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Like a lot of posts that I've read today - I'm coming here because I'm at a weird place in my life.

I've been married for 6 years but together over 17. I'm only 32 and my husband is the only serious relationship that I've ever had. That's what makes this entire situation even more surreal as it's truly been the majority of my life. I met him when I was very young and we were two peas in a pod for a long time. He was so supportive and loving for the first 10 years of our relationship. I used to think I was blessed because my family life was full of stress and chaos (mental illness, alcoholism) and he was my solace. That's what kept me hanging on for so long, because I thought it HAD to come back at some point.

People say you end up marrying your parents (or some elements of them) and as my father was an alcoholic, I just KNEW I couldn't live that life even as a young child. Fast forward to about 10 years into our relationship and my husband starts drinking heavily. For anyone who lives with an alcoholic you probably know that right about this point - the warning signs are just bouncing like crazy. I helped him through many years of false recoveries until he just went full on rampant in the last 4 years. Luckily I had a therapist this entire time otherwise I would have probably lost my mind. Sooo many horrible nights, months, etc. I stayed because I knew it was a disease and I couldn't just throw in the towel on this significant relationship (that was literally my mantra to survive).

To make matters worse, like many addicts, my husband also started having issues with depression about 4-5 years ago. I'm not sure what's worse: depression or an addict? The combination is just absolutely nuts. I have tried every approach possible. And 5 years later I'm finally here: I am seriously planning to leave. In the last few years I thought about it a dozen times but decided to ultimately stay because "we were meant to be" and I just cannot imagine being with anyone else. I still can't, but I'm beginning to realize that it's not a reason to stay. At this point I feel like I've been traumatized so much through this wild ride that getting out is probably the only sound decision I can make.

Fast forward to this defining year: My husband lost his job before quarantine because of his mental health (well officially, it was not showing up to work) and was put on disability. I thought this was the turning point of him finally "getting it" and getting help. Nope. 6 months later and I actually think it's getting worse because he has no structure to his life anymore.

In order to live with a depressed alcoholic, I started to live my life in the last 4-5 years doing things without him; I've gone on solo vacations with family, hung out with friends alone (who we used to hang out with as a couple), and gotten used to idea that we just don't have intimacy like other people. In retrospect it's clear that I've been living a single life already for years and everyone else probably sees that too. Then why is it so hard for me to take the next step? I just feel like the permanence and the legal side really freaks me out. I'm truly scared to take "the plunge" but feel like I have to stay sane.
 
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