We Value Your Privacy

We and our partners use technology such as cookies on our site to personalise content and ads, provide social media features, and analyse our traffic. Click below to consent to the use of this technology across the web. You can change your mind and change your consent choices at anytime by returning to this site.

Update Consent
Loading ...

How to divorce an alcoholic wife

Updated November 21, 2016

Alcoholism breaks up relationships, causes financial hardships and can lead to physical problems. Signs of alcoholism consist of drinking alone, inability to stop drinking and a compulsion to drink. Relationships are based on mutual respect and consistent healthy behaviours; however, when a spouse isn't willing to seek help for alcohol abuse, then it may be time to leave.

Loading ...
  1. Choose a time to talk about the relationship when she isn't under the influence. Pick a place that is safe, yet away from the home like a park or a coffee shop to talk. It's important to talk to a partner in an environment that won't be overshadowed by memories. Make a list of your needs and how you feel they aren't being met. Use "I" statements when talking about the problems. For example, " I need to be in a relationship that is not dictated by frequent alcohol abuse." Bring with you a list of alcohol meetings, therapists, support groups or inpatient alcohol treatment facilities. Be clear with your intentions and lay out a plan of action. Tell her that you plan to move out in a certain time frame. It is essential for people to hear the consequences of their actions and be able to hear a laid out plan, so they can make the modifications they need in their own lives.

  2. Move out of the home. Even if you intend on getting the home after the divorce proceedings, it is important to leave the environment causing you so much pain. Ask a friend or family member if you can stay with them until the divorce is final or she has moved into another home. If you are worried about the safety of your things in the home, rent a storage facility. You can also find a temporary lease on an apartment that goes month to month. Remove your personal possessions when on a day she is not around. Be sure to get all important documents and information about shared bank accounts and other assets before moving out.

  3. Consult a divorce lawyer about your shared assets. Divorce proceedings generally require a lot of paperwork. You will need tax statements, bank account information, mortgage papers, credit card statements and title information. Figure out your shared net worth. Net worth is the total value of your assets subtracted by debts and loans. Do not build up additional debt by covering the costs of the divorce. You want to maintain or establish a clear line of credit.

  4. Create a budget. Moving out costs, lawyer fees and potential alimony can add up. Come up with a realistic budget for you to follow.

  5. Get additional emotional support by going to divorce support meetings, groups for partners of alcoholics and therapy appointments. Divorce is a huge loss and residual anger, disappointment and sadness can follow you to your next relationship. Build up a support system of people experiencing similar problems. Take time for yourself. Living with an alcoholic is extremely stressful and anxiety provoking. Start up a workout routine, get involved in a hobby or choose a skill to learn. Alcoholic behaviour forces those around them to become fully enmeshed in their lives. Develop your own sense of self again. Give yourself time to reflect about the relationship and grieve.

  6. Tip

    Contact authorities if you believe that your home, pets or children are at risk of being harmed. Encourage your partner to get help, but don't expect that her behaviour will change until she wants to change.


    Avoid getting sucked back into her drama. Set up clear boundaries that are based on fulfilling your needs, yet respecting the past and feelings you once shared.

Loading ...

Things You'll Need

  • Divorce Lawyer
  • Financial documents
  • Temporary home

About the Author

Loading ...