I never imagined I'd ever consider divorce, but here I am. I have been married for almost 4 years, have a 3.5 year old and a 7 month old. For these years of marriage I have been hoping to see the relationship blossom into one with emotional intimacy and support, passion, respect, friendship, financial congruency, admiration, and shared values + interests. Unfortunately all areas in the relationship have been bleak. I went to a year of therapy on my own (he refused to go), then we went to a year of therapy together (with little improvement) He started threatening divorce about a year ago. He has since taken it back but once he brought it into the equation I no longer felt the lifelong commitment/devotion that I have always wanted was there. :(
I have been an enthusiastic stay at home mother for the entirety of the marriage, and that part has been a dream come true. Financially I have been kept out of the loop, he would write me a check for money to spend on things like dr visits, diapers, groceries, formula, preschool tuition etc. but stopped providing any funds about 7 months ago without letting me know that he would no longer provide the funds. Because the financial needs were still there, I got a credit card in my name to make sure I could provide for their immediate needs. Our agreement had been that he would provide a certain monthly amount per our budget but he has not provided those funds. I have seen my credit card balance increase and am feeling very uncomfortable - it is not a sustainable financial model and it just makes me feel divorced without actually being divorced. He has also been overspending on his personal credit card racking up 20k, and has made some big financial decisions like he came home one day letting me know that he bought himself a BMW (when at the time we had 3 paid-off automobiles, he traded in 2)
For years now, once the children are in bed, we spend the evenings in different rooms. It has been a lonely marriage with little to no physical interactions and no shared friendship. He does not share his thoughts with me, does not share what happens in his day, is not open with me about who he is, what he likes or what is going on with him. When I share my feelings with him he retreats and shuts down immediately- He immediately goes to the bed and lies face down unresponsive to me or our children (approx.. 4x/week). He has been on anti-anxiety medication for the duration of the marriage and for years prior and it has not helped. He stopped taking his meds 4 weeks ago in hopes that it would help him manage his acute fight or flight reactions to most interactions that we have, but so far I am still on eggshells. He often leaves me and the children when we are on family outing to places like the Pacific Science Center, Zoo, visiting Santa, Easter egg hunts- where he just walks away from me and the children and I cannot find him. He gets stressed and leaves without communicating, and very little triggers his rapid exit.
I do all of the housework, any household repairs, cleaning, remodeling, he does not contribute in any way to the workload that needs to be done. He knows that I have a ruptured disk in my back which causes me great pain, but does not help and I am the one who takes out the trash, does all the laundry, power washes the patio, painting walls… big or small it is up to me. I have asked for help specifying certain jobs that cause my back pain but he refuses or agrees then does not follow through with the tasks.
I see that this is not a sustainable relationship, and know that I need to take some big steps into a new future. I am struggling to find my footing and figure out my next steps because:
-I feel at a loss because of the lack of visibility that I have into our finances
-Having such a young baby I know I will have a hard time not being there for him the way I have been able to be there for my 3.5 year old.
-I am used to being with my children all day, and love every moment of it. I know that I will be a happier mother outside of this marriage, but am having trouble reconciling the loss of time with my wonderful children going to 50/50 custody plus returning to the workforce.
-He purchased the house in 2001 so I will not be in the position of keeping the house, and I will have to find a new place to live and have always wanted to have a family home where the children grow up with holidays and traditions, and it makes me sad that I cannot keep the traditions going in the house that I have worked so hard on. (I do not want to take his house away from him)
-I worry about him being unstable and have been hoping to see him get a better handle of his emotional issues before leaving
-I wonder if he will change and be the partner I wish he would be
-I have no illusions, I know this requires me to go back to work- I am creating a budget forecast and hope that I can afford to one day get a house, pay for daycare, pay for rent, pay off the debt that I have incurred on my credit card these past 6 months- and not knowing or being able to predict the financial state of my future is very stressful
Anyone have any advice? I am overwhelmed and just trying to take it one day at a time. I am a very positive and proactive person, and just trying to get through this in the best possible way possible. I love my children, love my friends and my life, but this marriage has left me feeling defeated and overwhelmed.