A Daily Struggle
I was married for 23 years. We were best friends since high school, soul-mates (Or so I thought). Went through many difficult times together in our marriage but we got through them because we were such good friends. The year of 2011 was a difficult financial year because my husband's business was struggling to survive. We had to file bankruptcy, then had to short sale our house but still we focused on the positive and both said that a house is replaceable and we could start over. Well, 2 weeks after moving into our house rental he tells me that he's not happy, doesn't feel compatible and feels we should separate. My heart ripped in two on that day but I moved forward. He moved out for 6 months and he was in crisis mode the entire time due to his financial situation. We did keep contact and went on some "dates". After 6 months he asked to move back in. I think I fooled myself into thinking he wanted me back, but the reality was that he was on the verge of losing the business which we worked so hard to get. During the 6 months we were separated I received therapy and did work on myself and felt I made some huge milestones that would also help the marriage. I had asked him to join me in therapy but he didn't think he needed help from someone else to sort things out and wasn't ready to work on us until he was clear on himself. There were changes, I felt better than ever and felt I had a new start but didn't feel it was openly received by him. I felt like I was on an emotional rollercoaster. Everytime I tried to talk to him he just said he needed time, but now 10 months since he has moved back in he again has come to the realization that he just doesn't want to be married. He says he feels "trapped" and has to "find himself". I saw signs of mid-life crisis when he joined a hard core gym and has become focused on looking good and started wearing jewelry and talking about a tatoo (which he has always been against). There are times I don't know who this person is and times where I see glimpses of the man I fell in love with. He wants separation again but he can't afford to move out. Because of the person I am and because I worry about my kids I told him he could stay. We don't argue (never have) but I can feel his avoidance in coming home every night. I don't think he has had an affair but I have accused him of emotional affairs in the past with female friends. I am a woman of strong faith and am struggling with knowing what to do at this point. Do I keep fighting for my marriage and keep my wife role giving him unconditional love, in hopes of him "snapping" out of it or do I give him what he wants and set him free? I have been praying for an answer to this question but have not yet gotten a response.