DEAR ABBY: I have been married nine years, but moved to my own apartment two months ago. I'm 35; my husband, "Art," is 51. Our marriage was fine until two years ago, when he became depressed over his job and we started fighting. He didn't want to do anything, including have sex, and he quit his job. I paid the bills until he started a new job, but he became depressed again. Then he started drinking. We talked, we cried and stormed. Art refused counseling and wouldn't stop drinking. Our fights were verbal, but I was afraid if I stayed they'd escalate and I'd be physically hurt. That's when I moved.
Art now has a job he likes. He has cut back on his drinking and is the sweet, loving man I married. He wants to reconcile. He says he was depressed and thinks the difference in our ages excuses the fact that I am sexual and he isn't -- and that I want to go places and do things, but he doesn't.
I am confused. I miss the "good" us. I love my husband and don't want anyone else, but I'm afraid to go back. If I give up my apartment and he gets depressed with his new job, I'll be in a situation I won't be able to get out of. On the one hand, I think we deserve another chance. On the other, I don't want to feel like I'm 100 years old when I'm only 35. Any advice would be appreciated. -- CAN'T DECIDE IN OHIO
DEAR CAN'T DECIDE: Agree to go back only after you and your husband have had at least six months of professional couples counseling. The combination of depression, drinking, your age difference and his chronic job dissatisfaction all need to be fully addressed, or your relationship will never be healed.