Leaving My Husband

Dear Sara,

I’ve been married to my husband for fifteen years. He’s funny and lovable but he’s also an alcoholic who stays out all night and cheats on me. I still love him but I don’t want to live with him anymore. We have two great kids ages thirteen and ten and they love their Dad a lot. I feel guilty but I really want a divorce. What can I do to make things easier for my kids?

Dear Lucy,

This will be a big change for your kids. However, at their ages, they may have already discovered their Dad’s problems even though they haven’t discussed it with you. Let them know that you have decided on a divorce and go to counseling with them if you feel it might be necessary. They don’t need to know details, they just need to know that you and their Dad can’t live together anymore and that you both still love them a lot.

Don’t make them choose between you and your husband and even if you are angry don’t badmouth him to your kids. This might make you feel better but it will only hurt them. Shared custody is good but only if he agrees to be sober when he is with them. Don’t let them in the car with him if he is drinking.

Good luck.

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