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Legalease
Legalease, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 16333
Experience:  13 years experience, divorce & custody issues, protective orders, child abuse issues
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I have been married years. I have 3 children, 2 girls

Customer Question

I have been married for 36 years. I have 3 children, 2 girls married with families of their own, and a 17 year old son still living at home. My wife is self-destructive, an alcoholic, and is constantly causing me to miss work to care for her. I am an IT consultant, and as a project manager of multi-million dollar systems implementations, it affects my livelihood & my son's future every time I have to fly home to keep her from physically hurting herself. She wakes up with a drink & goes to bed with a drink. My oldest daughter is actually an attorney, but can't separate the personal aspects from the professional advise & simply tells me... "it's your problem, she has to want to be helped", and of course my wife thinks her problems are everyone's fault but her own. I'm 58 & my wife is 56. I can't continue dealing with a full time job, trying to get my son in college, and taking care of someone who constantly says "just kill me!". My son is now seeing a psychologist, and I am on the brink of losing my job, which represents the only financial support we have. No one will help me or tell me what to do... I need sound legal advice. PLEASE.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Legalease replied 1 year ago.

Hello there --

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Have you talked to your attorney daughter about going to court and having her declared incompetent and then asking the court for an involuntary commitment to a psychiatric facility? If you have enough proof and enough witnesses to take before the court, this can be done. It is a very harsh solution and it will not be an easy road to go down, but aside from divorcing your wife and simply letting her fall until she realizes that she has a serious problem with alcohol, you have little other choice here if you want to get some sanity back into your own life. My own husband was an alcoholic and I finally had to throw him out and let the chips fall where they may (he deliberately tried to sabotage me by showing up at law school awards events drunk and obnoxious) and it was very, very hard to do because you feel that your wife may end up dead if you do that and your family and children will blame you for her death. But that is not your choice or decision to make -- it is your wife's decision to make. And even if you involuntarily commit her, she may come out of the treatment center and start to drink all over again putting you right back where you started.

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So, my suggestions here are to talk to your daughter about pulling the medical and psychological records together and applying to a court for a guardianship and at least a thirty day civil commitment (if not done correctly, withdrawal from long term alcohol abuse can kill her in and of itself and it sounds like your wife needs medical supervision to get sober). If that does not work and you either are unable to get the needed court orders to take care of her OR she does get the help she needs and comes out of the hospital and begins to drink again then you seriously need to think of yourself and your own sanity and start divorce proceedings. In fact, perhaps you should have the paperwork drawn up and ready to go and let her know this as her incentive to work towards getting sober and at least attempting to repair the psychological issues that she currently is exhibiting.

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I so wish that I could give you a quick and easy solution to this, but even your daughter knows that what I am proposing will be a hard road. But you need to make a decision to get tough with it and inform your family and your children that you are nearly done with this and if it does not work, you are walking away no matter WHAT happens to their mother and none of them are going to guilt you into staying and living with the madness any longer, period. I also suggest that when your wife goes into manic episodes that you call the police and have her removed to a hospital -- the more times that it is documented that she has been removed from the home in that condition then the better off you will be if you make an application for a guardianship and an involuntary civil commitment to a hospital. You should also tell your son that he also needs to call the police or an ambulance or both if such a situation happens when you are out of town (or tell him to call you and you can call the authorities from wherever you are located to respond to your house and take care of these matters).

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Please let me know if you have further questions. If not, can you please press a positive rating above so I will be paid for my time today. I am paid nothing unless you press a positive rating before leaving the website. Doing so will not cost you any additional money -- it simply acts as the trigger to Just Answer to pay me for my time. THANK YOU VERY MUCH !!

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mary

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