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Addiction to Alcohol/Separation from addict husband


I have been living with my husband who is an alcoholic and drug addict for 6 years. I have recently told him I want to separate from him, he decided to move out instead. I have detached myself emotionally from him for the past two years to take care of myself and children. Now, he is out of the house for a period of time, working on his addiction and spirituality, while I am taking care of the family. I don't have it in me to get back with him, except that I feel guilty about splitting up the family, because of the kids. I know that will be horrible, if I can't make it work, after he went through this transition and work to get sober. I am just so numb to him I don't have the desire to be with him.

I cannot think of a specific question for my situation, but any advice or motivational words would be greatly appreciated.


Hi Mindy,

You are talking to the perfect person as I went through the
exact same situation with my wife many years ago when I first

First let me say that recovery is very difficult and many people
fail numerous times before they recover if they ever do.

Any hurry to get back together would be premature in my experienced opinion.
He will have his hands full in staying clean and sober and you
will be living with a person that has many years of emotional recovery
to do.  If he was going to be a part of your lives it would be better
for all concerned to take it very slow.

If you want to move on that is your choice. If you want him to be
part of the childrens lives then he can do that with visits.
If he is aggreeable that will help or you may need a legal
separation etc.

My story goes like this, I go for counseling and enter
a treatment program. I go to AA meetings.
My wife considers getting back together but something
makes her hesitant so we stay apart.

I believe she was also drawn by the desire to have
the family be complete.  I relapse and then stop
drinking again. Finally after about a year of steady
AA meetings I am able to stay sober.

This was a huge strain for me and if I did drink
I believed I would die. That is all that kept me sober.

I had nothing to give her back really and our reunion
would have surely meant my death as I could not
handle a relationship sober.

The only reason I am alive is because she stood
her ground and we stayed apart. This gave me the
gift of recovery and life.

I had regular visits with my kids and now my relationship
with them and her is good.

She made the mistake of entering another relationship
too soon and that failed as she also had some recovery to do.

I always look back on that as something that looked
bad at the time but turned out to be the best thing we
both could have done.

Sometimes our desire to have our family complete overlooks
the options of having a safe, calm and happy home
and dad can always visit the kids without being there when he
needs to recover his health to survive.

If you need to move on then do that as peacefully as possible.
He is very ill so give him your understanding but not your life.

I hope you will make your decision based on your own circumstances.


Addiction to Alcohol

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All questions are important, I have over 30 years of personal experience with alcoholism and recovery issues. Advanced Counsellor Training / Experience with treatment and AA.


Over 30 years of recovery from alcoholism. Counsellor in an alcohol outpatient office. Experience as client and as counsellor in treatment center.

Advanced counsellor certificate, Melbourne ORYGEN Research Centre volunteer consultant

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