Belfast Telegraph

Could I have done more to save ex from alcoholism?

Fiona Caine is here to help if you have a relationship, sexual, marriage or family problem.

My husband and I separated more than five years ago because he was an alcoholic and wouldn’t even try to get help.

I’d tried and tried to get him to stop but I felt I’d done the right thing and I never heard any more from him — until about three months ago when his mother got in touch.

He now has liver failure and isn’t expected to live more than another few weeks.

I feel so guilty and wonder if I should have tried harder to get him to stop drinking. WR


You cannot blame yourself for your ex-husband's drinking — it was his choice and you tried all you could to get him to stop. Many alcoholics resist all attempts to help them to change, so if you had stayed, he might even have reached his present state even sooner.

You need to talk through what has happened with people who understand and who can help you come to terms with it.

If you haven't been in touch already, contact Al-Anon (, the support network for family and friends of alcoholics and problem drinkers.

The confidential helpline on 020 7403 0888 is open from 10am to 10pm, 365 days a year, and there are groups all around the country, should you need them.

Belfast Telegraph


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