love you to pieces.
You want to know if you’ve wasted 20 years. No, you haven’t wasted one minute of it. You have four beautiful children from this marriage. You wouldn’t trade them for anything. And your fifth child is another one of your treasures.
This marriage has essentially run its course, but divorce is not showing up in your reading at this time. Neither you nor your husband seems especially anxious to divorce. This is not to say that divorce would never happen, because I’m sorry to say that it eventually could. This energy is stemming mostly from your husband. Even so, you’ve both found a way to “tolerate the intolerable” while still going through the motions of being married. As long as the tolerance continues, so will the marriage.
This is where it gets really hard. Your husband is indeed romantically involved with this woman. Part of him doesn’t care whether or not any of you saw his Facebook post, while another part of him knows he was wrong to post it. Deep down, he knows he is risking divorce, as well as losing even more respect from his children. But the good news is, he is not in love with that woman. His alcoholism is already interfering with their relationship, and it will soon end.
Your hope that he will hit rock bottom is valid. He will do so, and he will seek help, but not for some time, I’m afraid. By around Christmas, something will break open and he will know he must ask for help. He may put it off until the first quarter of the new year, however.
You seem to realize he must do this on his own, and that there’s nothing anyone else can do until he is ready. There’s a wonderful book that can be of tremendous support to you as you wait this out: “Codependent No More” by Melody Beattie. The author has lived on both sides as an alcoholic and as a codependent, and she shares highly effective tools that can and do help those in your situation. You need all the loving, positive support you can get, and this is a great place to start. Please also consider Al-Anon. They can help you and your children get through this.
The day will come—it looks to be later next year—that he will try to make amends with you in order to avoid a divorce, but in the meantime, please do everything you can to give yourself extreme self-care. You give so much to your children and to others, but you’re the one who needs tender loving care the most right now. Practice this every single day. Any loving thing you can think of will do: a bubble bath, meditating, walking in a park or garden, talking with good friends, watching an old movie you love, listening to your favorite music, reading a good book, taking a cat nap—anything that makes you feel better.
You are enduring the unendurable, but I’m glad to say that even though it will take a lot of work, there is hope for you and your marriage.
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