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Separated but undecided about Divorce

(11 Posts)
chickenwings Mon 25-Jul-11 10:18:45

I asked my DH to move out a month ago due to his drinking problem. He is a binge drinking alcoholic and has been for the last 6-7 years. He is now living with his parents and I am at home with the three kids.

However, as well as the drinking our relationship has other problems. He is very emotionally withdrawn and works crazy hours so I hardly see him Monday to Friday and then when he is around at the weekend it is as if he is there is body not in spirit. We have also moved to the country which I hate and he loves and I feel cut off from my family and friends. He won't discuss finances and won't plan for the future.

Since the separation my DH has gone to see an alcohol counsellor and is also going to AA twice a week. He has been dry for 3 weeks but is not sober (ie not in recovery).

I have been going to see a different counsellor to talk things through too. Whilst this has been helpful so far I am struggling with the fact that my counsellor is telling me I should go ahead and divorce. To be honest I was quite shocked by that.

My DH is now desperate to do anything he can to get us back together. I am having doubts about whether to take him back or not and I just feel torn. Obviously I would dearly love it if things could work out but they haven't in the past so am I being unrealistic to think they would work now? At the same time I am worried that if I don't break things off now I will not be able to find the strength to do it in the future. I feel stuck between a rock and a hard place.

ItsMeAndMyPuppyNow Mon 25-Jul-11 11:04:10

Doubts are fine and normal, chickenwings.

Only you know what you want (although it is perfectly OK to feel confused while you figure out what that is).

Are you sure your counsellor "told" you to go ahead and divorce? I am asking because it would be very unusual and unprofessional for a counsellor to give direct advice like that; they tend to use leading questions for you to make your own decisions. One of my first MN threads a long time ago was me asking what MN thought about the fact that my counsellor, at our first session, had "told" me to give my H an ultimatum. In fact, he hadn't said that at all: I just interpreted his line of questioning to be a recommendation, because I was so desperate for someone to tell me what to do.

Not saying that what you said happened didn't happen, mind. I'm just wondering if the above might be the case for you too.

Regarding the larger issue: take the time to figure out what you want, and where you stand. You don't need to rush into any decision now if you don't feel comfortable with it. And remember that the only person you can act on is yourself, not your H. His actions and his decisions are his alone, and he will only be able to do what he himself wants to do, rather than what you need him to do. Know yourself; cause you are the only person you can be sure of.

chickenwings Mon 25-Jul-11 11:10:33

Wise words. Thank you. I am just in such a muddle.

I think you might be right about my interpretation of the counsellor's advice but she is certainly coming on strong. She says things like if I continue in the relationship she thinks I have masochistic tendencies (???) and that in most cases she tries to keep families together but with alcoholism it usually just gets worse and it will start affecting the kids.

I wish my thoughts were a bit clearer - I feel very confused.

lookingfoxy Mon 25-Jul-11 11:24:38

It may be that you need to change counsellor if possible.

ItsMeAndMyPuppyNow Mon 25-Jul-11 11:42:33

Yes, you are perfectly entitled to change counsellors if she makes you feel iffy -- therapy to be effective has to take place in an environment where you feel completely safe.

However, I read your 2d post as her stating:

- that the relationship is hurting you -- and why would you want to keep on being hurt (ie. unless you're a masochist)?
- that alcoholism does tend to destroy families and harm kids.

The choice is still yours to make, armed with those questions and that information.

chickenwings Mon 25-Jul-11 11:46:53

I do trust my counsellor and I am going to speak to her about my doubts.

But, this explanation really helped:
- that the relationship is hurting you -- and why would you want to keep on being hurt (ie. unless you're a masochist)?
- that alcoholism does tend to destroy families and harm kids.

I suppose I am hung up on the fact that maybe things will change and get better.

ItsMeAndMyPuppyNow Mon 25-Jul-11 11:51:11

...a common hang-up, chicken!

Don't beat yourself up about it. Just take the time (and counselling sessions) to work out what you want, and what you can do.

Macaroona Mon 25-Jul-11 11:51:15

You're doing all the right things, and your DH sounds like he is really trying.

Don't rush into divorce if you still live each other - makes no sense. Yes alcoholism is awful for families, but alcoholics can recover - if you're willing to wait out your DH's recovery, and make sone compromises together on your other issues, you might just end up happy together again.

Find a new counsellor if you need to and keep working through the issues. Very best of luck.

Macaroona Mon 25-Jul-11 11:51:56

* love not live confused

chickenwings Mon 25-Jul-11 12:15:49

Thanks for your posts. I have some more thinking to do.

The situation is not being helped by his family (who we live very near to). They have all come to see me to try to make me "see sense" and tell me how I am exaggerating things. Now my SIL won't even come near me even though we have kids at the same nursery and go to the same events!

ItsMeAndMyPuppyNow Mon 25-Jul-11 12:52:48

Oh, chicken; emotional blackmail from the family too? Poor you; you've got enough to get your head round as it is.

You can ignore your in-laws' or anyone else's opinion, even the ones on this thread: only you get to decide what action you want to take, and the time it will take you.

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