Monday 25 March 2019

Dear Mary: I'm sick and tired of being with my abusive, druggie, drunk husband

Photo posed
Photo posed

Mary O'Conor

I have been married for seven years and with my partner for nine years. We have two beautiful kids. For the first three years of marriage it was all fun and games, living our best lives. I was a college student and my husband has worked ever since he left school.

We had a blissful time in the beginning. But then things started changing and our values were not lining up. We argued a lot - to a point where we even started emotionally and physically abusing each other. He'd hit me and I'd hit him back and vice versa.

There was no foundation of faith from the start - we just pretended for our family's sake. For me, having spiritual faith was always something I wanted to achieve but this was not the case for my husband.

Then we had our first baby. The behaviour did not change. Drugs and alcohol were a big thing in his life - so much so that he'd do it behind my back. However, I stayed in the relationship.

Two years later I fell pregnant again. Nothing changed - the verbal abuse became louder and in front of my infant, both of us thinking he wouldn't understand anything. My husband's addictions continued and keeping work was sometimes difficult.

He always made excuses for the environment he was in. He complains a lot - about everything! But I stayed in the relationship hoping he would change and take on the responsibilities that a husband should do.

He is great with our kids, who are now four and two, but I just don't agree with his parenting style.

We are always in conflict over this topic and I'm always annoyed at the things he does.

Recently I decided I wanted to leave our relationship because I'm honestly not happy any more. The in-love feelings have vanished. I do love him but it comes from a caring space.

After I told him I wanted to leave he has been doing everything he can to keep me in the relationship. All the things I've ever wanted him to do he's now doing because he sees I want to leave.

I take a lot on financially in the relationship as he barely makes minimum wage and before his recent dramatic change he used to waste his money on drugs and alcohol.

I'm just sick and tired of being sick and tired. I said I would give him one last try and so I have to stick it out for another month. But I'm honestly not feeling this union.

I'm hurt and I don't want to be with a man who can't keep me intrigued emotionally and intellectually. I'm not sure if I can spend the rest of my life living in uncertainty.

I honestly don't know what to do. Obviously trust is a major theme here as most of the time he doesn't honour my trust.

Mary replies:  You obviously got married very young and possibly made some immature choices. The fact that you have both been physically and emotionally abusive to each other is very worrying and is something that you need to deal with as soon as possible.

You cannot blame your husband for your part in this - you are both to blame.

I understand that you are living overseas and realise that there are 20 countries that have not yet outlawed domestic violence. In most countries, however, it is a crime, and rightly so. If it is allowed to continue then your children may witness it and this would have a hugely detrimental effect on them for the rest of their lives.

A month is certainly not enough time for you to build up your trust that your husband has made a fresh start with regard to his addictions. Indeed, building any sort of trust can take years.

If he were not abusing alcohol and drugs would you be happy with him? I ask this because you seem to be quite disillusioned with him in general.

I don't know what the situation regarding counselling is in your country, especially as money is scarce, but I urge you to seek professional help with this relationship before making any final decision.

It seems that the main thing you and your husband have in common are your two small children and they are dependent on you both for everything. So whatever decision you make regarding your future will affect them as well and you will forever share parenthood no matter what happens.

It is in everybody's interests to make sure that you do so with out bitterness. I urge you to seek help - firstly for the violence and then for the relationship.

You can contact Mary O’Conor anonymously by visiting or email her at or write c/o 27-32 Talbot Street, Dublin 1. All correspondence will be treated in confidence. Mary O’Conor regrets that she is unable to answer any questions privately.

Sunday Indo Living

Editors Choice

Also in this section