I am going to get divorce papers tomorrow because my husband is an alcoholic and steals my medication. He went to rehab but stole my meds today so he hasn't changed. I have made up my mind to divorce. My children are 4,3,3. My son is four and LOVES his father so much. He takes it really hard when daddy isn't home (I threw him out and have several times) I don't have any money, no credit due to the marriage, no place to go. He lost his job and we are four mortgages behind. I am deathly afraid of not being able to give my children what they need by myself. I don't want them to resent me for taking them out of their home. I'm scared I won't have a place for us to live. I don't want to be sleeping in my van with my kids. How do I know that I am making the right move? Has anyone done this? He's been the one who makes the money. I haven't worked in five years. Before I met him I could barely make it on my own. I lost a few apartments and lived here and there. I have grown up but I don't know. What am I supposed to tell my son when he asks "where's my daddy?" He's standing here now and I don't know what to tell him. Advice. Mind you I have NO money for a couselor.
You need to apply for assistance. They can help you with housing ( and no, it doesn't have to be a dump) child care, food, etc. But I would do a lot of homework before you tell him you are going to leave. There are waiting lists for a lot of assistance that can be a year or more (but many times less). Unless there is abuse involved, I would say stick it out until you have a place to stay and you know that your basic needs can be met for you and your kids. You can also get free counseling for you and your family. There are people out there who are so eager to help people in your situation, you just need to find them. I have a friend who is about to leave her boyfriend leaving her as a single mom, she is doing all of this and there are great programs out there to help you. I do not know where you live and I cannot tell you the exact agencies to contact, but I'm sure others can and you seem to have internet access, so you can do some indepth searches. I'd don't know if your husband would do something drastic if he found out, but I might clear out your computers history after doing those types of searches (if he knows how to look at that stuff) As for your son, I don't know what you should tell him. But you have to remember that you are doing this for the good of you and your kids. Fortunately they are young. Not young enough to not rmemeber anything, but I think that you have a very good chance of getting them through all of this. Free counselors will also be able to help you with what to tell your kids. My heart goes out to you...this wil be the hardest thing you've probably ever done. You have to be strong for 4 people here. And once you start this process you cannot give up, no matter how bad things seem. Use any help that you can find. Public Assistance, friends, family, church, ANYONE and EVERYONE!!!! I wish that I could help you out myself and take you into my home. I know how hard it can be having an alcoholic in your life.
I agree with Kiera. Your first concern is for your children and yourself and removing yourselves from a bad situation. I haven't been through this situation myself but I have seen many others go through it.
My advice is to first contact your local Public Assistance Office. They can tell you exactly who you need to contact about housing, and can help you with healthcare, food, and possibly money. Then call your local health department and they can help you get in touch with a WIC program. If you aren't familiar with that it is a program (Women, Infants, Children) that helps with food and immunizations.
As for work for you to do, my suggestion would be to do housecleaning for now. You can put an ad in your local newspaper or put up signs in grocery stores, malls, etc. Or by word of mouth. I live in a pretty small town and I know people get around $50.00 a week to clean someone's house once a week. If you could find a few houses to clean you could make some good money. The upside is that you would be with your kids most of the time that way.
If childcare is an issue, there is a program here that will pay for childcare based on a person's income. I'm sure there is something like that where you are too.
Now as to what to tell your children. If it were my kids, I would explain to them that their daddy is sick. Not flu-like sick, but sick in a way that makes him drink stuff he's not supposed to. I would very gently tell them that you want their daddy to get better but he needs alot of help to do that, and until he gets that help, it is better for everyone for you all to find somewhere else to live. Explain to them that you can't provide the kind of help he needs to get better. Also reassure them that you and their father both love them and that none of this is their fault. That's a biggie. It is going to be better in the long run for your children to not grow up around a man who is an alcoholic and someone who steals. If they grow up seeing that, they will eventually thing that it's okay. That is not what you want. Your main concern is protecting those children.
Regarding the past due mortgage, call the mortgage company and explain to them what is going on. Sometimes they are able to defer payments to help people out, as long as you keep in contact with them and don't ignore them. If that doesn't work, there are non profit credit counseling organizations out there that will work with your creditors for you to lower your monthly payments. You don't have to pay these people.
There is alot of help out there for people who really need it. Assistance isn't something you have to stay on forever. It is there for people who are really in a jam and need it to get on their feet. Take advantage of the help now and work your hiney off to make your life better so that you will be able to give your kids a good, healthy life.
I wish you good luck and strength. Please keep us posted. Take care and hope this helps.
Speaking as a child who grew up in an unhappy family enviroment (parents were alcoholics who fought all the time) I know I was happy the day we finally left, because I was unhappy as much as my mother was. I only wish she had left earlier. I was still able to have contact with my father and it was the best life changing moment my mother could have done. I know we were on assistance for awhile. And like everyone has said, there are so many options as well as free couselling out there for you, I think you as well as the kids would benefit from the free counselling tremendously, and if you don't like the first counsellor they give you don't give up, ask for another one. I agree with getting your ducks lined up first, if you need to kick him out while you are getting things lined up then do so. I have heard of women who became even better parents after relieving themselves of the stress of an unhappy marriage so your kids may see that this change is for the best. Being open with them and communicating and letting them know that this has nothing to do with them and that you and their Dad will love them always no matter what happens is very important. Be strong. You are doing the right thing, Goodluck. (((HUGS)))
I agree with Kierra that unless there is real abuse going on, I would "get my ducks in a row" before I left. That will mean getting a job of some sort so that you have some income with which to support you and the children. House cleaning is an excellent suggestion if you have no job skills. You probably need to get signed up for some public assistance at least to get you started. And, counseling is an excellent suggestion. When you have these things lined up, then you'll be in a position to leave.
Ok here's what I did!!! I applied for foodstamps and childsupport and will get those. I also went to a place that will give me the meds I see and free counseling like you suggested. My husband is searching for a job and may have found one which in turn means I will stay in the house with the kids. So what I am going to do is go through with this govt program which puts me in school for training of whatever it is I want to do and they will pay me at the same time. SO my ducks as you call it are in a row. I know I have to get the divorce because I can't live in his house forever but if I can stay for a bit until I finish a school or something that would be great. I have some skills, I can type over 50 wpm, so I can do computer work, secretarial, I have some knowledge in the medical field (front desk) I was a make up artist for several years in big name company. I went three years for graphic design (everything has changes since back then) I know I can find work. My main concern is a house for my children. I don't think they are going to foreclose asap so I may have some time. Right now I am on the good side of my husband because he is feeling at ease knowing that this is whats best for us and that I will NOT take his kids from him and try to destroy me. I allow him to talk to the kids everynight and we actually talk nicer to each other. I don't see how it's going to be much different by staying in his house and being divorced. I know I know, I'll cross that bridge when I come to it. I don't think working would be such a bad thing no matter if I had to or not. My kids love daycares or leaving me. I know strange huh? hahaha IT's good cause the twins have each other in their class and my son likes being alone with other kids. Probably because I have always always always been with them. I have NEVER left them a day in their lives so they look forward to me going somewhere for long periods of time. I am waiting on back taxes to move forward with the divorce and childsupport. Once I recieve them in the mail in seven days then I move forward with all the papers. Thanks girls!!! Your the best.
I'm glad to hear that you are getting things in order. It sounds like you have a plan and it sounds like a good one. Making a plan is the first part, now just make sure you follow through, especially with going to school. That would be wonderful for you. Only you know what your exact home situation is and what is and isn't healthy to expose your children to. Just make sure that you always put what's best for them first.
If it gets to the point where you need to leave, I know around here there are apartments that are income based, as I'm sure there are some where you live too. Also, your aid offices will help you find a place to live so don't let that keep you where you are if that's not a good place to be.
I hope things turn out the way you want them to, and I wish you all the luck in the world. Take care.