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Discussion Starter #1
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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Hey, I can totally empathize with you. My father was on drugs for many years...my parents divorced, but eventually got back together, and eventually he got clean for good and things got better. It's been a crazy life though to say the least. So I hear you when you say you never wanted to wind up in the same situation, and I made damn sure I didn't marry someone like that, and it's worked out very well, thank God!! However, I'm not clear on one thing...
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.
Did this become an issue when you guys were dating? The timeline you describe isn't that clear to me. If it was an issue while dating, why did you marry him?

Also...

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
This is just sad, and if you're already living life as a single person (and I completely understand why), and you can't change your husband, it's time to take the next step. He doesn't seem to want to change, and you have to tread carefully with alcoholics, some do get violent. So, if there's no marriage (seems to be irretrievably damaged), then get out. I know you love him, but this is no way for you to live life.
 

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All I would suggest is to threaten him with a divorce unless he quits drinking, then proceed to separate and move out. This one 1. Gives him a chance to change by showing him you really mean it and 2. Gives you a chance emotionally and physically to get your toes wet in the single life so to speak.
 

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Do you have kids together (sorry if I missed that)? If not, I would do what's best for you. Life is way too short to be unhappy. Sounds like you are already living life as a single person and are married in name only. Trust me, he's not going to change. He's married to the bottle, not you.
 

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Let’s get real... he’s a alcoholic loser with no job and depression. You actually think he is going to just snap out of it? Take your life back....get a lawyer.

Marriage counseling has about as much chance of working as farting in the elevator. Perhaps if the therapist is also a drunk they could share the bottle and they would be best buds.

Remind me again why your with him?
 

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Wow, your story is so similar to mine, it’s almost unbelievable. We’re even the same age...
I don’t know if I have a good advice, as I’m myself still in a limbo of trying to make a decision to officially end things, but we don’t live together anymore. Before that I have had same thoughts for a long time but didn’t have guts to do something about it. The separation was sort of forced on me, but maybe it’s just meant to happen after all.
It hurts a lot, and I feel very bad, lonely and scared of the future alone, but as ridiculously as it sounds - my sanity is back - I don’t see him drinking every day anymore, I don’t get upset/disappointed/hopeless of his drinking, i don’t have to share a bed with him smelling like booze, I don’t care how much money he spends on alcohol, I don’t have to deal with an emotional rollercoaster of him being upset about everything and everyone. This was causing me so much stress, that now living alone (yet still married) I feel calm..
I think deep down inside you know what to do.. you are only 30, imagine living this life for the next 40-50 years? Imagine your future kids living this life.. I am telling you this because I m telling this to myself as well...
 

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Wow, your story is so similar to mine, it’s almost unbelievable. We’re even the same age...
I don’t know if I have a good advice, as I’m myself still in a limbo of trying to make a decision to officially end things, but we don’t live together anymore. Before that I have had same thoughts for a long time but didn’t have guts to do something about it. The separation was sort of forced on me, but maybe it’s just meant to happen after all.
It hurts a lot, and I feel very bad, lonely and scared of the future alone, but as ridiculously as it sounds - my sanity is back - I don’t see him drinking every day anymore, I don’t get upset/disappointed/hopeless of his drinking, i don’t have to share a bed with him smelling like booze, I don’t care how much money he spends on alcohol, I don’t have to deal with an emotional rollercoaster of him being upset about everything and everyone. This was causing me so much stress, that now living alone (yet still married) I feel calm..
I think deep down inside you know what to do.. you are only 30, imagine living this life for the next 40-50 years? Imagine your future kids living this life.. I am telling you this because I'm telling this to myself as well...

Thanks for the supportive words <3 It is sad to hear that anyone else is going through this too. It's just awful. I'm trying to stay strong because I have a full-time job that is very demanding, but right now I'm thinking of moving out just to get a positive space setup. I feel weird going to see an apartment without him knowing. It all feels like the end....my therapist tells me that I'm openly grieving, and it's for sure true.
 

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Yes, grieving the end of a marriage is tough. One day is fine and the next day isn’t. There’s no timetable for this — it takes as long as it takes. Be kind to yourself in the process.
 

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Thanks for the supportive words <3 It is sad to hear that anyone else is going through this too. It's just awful. I'm trying to stay strong because I have a full-time job that is very demanding, but right now I'm thinking of moving out just to get a positive space setup. I feel weird going to see an apartment without him knowing. It all feels like the end....my therapist tells me that I'm openly grieving, and it's for sure true.

have you joined Al-Anon to get support there. You should also join SoberRecovery.com (Family and friends). This will help you take back control and not be controlled by the rollercoaster of being with an alcoholic. You are still young and its good to move on as unless he hits rock bottom and gets help things will become worse
 

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Update: I moved out. I'm pretty shocked that it all actually happened considering it was on my mind for years and I would ultimately back out for one reason or another. There were a few turning points for me that I thought I'd share for anyone experiencing this:
  1. A month ago (when I wrote this first post) we planned to go to the beach to get some fresh air. He was increasingly agoraphobic even before quarantine and with quarantine it was just getting worse. We mutually decided that it would be good for us to try and get out one weekend for our mental health. He put off the beach for two weekends in a row with various reasons, and when we finally got in the car to drive - he started to weep and had to shut his eyes. I tried to talk to him and he told me to just drive and "not worry about it". I had never seen him like that, and it was pretty clear to me that he was seriously ill. I suffer from generalized anxiety disorder (what a pair right?) and this situation really triggered me. I had to juggle being supportive to him and turning the car around to go back home AND not freak out for my own reasons. The worst part was that he didn't want to talk about it at all and that was just not ok for me. It was a significant incident to me that indicated that we could not even share in positive activities together that were planned well in advance, let alone tackle these issues as a couple.
  2. 2 weeks ago he started talking about covid conspiracy theories which I thought was super random and odd, but somehow I rationalized that it was not "totally crazy" to have these kinds of thoughts considering it was a weird time in general. It just goes to show that when you are in denial you will legit put up with ANYTHING even though it does not feel right to you. Well one morning he told me that he got banned from a message board that he frequented for YEARS because he posted his covid theories. His reaction to the banning was even more bizarre - and it was clear that he was on a whole different plane. That's when I decided to go look at apartments because this was a new level of uncomfortable for me.
I have a lot of work to do in therapy but my emotions are all over the place right now. Someone recommended Al-anon and I'm definitely gonna attend a meeting this week along with a CoDa meeting. It's hard to find my footing right now but that's how it is...
 

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Update: I moved out. I'm pretty shocked that it all actually happened considering it was on my mind for years and I would ultimately back out for one reason or another. There were a few turning points for me that I thought I'd share for anyone experiencing this:
  1. A month ago (when I wrote this first post) we planned to go to the beach to get some fresh air. He was increasingly agoraphobic even before quarantine and with quarantine it was just getting worse. We mutually decided that it would be good for us to try and get out one weekend for our mental health. He put off the beach for two weekends in a row with various reasons, and when we finally got in the car to drive - he started to weep and had to shut his eyes. I tried to talk to him and he told me to just drive and "not worry about it". I had never seen him like that, and it was pretty clear to me that he was seriously ill. I suffer from generalized anxiety disorder (what a pair right?) and this situation really triggered me. I had to juggle being supportive to him and turning the car around to go back home AND not freak out for my own reasons. The worst part was that he didn't want to talk about it at all and that was just not ok for me. It was a significant incident to me that indicated that we could not even share in positive activities together that were planned well in advance, let alone tackle these issues as a couple.
  2. 2 weeks ago he started talking about covid conspiracy theories which I thought was super random and odd, but somehow I rationalized that it was not "totally crazy" to have these kinds of thoughts considering it was a weird time in general. It just goes to show that when you are in denial you will legit put up with ANYTHING even though it does not feel right to you. Well one morning he told me that he got banned from a message board that he frequented for YEARS because he posted his covid theories. His reaction to the banning was even more bizarre - and it was clear that he was on a whole different plane. That's when I decided to go look at apartments because this was a new level of uncomfortable for me.
I have a lot of work to do in therapy but my emotions are all over the place right now. Someone recommended Al-anon and I'm definitely gonna attend a meeting this week along with a CoDa meeting. It's hard to find my footing right now but that's how it is...
I think when you look back you will realize this is the best thing you have ever done. You are taking your life back, you are not responsible for your husband's addiction and behaviour. Please make sure you join those support groups, they will give you perspective. Also read Co-Dependent No More by Melodie Beattie. You will find it on You Tube (partial) here
Part 1 and 2 available to give you an idea
 
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