So confused….

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  • #36364 Report


    Hello All

    This is my first time posting.

    I have 2 daughters aged 7 and 10. Currently,  we live in their dads house., however,  my relationship with him has broken down due to his binge drinking.  I have left him before due to this,  he says he will stop, never does and so the cycle continues.  This has been going on for about 15 years. I cannot live like this anymore. I  am so unhappy.

    My fear is that, although I am ready to leave, I am not sure how I will financially manage.  I have a property that I rent out, but obviously if I move back in I will not have that income. I am studying one day a week.  Will I be forced to give up my studies to take on a job? I’m not even sure what benefits I can claim .

    I would be grateful for any help and advice.


    #36389 Report

    Hi Redrose72

    It sounds like you’re having a really difficult time and I hope you’ll find lots of useful advice and support from single parents on this forum.

    You might also find it useful to contact Gingerbread’s free single parent helpline on 0808 802 0925 and talk to one of our advisers about the benefits and financial help you’d be entitled to as a single parent.

    Best wishes,





    #36391 Report


    Hi there. I’m in such a similar position. Finally left my alcoholic husband last year. Due to our set up I haven’t been working as I was at home with the children. I’ve just started to look at getting things sorted. Help is out there! I should be entitled to Universal Credit. I will also receive child benefit and be able to set up maintenance. I’m desperate to get it sorted but know it will take time. Give gingerbread a call as they are really helpful and should answer your questions 🙂

    #36446 Report


    Just a word of support as I have been there and came out the other end. I left my alcoholic ex-husband many years ago. I spent years unhappy, hoping things would get better, procrastinating over how I would be able to leave (practically, financially, emotionally, etc.). The financial bit was the hardest. The way I managed was to get divorced and then force him out of our joint place. I could not even afford a legal separation. Then I started paying off his debts which ran into thousands (on credit cards). I moved the debt from one card to another to get the interest free 6 months, and just did it bit by bit, never spending a penny on myself. It took two years.

    What I am trying to say is you will get there. It takes time and the beginning isn’t easy but there is more help available today than there was when I got divorced! Continue studying and and find work during school hours. Most of all, see a solicitor or google your options BEFORE you vacate the property. For example, why is the flat his? Even if he bought it before you got together, you might have a right to live there having been a homemaker. Your kids have a right to a roof over their heads. He might have to pay you for part of the value of the property as he paid the mortgage whilst you were together for both of you.  This is the most important part, in my view. You need to plan your escape carefully, I am afraid.

    Have you been to Al-anon for family members of alcoholics ? There will be a group very close to you, there are hundreds across the UK. They will listen to your difficulties, and look into how they can support you emotionally and in any other way. People there are so lovely, they help each other out. I heard a story of one woman being helped to move house by lots of the members from the meeting. There are special groups for the kids too, which is really important. Don’t underestimate the impact of an alcoholic father on his kids!

    The al anon meetings are not everyone’s cup of tea, but try and find one you like and you will be part of a supportive community.

    Good luck!


    #36460 Report


    Hi solomum. Can I ask about Al anon? I always thought it was for those who wanted to understand alcoholism and learn to live with their partners? I would be open to going but have no one to come with me and really wouldn’t do it alone! I’m definitely not wanting to be with my husband again. Any advice appreciated…

    #36462 Report


    Hi Bka, very very few of the members I met still live with the husbands! Most left them, a few are widowed (as a result of alcohol abuse), some are trying to get out. They are all going because they are traumatised and because of the impact on their kids. Most of the members are forced to continue living with the impact of alcoholism due to the kids seeing the other parents, debts left by the alcoholic, emotional trauma, etc.

    I was very nervous the first time, but people are so compassionate, it’s lovely. I am not a fan of their programme (the 12 steps), I think it is unnecessary, but it’s a few minutes at the start of the session so I don’t mind.

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