They went through parting

I let my husband go

"Bring up your children at any cost!" Because of this rule dictated by maternal instinct, generally women are hardier and stronger spiritually compare to men. From my point of view, the spouses are attached to one another for their mutual training. Every unpleasant situation makes us think about what it is we are living for, makes us ask questions such as "why must we carry this unbearable burden?" By thinking we search for the truth, and once we’ve found it, we became richer spiritually and more tolerant of other person’s shortcomings. That is what development is all about! Human beings mustn’t live by the animal instincts.

My husband has been drinking before our marriage, during our marriage and after our divorce. But I’m not going to blame my destiny or to reproach us both for the fact that one or the other was wrong and that we were not able to save things. Instead, I would like for women who are burdened by the same problem to understand that each situation is sent to us by God.

I got married at 18. At that time, I lived in Vologodskaya oblast but often visited my relatives in Vilnius. I met my future husband-to-be there, we liked each other but after the holidays were over and my visa to Lithuania expired, I had to leave. In two months, I found out that I was pregnant and after half a year, we got married.

We lived together with his parents; he was from a good family, but it seemed like this was a problem for him. My husband was 23 at that time and had all the rights to live the way he wanted. It turned out that I was "imprisoned" – no my own home, no citizenship, no education, and I couldn’t even speak Lithuanian language. Nevertheless, my husband thought that I was quite all right living with his parents because they were very nice to me.

My husband drunk and spent a lot of time away from home. That is how the nightmare was induced which I then had called "life experience". Our daughter was small and she had Lithuanian citizenship; as for me, there were only two ways out – either to hang myself (but being an Orthodox Christian believer I did not consider this option) or to summon up energy and patience and let the time show me what to do.

All twelve years of our marriage my husband has been drinking. Thousands of times I offered him my help (though I, too, was very weak financially and morally). He was rather afraid of me and he would do his business secretly, and even then he would run away from the house like from the plague. But I’m not going to give way to emotions, they are too hard and bleak. The problem of most women (and men, too) is that after divorce they can’t keep normal relations because of past offenses and other bad memories. In the majority of situations, they start to avenge and punish the "guilty" party.

There were scandals, complaints and tears between us. There were lots of problems with finding a job in Lithuania in those years (in fact, now it’s the same). I found a job as a seamstress, but earned very little – it wasn’t enough to cover transportation to work and lunch.

Our daughter attended kindergarten and I decided to work on spiritual and intellectual self-improvement. People from the Holy Spirit monastery here in Vilnius were of great help. They were supporting and explaining me the reasons and results of such a life, for which I’m extremely grateful. With the help of labor office I was sent to study to be a cook. I was paid a living allowance and could have lunch at the place of my internship.

All that time my husband lived in his own world socializing with his friends. I tried to implant the basics of Orthodox faith in him; I had him and our daughter baptized. But he did not really want to listen to the monks’ exhortations.

I used to work as a cleaner, a seamstress and a cook. When I found out about the opportunity to enter the university under the Russian government program where they paid the majority of fees, I realized it was my last train to a normal life. I studied in evening classes and worked during the day; our daughter was growing up and my husband was still drinking.

Once we had a chance to go to Europe to earn money but my husband was not interested at all. Another time it was the opportunity to go to Kaliningrad but, again, he didn’t display any desire. After all, he had met a woman from a Gypsy family; today he supports her somehow and she accepts his lifestyle.

I filed for divorce because my husband and his girlfriend started seeing each other at our house; having seen that, our daughter turned very negative towards her father. Therefore, the responsibility to bring up our daughter (in her teenage years) was placed solely on my shoulders. I explained her the necessity to forgive; I wanted her to understand that life wouldn’t stop because of what had happened, and that he would remain her father no matter what.

So I became a single mother of 12 years old daughter; I had nothing but my education and life experience gained during the years of marriage.

Though it might sound strange, I let my husband go and took away the "crutches" which he had used all past years without actually needing them! I love him very much but I had to make such a choice for the sake of his own development, in order for him to understand what we meant to each other. The most difficult thing under such circumstances is not a divorce itself, not even another woman who is beneath you in every sense; the most hard is not to bear a grudge, to help when needed and try to get back your spouse and your family. What for? Because God connects two people knowing that they can get along with each other better than with anyone else, and my life after divorce has proved it. My granny said, "The first marriage is given by God, the second – by people and the third – by the devil". I realized what she meant only in my thirties.

We have been divorced for nearly a year. I try to help my ex-husband as much as I can, though no longer as a wife and "owner", without forcing myself upon it, but as a close friend, as a person with whom he shared his bed, food, joy and sorrow.

With time, my husband understood that he never had and never would have anyone closer than me (in his own words). Because of his antisocial lifestyle, his friends finally turned their backs on him. I try my best to improve his relationship with our daughter because she has her own point of view on what had happened. In short, we both understood that we were the dearest people for each other and that it was possible to overcome our troubles and not blame each other for every sin! But the ‘bowl’ has been broken; nevertheless, we have become very good friends now, he helps me financially and I help him morally (we both need that more than anything else).

Now my ex-spouse has neither a job nor health; he is always beaten…well, a sad story. I work for a small company in Vilnius as a manager, live in apartment and raise my daughter. We meet regularly, I help my ex as much as I can and he helps me financially when he is able to. I decided to help him to cure his alcoholism, to put him back on track.

My private life is all right now. There is a man with me now and he respects my daughter, they are good friends. He understands and supports me. What will happen next... that’s another story!

I do want people who break up to understand that anything is possible and that if we had less pride we could’ve had what we really want in life. It is very difficult to forgive and ask for forgiveness. But anyway, if there is even the smallest chance of saving the family you must use it!

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Olga, 31 years old

Olga, 31 years old

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