Loss of my ex-husband

I was with my husband for 33 years and left him in September 2020 because he was an alcoholic and couldn’t stop drinking. He was told 3 times in the last 3 years ago that he would die if he didn’t stop drinking, and he didn’t stop. In the end the brain damage caused by his liver failure was so bad, it caused serious personality changes. I couldn’t deal with the Jekyll and Hyde situation any more and I left.

I still loved him but couldn’t face being with him while he drank himself to death. He said he wanted a divorce, I didn’t. I agreed to it though as he said he wanted to move on and maybe meet someone else. Our divorce was finalised in June this year. He went into hospital the next day and died 8 weeks later.

As his ex-wife I’ve found it very difficult in so many ways. I still love him and miss him even though we were (just) divorced.

He always turned to me for help and support, right up until he died. I was the last person he called before he died, that gives me some comfort.

Unfortunately, because of the brain damage, he said things to his family about me that he didn’t mean or really believe. They believed him and have been awful towards me following his death. I wasn’t asked to go to his funeral or memorial service. They even told me I couldn’t go to his house to collect my personal belongings and documents.

Losing him has been dreadful, I don’t care that legally he wasn’t my partner any more, we were only divorced for 56 days. But in addition to my grief I feel such anger towards his family over the way they turned away from him when his personality problems annoyed them or made them uncomfortable to deal with him. And I’m angry at the way they have treated me since his death.

Luckily I have a wonderful mum and six fantastic siblings who have been so supportive, caring and understanding. I don’t know what I would have done without them.

I miss my husband, and I think about him every day. It’s just such a shame I can’t separate my grief for him, from my anger at his family.

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Dear Ceebee22

I’m so sorry for your loss and the situation you find yourself in. Firstly welcome to this community where you will find help and support in equal measure from others who have experienced the pain of separation both physically and in death.

My first thoughts on reading your post was that you and your husband had great love for one another, I do hope in time to come you will feel and find comfort in this. Keep reaching out Ceebee22, we are here for you in this bleak time.

Wishing you well,

Hi Ceebee22

I feel your pain. People can be very cruel and thoughtless. I don’t know whether this will help, but around 1st November, which I know is some time off lots of Anglican churches have memorial services, where they say the name of your loved one and light a candle in their memory. It might be worth talking to your local vicar about the same. Perhaps such a service would give you some closure and be a fitting way to say goodbye to your loved one.

Take care of yourself and be kind to yourself.

Sending you lots of love and a big virtual hug. Xx

Thanks Michelle, yes we did love each other right until the end. Today is especially difficult as it is his birthday.
Thank you for your kind words, I’m finding already that reading about other people’s experiences and sharing mine is helping.

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Dear Ceebee22
I’m pleased hear you are finding solace on here with others who share your pain, and thank you for letting me know.

best wishes
Miche24 (michelle)

Hi Sue66. Thank you for your message, and for the suggestion. I am an atheist but my mum, who is a devout Catholic, had a mass said for him. Although I don’t believe in god, I do believe in people and the love and care we have for each other. And I do find it a comfort that when that mass was said, all those people were thinking about my husband and me and wishing me well. Love and virtual hugs back to you, thanks xx

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Hi. I am just seeing your post, as I have just posted something somewhat similar too about my ex husband. He drank and drank and I told him if you don’t get help I will divorce you. Shortly after I was served with papers. He divorced me and continued drinking. He was diagnosed with end stage cirrhosis of his liver. He’s 34 years old declining. He is still trying to be right about everything and won’t make mends or apologize and he’s cruel and relentless.

Do you feel angry and resentful that he didn’t choose to stop drinking ? I can’t accept it and I’m mad and angry as he nears the end.

I hope you are ok and are at peace. Thanks for your story