Ex gone AWOL again

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  • #5605 Report


    Hi, I’m new here and I’m just seeking a bit of advice/support.

    I’ve been separated from my ex husband for nearly 3 years now. We have two children together (5&9) he’s a functioning alcoholic although he’d never admit it and he suffers from depression. He also works permanent nights so when he has the kids changes from week to week but generally he’ll have them two nights a week and also take the to school after his night shift two days a week so I can go to work.  we get on (kind of) for the kids sake.

    Anyway, he’s very unreliable and sometimes just doesn’t turn up to pick the kids up (from me or school) so I have to either go into work late or leave early or get my mum/dad/brother to leave work early and it seems to be happening more frequently and he seems to be getting worse with his little downers or benders that he goes on. Usually when he doesn’t turn up he’s drank himself into oblivion and goes completely AWOL for a few days before turning up like nothing has happened but the last few times he’s threatened suicide and also gone on a bit of a night and told me he’s getting married (so he seems to have huge mood swings too)

    Anyway this week he just didn’t turn up to pick the kids up from school, fortunately I’d kind of had an inclination and I went to fetch them. We haven’t heard from him for a few days now but he has put some really aggressive things on Facebook and since removed them.  I’m becoming increasingly worried about his health and well-being and even more so about sending my children to his house. The thing is I rely on him heavily financially and for childcare and I’m just at a complete loss as to what to do or where to even start.  I’ve protected my children by making excuses for him but I’m quickly running out of patience and excuses and I just don’t know what to say to them anymore. I also don’t know what to do about stopping them from going as there is obviously safe guarding issues but I also don’t want my children to not see their father. Also I’m worried sick about money. I need his maintenance to survive, we just about get by. I’ve had to reduce my hours at work because of his unreliability so I’m worse off but I have to pay for childcare, I can’t possibly afford to pay anymore out but I can’t rely on him to look after the kids either.  Also I think it will only be a matter of time before he looses his job due to him not turning up and being abusive about colleagues on Facebook.

    I just don’t know where to begin or where to seek help or advice. I thought that after three years things would be easier but he’s just getting worse and it’s becoming more and more frequent


    #5607 Report



    I’m new here too and this is my first time using any sort of forum or support site so apologies if I come across unhelpful in any way!

    I wouldn’t normally comment because I feel like I’m not confident enough to give advice at the moment but I really connect with your situation. Reading through that I can fully empathise with you, I understand how hard and frustrating it is dealing with someone who keeps letting your children down. The fact you have been at it for three years, it says a lot about you! I gave up after one year! The hardest thing in the world is keeping strong for your children and trying to conceal your true opinion of their absent parent, especially at the age that they’re at where they’ll be asking a lot of questions.

    I have been through similar 3 years ago, in my case I didn’t receive any help financially and it was more stress than what it was worth at the time so I decided to stop taking my daughter to her fathers house because of the inconsistency, his drinking and safeguarding issues in his home. I always welcomed him to come see her at mine but due to his mental health he could not leave his house. It saddens me to say that he passed away earlier this year and its one of my biggest regrets knowing there could have been so much more I could have done to help him except I spent a lot of time being angry that I had become a single mother rather than understanding his situation. However, I am not here to talk about myself..

    I just wondered if he has admitted his drink problem? Does he get any support or help with this? Also have you got any mutual friends who you could speak your concerns over with and possibly come up with a way together to express struggles hes making you face? I found that doing that alone made me look like bitter so that’s why sometimes its better to have someone back you up.

    I hope this helps and I hope your situation gets better! You are not alone x

    #5613 Report



    thanks for your reply, it means a lot.  He did visit his GP about his drinking last Christmas but he’s continued to drink. He thinks he can just have a few cans at the weekend when he’s been told that he needs to stop altogether. I know he drinks when he has the kids but I don’t know how much. Judging by how much he used to drink when we were together it could be up to 8 cans of Stella and a large bottle of beer but his drinking problem has become worse so it could be more. I know that when he goes on one of his benders like he is doing at the minute he drinks far far more than that to the extent that all his acts merge into one and he’s been known to turn up at my house to take the kids to school at 7pm as he just doesn’t know what day it is. I don’t know what support he is getting now, I know he’s supposed to have counselling for depression and take anti depressants and sleeping tablets but I really don’t know if he’s consistent with this.

    we don’t have any mutual friends, he was very much a loner when we were together and he doesn’t have many friends now he also is not very involved with his family although I have spoke to his brother who just says “well he seemed fine last time I saw him” my ex’s dad also had a drink problem and was abusive towards his mum when they were young and he committed suicide years and years ago.

    You shouldn’t feel guilty about your ex passing away and thinking you could have done more. It wasn’t for you to do. Some people are beyond our help x

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