Healing From Complex Trauma & PTSD/CPTSD

A journey to healing from complex trauma.

My Ex Husband Died.


I had a message from my ex husband’s daughter today, to say my ex husband died. He was only in his early 50’s. His daughter is understandably in shock. His mother is devastated to lose her only son. Only 3 years after losing her husband.

It’s all very sad. Over the last few weeks, I had been talking about my ex husband. He was an addict, addicted to gambling and alcohol, as was his father. His mother was the text book enabler of them both. Her whole life centred around her husband and son, and enabling their behaviour, to ‘keep the peace’.

My ex husband was abusive. He hit me when drunk. There was financial abuse – where he spent his money on his addictions and I paid most of the bills. It was a toxic marriage, as he was a compulsive liar and I never knew what he was doing, or what state he would come home in. This clearly did not help my complex trauma issue. And it is part of my trauma history.

I tried so hard to ‘save’ him. I tried to help him stop drinking. He told me many times – I was the only person who truly wanted him to be well, sober and have a good life. I know he loved his parents – but knew they enabled his addictions. He told me I was the only person who truly loved him in a healthy way.

He was an addict, raised by an addict father and addict enabler mother. It is truly so sad.

During the times he was abusing me, his mother and some of his friends, blamed me for the abuse. They used phrases like “if you didn’t wind him up when drunk – he wouldn’t hit you”, “you knew he drank a lot, so why complain’. So to them – it was ‘me’ with the problem. In their toxic minds, I shouldn’t have been upset or annoyed about his drinking. I should just tolerate it and keep quiet. But, I didn’t. I wanted him well.

When I last saw him, he was ill. His liver was swollen and he was generally ill from all the alcohol. And I know he was devastated that our marriage was over for good. He begged me to try again. But, I didn’t. I knew I had to end the marriage.

Over the last few weeks, I have been talking about the differences between him and my current husband. My ex did actually ask questions about my past, the abuse, my abusive mother etc. He did actually care enough to think about how my past had affected my life and wanted to let me talk about it. I know his abuse was addiction related. If he had been able to get sober and stay sober, he would have been a decent person.

Whereas, my current husband never asked about my past. My current husband is in fact, far more selfish than my ex. My current husband has no addictions, and was/is selfish to the core – all the time and stone cold sober. All I have been to my current husband – is an object there for his needs only. And I have endured abuse from him, for 16 years. And he feels no remorse and no shame at all.

I have told my current husband this over the last few weeks. And how my ex, whilst abusive, was more caring than he is. Which was a shock for him to realise. I was only with my ex for 5 years. I was with my current husband 10 years – before my breakdown – and he never asked a single question about my trauma history. Never gave it a thought. Never asked whether I wanted to talk about it. Not a single second of anything – but his toxic selfishness.

But, at least my ex did think about my past. He did show interest. He did offer compassionate words about how hard my relationship with my mother was. He did care.

It is a bizarre situation to be in, when I can say my ex – an addict, who did abuse me drunk…. was in fact a better husband than my current husband.

I am glad though, to have been thinking these good thoughts about my ex. Before he died. And it does feel weird that I was thinking about the good things my ex did, and the good person he could be….. only within the 2 weeks before his death.

My ex husband was abusive. There is no doubting that. He was fucked up. He was an addict. He had enabling parents and friends. But, he had good within him. He could be unselfish. He could and was good and caring at times.

All this is very emotional to deal with. I have been out this morning to buy cards for his daughter and mother. I will arrange flowers are sent to them both.

As they live the other side of the world from me, I can’t attend the funeral. I wish I could.

I do know I will grieve this. I was married to the man and I loved him. He has died too young and his mother has to bury her only son. His daughter has to grieve the death of her father, too young. It’s heartbreaking.


And I will hold on to the good about him and I know God knows he could be a good man.

~ Lilly Hope Lucario

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Author: Healing From Complex Trauma & PTSD/CPTSD

I am a survivor of complex and multiple trauma and abuse, who at the age of 40, began my healing journey. I am using my journey to recovery and healing, to help others, to help survivors feel less alone, validated, encouraged and to enable others to understand themselves more. Complex trauma, particularly from severe, prolonged childhood abuse, is profoundly life changing. Complex trauma produces complex adults. The journey to recovery is a painful, often lonely, emotional daily challenge and it is my aim to encourage others in their daily battle. ~ Lilly Hope Lucario

7 thoughts on “My Ex Husband Died.

  1. So sorry for your loss. I understand what you are saying about him being a good person and man when not drunk. I know a man who is such a different person when he’s drunk than he is sober. It is sad to see the devastation that alcohol can do. RIP to your ex. And my condolences to you and his family.

  2. Lilly, I can relate to your story on many levels. May I offer you my deepest condolences. I too was in a 16-year relationship and marriage whereby my partner dismissed my past with tales of woe of their own abuses and past. Never was I allowed to complete a story or thought.
    Enough about me, and back to you. You are so right about your ex, being far more caring about your past although an addict than your current spouse. Take time to grieve, it’s yours and yours alone and to hell with anyone who may have an issue with this.
    My last point is this, you had the gut feeling your ex-husband was at the end of his life, thus reminiscing about your past with him. We have that uncanny ability to know these things. May you have peace and blessings and the intestinal fortitude to do what is right for you. If that means the end of this marriage, then so be it. You might be pleasantly surprised how much happier your life will be.

  3. I’m so very sorry to hear all of this & I know you are grieving & will continue to grieve this loss. Thank you so much for your transparency in sharing this w/ all of us. May God grace you w/ comfort & love & strength.

  4. I am so sorry to hear about this Lilly! It is only natural that you will grieve, despite the fact that he was abusive.. I am glad he was able to be kind to you at times. Sending you much love xx

  5. Thank you all – I really appreciate your compassionate and thoughtful messages. I had counselling today, and it was good to be able to talk about it all.
    I will grieve my ex husband. I did love him and only wanted good for him.
    Lilly ❤

  6. Words cannot express the loss that you must be feeling at this time. My thoughts are with you as you process this loss and what this person, who did not always make the best choices, still did for you.

  7. So, So similar to my story except mine is still alive!! But out of my hair, thank God!!