The amount of people that are searching Google using phrases like “when is it time to divorce an alcoholic” and “how to leave you alcoholic husband/wife” is staggering and heartbreaking. I can tell you that I have been where you are. I can tell you that I almost divorced Bill a number of times. I understand your struggle, and I feel your pain.
The answer to this question is probably not an answer you will like, but it is the truth. Honestly, it is different for every person. You are the only one who can decide when the right time is that you should leave you alcoholic spouse. There is not one catch-all answer that will work for everyone. It could be that your spouse is genuinely trying to get help, but he or she has not been able to get the help that he needs. It could be that your spouse needs to know that you will support him or her and have his or her back always.
The first thing to do when you are wrestling with this decision is to ask yourself some questions. The most important thing is that you are honest with yourself. You want to ask yourself the following questions:
- What are the reasons I want to stay in the relationship?
- What are the reasons I want to leave the relationship?
- What would it cost for me to stay in the relationship?
- What would it cost for me to leave the relationship?
Think about how your decision will affect others (particularly if you have children). Think about what you will have to let go of and leave behind. Think about what you will have to face within yourself if you leave. Weigh the benefits with the costs and decide whether or not the pain of the relationship is worth the positive aspects of the relationship.
I will tell you that once I finally left Bill, it was what caused him to finally get the help that he deserved. This will not be the case with everyone. The most important thing for you to do is to listen to your heart. It will tell you what you need to do.