I've been married over 23 years, but for the majority of that time my husband has been absent due to his job (overseas for about 12 years now and numerous long-term assignments throughout). I've raised our children and they are successful young adults. I've taken care of the house, cars, banking, etc., but feel I basically did it as a single mother. I never signed up for this, but I did my best.
Now that my children are grown, I am so lonely I can't hardly stand my life. To be honest, several years ago, I met someone who was kind, attentive and affectionate. At that time, I flat-out told my husband that he could either come home to work on our marriage or that I wanted a divorce. He told me he didn't care what I did, but would make my life a living hell if I divorced him. He definitely has the means to do that. His job has ALWAYS come first. He has always provided for us financially, but has just never been here for our day-to-day lives. The other part is that when he takes his "leaves" to come home (typically about 3 times a year), he feels entitled to make plans for all of us unilaterally - even though we all have our own lives. I mean we don't all just live in limbo until he decides to let us out of the "boxes" he seems to think we exist in. We have to live somehow for crying out loud. This doesn't seem to occur to him.
I've come to the end of my rope. I never wanted to cheat on him and still feel guilty about it, but believe that marriage should include companionship. Besides, no one wants to be involved with a married person and shouldn't have to be. Needless to say, the relationship didn't last. I want my freedom if only for the fact that it's much worse feeling lonely while married than being lonely while single. It leaves me no options to pursue a possible loving relationship and a companion. At this point in my life (I'm not getting any younger), I sincerely believe that finding someone I can spend whatever time I have left is a longshot to say the least. But I crave companionship and am at least hopeful if I can ever get out of this mess. Not feeling trapped and beholden to this man would still be better than the existence I endure now. Sadly, even suicide is never far from my mind at this point although I would never, ever, resort to such a selfish act.
I offered to split everything 65-35 in his favor if he would just pay my health insurance. His response is that he wants ALL his retirement, wants to "give" me the house (which I cannot afford the upkeep on), and that he will never agree to any mediation but rather wants to spend (doubtless) tens of thousands of dollars fighting me in court.
The threat here is that this money HE wants to spend on endless court battles will no longer be able to go to our children's education and I can't help feeling that it will be all my fault when they end up owing student loans for possibly decades to come. We agreed many years ago that that was one thing we wanted our children to be able to avoid if at all possible, and so far this has thankfully been the case.
The main problem is that I just can't seem to wrap my head around the fact that my children will resent me for this (not merely the divorce - which I think they understand but this promise that was made to them about their educations).
Virtually NO ONE in my family has ever been divorced and this preys upon me as well.
I could go on and on. The bottom line is that I've stayed married to him mainly for the sake of my children and their futures, but I believe I am entitled to some type of misery-free future as well.
He also has me convinced at this point that I am simply unloveable since I am so "ungrateful" to him for continuing to financially support us all these years. Maybe I am - but I do have hope that this is not true, however little.
So...Do I just grit my teeth and file and let the chips fall where they may?
Has anyone else experienced something similar? I'd just really appreciate some input, advice, support - whatever.
Sorry this was so long. It's just a very odd arrangement and no one seems to understand.
Thanks in advance...
~*~ SuZ ~*~