I'm having a very hard time since my ex-wife left me.
She never flat-out said she was unhappy. When I was unhappy and wanted to leave, she wanted me to stay. I did, to work on things.
Then, after fighting, she said she had feelings for a friend. She up and left, destroying our small family and me.
She left our stability, our home, our two children, and me.
I found counselling useless. I constantly feel worthless and have dark thoughts.
She left me for a man who can't work due to health reasons, has declared bankruptcy, and has no license or car.
But WHY? It’s been six months and I feel nearly the same.
How do I move forward from feeling empty, or is the recovery period from this a long time?
Since you describe being unhappy even before she left, something clearly wasn’t going well between you two.
It was mutual discontent. But she lacked your strength of will to work on the marriage.
The other man, with obvious health and financial needs, provided her “escape.”
That does not make you worthless. Instead, she knew that you have the ability to be on your own, while she doesn’t.
Couples separate for myriad reasons – some out of frustrations, which may be more about themselves than about their partner.
But hopelessness gets you nowhere.
If you weren’t ready earlier for counselling insights, try again, perhaps with a different professional.
Healing isn’t a choice, it’s essential. Your children need you to show them how to deal with difficult change.
Surround yourself with supportive family and friends. And find your inner strength to survive and surmount this.
If depression persists, see a medical doctor for treatment as well as your counsellor.
My father was an alcoholic. I loved him, but his drunken periods frightened me.
He’d emigrated here with an excellent professional education but had to take a menial job until he could afford to go back to school.
Alcohol was his soother. He mostly hid it from his colleagues, but at home, we saw him drink until he had to be helped upstairs by our mom.
I’m 40, a professional with a happy relationship and two daughters.
I didn’t drink until 23, focused on sports and staying fit. I now find myself drinking both socially and at home daily.
I’d thought I was immune to alcoholism.
But, suddenly, I’m worried. Does genetics make me likely to become an alcoholic? Is this from exposure in my childhood or a family defect in me?
I’m embarrassed to ask my doctor who knows me socially, too.
Like Father Like Son?
According to the US National Institute on Alcohol and Alcoholism, extensive research has shown that many factors influence your risk of developing alcohol use disorder (AUD).
While some genes increase a person’s risk, others play a part in decreasing that risk. And environmental factors also play a part.
More than one–half of all children of alcoholics do not become alcoholic.
Whatever the impetus to your alcohol consumption, you still have choice. Just accepting genetics or childhood exposure as the driving cause, is to negate your own free will.
Countless people have benefitted from attending support groups like Alcoholics’ Anonymous and alternative Addiction treatment programs.
Once you recognize the need and possibility for changing reliance to recovery, the path is up to you.
Talk openly to your doctor, he/she is an ally in your taking care of your health for now and for the future.
FEEDBACK Regarding your column on “stealthing” - the non-consensual removal of a condom during intercourse (September 20):
Reader – “Very informative and fascinating! I’d never before heard of stealthing.
“You didn’t this time address the opposite situation, of women who poke holes in condoms in order to get pregnant.
“Is it sexual assault if a woman does this to a man?
“Can she later collect child support if she did have his child?
“If he doesn't want her to get pregnant, uses a condom, and she compromises it, is that against the law?
“I know someone who did that in the 90s, and the guy married her to do the right thing. Imagine how he’d feel if he realized now that she committed a crime.
“It may be common. I’d love to see the article and reader response.”
Ellie – It’s a natural question, which, like stealthing, takes some deep research. I’ll get to it in the near future.
Tip of the day:
Healing from a separation takes time and openness to professional help.