Alcohol and adultery

by lorraine
(Staten Island, NY)

My husband's issues with alcohol and adultery has torn our marriage apart. You see, he met a woman at work who made him feel young and made him laugh. This same woman confronted me publicly and said they were in love and wanted to be together. My husband told me she was the most important person in his life and he didn't give a damn about me. She left her husband, found an apartment for them, and I asked him to leave.
After 25 years of looking after and caring for him... this was what I got. They spend a lot of time drinking (he is 72 and she is 54). We are not divorced but legally separated and this situation has been going on for 4 years.
Do I want reconciliation... sometimes yes, sometimes no. We get along well. I have discovered he is not the money manager I thought him to be… I found he had lots of debt...which I have paid off. The woman has no children, but does have a physical deformity... I believe to be a defect from an alcoholic mother.
I did have a good marriage. We worked hard, played together and laughter together. I do have a hard time coming to terms with all that has happened even after 4 years. They now live within walking distance of my home and her husband's. I do believe she and her husband have not divorced. What to do?

Comments for Alcohol and adultery

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You are doing the right thing!!!
by: Paula

You are doing the right thing. Your kids need someone they can depend on and admire. I am about to start the divorce process myself and my older sister kept saying I should stay with my soon-to-be ex for the security because that is what she has done for over 40 years with her jerk of a husband. I just could not do it.

I see what she is living with and how miserable she is and I knew her advice was a generational thing and not what I needed to follow as an example. Her health has completely been trashed from all the worry and hatred over her relationship with her husband. She appears to be strong but she is weak to me for staying in a miserable marriage.

Start putting yourself first as much as you can. Be a great mom, but find ways to pamper yourself and improve yourself as much as possible and forget you were ever married to that bum. You are stronger than you think and you do not need to be in your tiny apartment forever if you don't want to.

You can do anything you put your mind to!!!! Good luck to you.

Is this how life is supposed to be?
by: Red

As I sit here drinking my glass of wine, I wonder "is this how I thought life was going to be?" The quick answer to this is F*** NO! I had this image in my head that I thought would get us through anything. We were the perfect couple!! We met in college, had an amazing wedding, amazing home, and three beautiful kids.

Where did we or I go wrong? Why wasn't I enough for him? Why weren't the kids enough for him? Why weren't a couple of beers enough for him? Now, sitting here in my shitty apartment, house in foreclosure, kids missing their dad, me missing our life....did I make the right choice by leaving?

How do you ever know? Was I so selfish that I thought us leaving would be the right thing to do? How do you see into the future? How do you tell your children that you left their dad because he loved other women and drinking more than he loves you or me? The answer is you don't say that. You do what you do every day, you hope that you are doing the right thing and you continue on.

There are days though, like today, when you pause and say..."Who did I do this for?" Did I really do it for them, or did I do it for myself? And if I did do it for myself, is that wrong? They may have been happy in not knowing what I was going through and not knowing what went on behind closed doors.

But does that make you a good mother? Does that make you a good role model? Does that make you a good person? I don't know the answer to this, as I'm sure any of you reading this don't. All I know is that today, was a BAD day.

I tell my kids all the time, "It's ok to cry, it's ok to have a bad day and be mad and be sad!" Do I follow that? ...Not so much. I feel like crying makes him win, and I have spent so many tears on him...why keep doing it? Why??? Because that is who I am and that is how much I tried, and how much I still hope that he will turn around for his kids.

Will he? Probably not! But I still hold out hope. My mother asks me, "Why do you continue to be surprised by his actions? Did you think he was going to change when you left?" My answer is... I don't have an answer for that. I thought that when I left he would see the error of his ways, my mistake again.

He has a new girlfriend, a whole new life. Guess I should have seen that coming. If it was ok for him to be with other women while we were married, why would it not be ok when we were separated? I guess I need to come to terms with it all. And I will... eventually, in the right way. I know it will be a long painful process, but this has helped.

It hurts, but you'll get through it
by: Brooke

I know it hurts and you feel down, but pick yourself up and look in the mirror. Know that you are beautiful and start going out and make friends. Engage in conversation, be yourself, feel free, and let loose. You will be fine. God will never leave you or forsake you! He knows why he did this to you.

Learning along the way
by: Patience

Mindy, what great advice!!! I struggle every day to try and stay positive and pray that I can be patient for God's plan. My husband and I are now going through a divorce and he blind-sided me with a divorce and only used my relationship with my daughter from a previous marriage as his excuse to get out of the marriage.

For 18 months he would tell me his still cared and just wanted the spark back. He would tell me that one day we may end up back together..... False hopes for his benefit..... I have since found out he has been seeing someone as I put a GPS in his vehicle. But of course, once I got the proof I needed for myself I have since taken it out. He still denies the involvement with another woman. But I saw what I saw and that was enough for me to realize it wasn’t me he left over (or my daughter) but him getting caught up in something he shouldn’t have...

I still struggle with the fantasy of forever after and all the dreams we had together, but I am learning to love myself again!!! I won’t lie, it is very hard!! Your advice is great and you got me out of a funk today as I was looking on line for a bit of support as I often do. Thank you.

You will never know...
by: Mindy

...that is the bad news. The good news is that it will never be as bad again as it was when you were with him, watching your life get worse. From now on, your life will get better.

Six years after divorce, I count all the ways my life is better: my kids have a mom (yeah, I was that depressed sometimes); they have a sane mom; they have a mom that provides and cares for them. Someday (currently, actually), they will see mom in a mutually respectful, loving, RESPONSIBLE relationship. You were not going to be able to show them that with their dad, because he will not change. You have to teach them that if things are bad and can only get better with change, then embrace change or at least surrender to it.

If they are like I was, never having witnessed a healthy parental relationship, they will make bad choices until they make good ones. See if you can short-circuit that by showing them by example how not to sell yourself short. The fact that you are trying to make a better home and better life for yourself and your children speaks volumes about your character. Dating now is not the same as dating back then - character means so much more than a hot bod and perfect hair. (Thank God.)

I tell my kids we are a better team in two houses. I don't know if that will be the case with you, but think of it this way: you can both stay parents, but you don't have to live together. Once you are divorced you are no longer jointly responsible for any bad financial, social, domestic, or behavioral decisions he makes. I cannot emphasize that enough. You can write your own ticket and give those kids the example you think they should have, and minimize exposure to the ones they shouldn't have.

I don't mean to make this sound easy—it's not—but I do want you to know that it will get better. It will get worse, then better, then worse again, then REALLY better. There will be flashbacks but also flash-forwards in which you see a life you can love and be proud of. This post is a good start toward taking inventory of the things you have and how much better they are than what you had while married.

Btw, the booze and women weren't more important to him. He did not choose them over you. He lost you because of them. He made bad choices, and not having you as his wife is the consequence. Be strong. Hang in there, and remember you are NOT alone, and there are always people you can talk to (that's the great thing about the internet - you never have to face someone if you don't want to vent face to face!).

Good luck, and tell your mom she's right - you can't get apples from a pear tree. I spent a lot of years shaking that trunk and being mad at the tree. Now I have my own orchard. :)

Life is what we make it
by: Elaine

We make choices for all the right reasons and all the wrong reasons. Woman are "emotional thinkers", men are more black and white. You made a strong, difficult choice that will save you and your children from being mistreated, abused and feeling discarded.

Now rise up and ascend to the life you know you should receive. You are a valuable, loving, caring individual who will show the children they too are valuable and need to be respected by respecting and loving others.

Do not ever question your choice of leaving a man that chose infidelity and booze. Now you need to empower...EMPOWER...yourself and the children with the love that God wants you to know. Do not seek relationships with other men to empower your seductiveness, seek a relationship with God. If you have already you would not be questioning your choice of leaving. You would be foot strong in your beliefs. You will not waffle in your thoughts; you will be a pillar of strength.

6 months after my turmoil began, I knew letting him go with the other woman was the right thing to do for the children and myself. I heard the quiet voice in my head that said "he's a BUM". I never had a fantasy of being with a bum! Then the voice said, let me be your husband and you my bride, seek me in all you do. Those are words in the bible I recalled from my youth. I immediately looked them up and there was an entire section on marriage. OMG, the bible is a book that has the answers to everything. Its 2000 years old, but the words are so pointed for our culture today.

Learn not to judge your husband’s behavior; God will do that for you. Let the children enjoy the other parent. Keep your words to yourself, as difficult as this is at times. You will lose friends and make new ones that have value. It took me 3 years to find a new set of girlfriends to hang out with. But they were worth the wait.

Alcohol and adultery
by: Midge

I’m so sorry for your unfortunate circumstances Lorraine. No one can "tell" you what to do. That depends on what you want, want you need, and what you will not tolerate.

If I were in your circumstances, I would seek the more positive elements in life and eliminate those people who hurt you, degrade you, and abuse you.

There is a life worth living...with people who trust, support, and love you. However, first you must believe in your own self-worth. This "man" has made you feel worthless. I have been there, so I can sympathize. This is not an easy path...but nothing worthwhile is ever easy.

I wish you well in your journey.

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