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When to let go?

Community Member

Hi all,

My partner of 12 years had become increasingly alcohol dependent over the last 3 or so years, with it increasing moreso over the last 6 months. She has a high profile/high stress job, but is also highly functioning and doesn't see it as an issue. I didn't act on it as in the past it has caused arguments, she was always a happy drunk, but would become irritating as we wouldn't be in the same head space.

To deal with her work stress, I would try and plan trips to force a 'work-life' balance. This had been working well as we could spend quality time together. However, in January of this year on holidays it wasn't the same- I could feel her stress and would let her drink as it seemed to immediately ease her conflict, but I would then become agitated in her company.

Six weeks ago, we had a major fight and she repeatedly told me I wasn't there for her when she needed me and I was very cold towards her. She was probably correct with her analysis, but I felt I never saw her with her working hours and when I did see her it was always with alcohol. She said she felt traumatized after our fight and moved out. Initially for a few days and then came back, but now its been about a month. She says she cant come back to our house as it's too emotional and she is not in love with me anymore. I feel we've neglected our relationship and both have some work to do on ourselves.

I dont have strong family or social support networks as we did absolutely everything together. My family is also interstate. She has strong family connections and has recently signed up to dating/social sites, with the intention to move on. She has also been spending more time at work social events.

I'm staying in our house, but I cant sleep, Im emotional, irrational and cant stop crying or thinking about the situation and starting to feel quite depressed. I am getting help for sleep and anxiety issues but my therapist is currently away.

I don't want to give up on our relationship, as I still love her and know that she is my soul mate. But, if she doesn't feel the same and cant come home, what do I do? Do I give her space and focus on getting myself together and continue hanging on to hope that she might come back? or do I accept that it's over and she will never come back, as she 'cant promise anything'? I feel like she is seeing someone else, but I could also be paranoid. I do feel totally alone and confused.

Thanks for listening

42 Replies 42

Community Member

Hi Geoff,

It's interesting to note that my last post was 3 months ago. I hope you've been well. Since then I had actually been going quite fine. I still had some bad days, but nothing like before. I put my head down and focussed on being healthy and career progress. I still don't have much of a support network, which I think is why I'm finding myself back here. A quick run down on where things are at:

The house is for auction in 10 days time, I'm moving interstate to pursue a new career opportunity. However, still no discussion/decision with her on finances.

There is very minimal conversation between us, I have been instigating the conversation (usually only via text or email) and it has generally been about the dogs. We have been sharing them. It has been amicable, nothing more.

I'm not mad anymore, generally just sad as I miss her company. I've just returned from overseas for work. I also missed her when I was away, but I had a productive and positive week. However, when I returned it's really hit me hard. I think it's the combination of lack of sleep, the sale of the house, the interstate move and the fact that I feel like I actually have nothing or no one at the moment is really getting me down.

It's been 6 months now that she left, but I feel like I've slipped back again. Will I ever be able to move on or will it stay with me forever and I just need to build stronger coping mechanisms?

Community Member

Geoff or Croix?

Are you still around? or if anyone else is available I'd be happy to listen. I've got myself into a bad place again, which I'm really disappointed about as I thought everything was heading on the way up. Is this normal? Any advice would be great.


Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hi Eddie, good to hear back from you.

It's still possible to miss someone even though you didn't get on, but that's because you're looking at her as if nothing has been said, but once a conversation begins, then problems begin.

It's like I miss my ex, which I do, but we couldn't live together again, because any of the old problems would simply rise up again.

You've got a lot going on at the moment and this is very unsettling for you, and remember you're not going to feel totally OK all at once, although that's what we wish for, but along the way, there are developments you have to learn, say for example, you can't be lifted onto the top of Mount Everest by a helicopter because you have no way of knowing how to climb down.

The same applies with how you are feeling 'lack of sleep, the sale of the house, the interstate move and having no one', all of these are enormous situations to overcome.

When the house is sold then you can look for another one to buy, then you may meet someone, but you have to get used to the new area you live in first, and once this is established, then you're going to feel a bit stronger and move on, but it's going to take the time you want it to take, because you can't really force it yourself.

Please get back to us.