I've Just Entered The Planning Phase...I've been married 23 years and it has not been a good marriage, but last month was the first time I ever looked up divorce proceedings. Yes, the first time! I did it only for knowledge, as divorce seemed so far out of my comfort zone and I did not want to hurt my husband, although he's certainly hurt me plenty in our long marriage. I don't like to cause pain. Or upheaval.
But the more I read on it and think on it, it's the right thing to do. I will take it slowly. It will be a process. I will not bring up the D word for awhile, as it will put my husband in either a shutdown mode causing the little bit of communication we can still manage to end, or he will be spiteful and angry, which would effect our teenager and young adult daughter lliving in the home. Because of these risks, I will only mention the word when our kids have left home and are a bit stable where they are. But it's never too soon to start planning.
My husband has chosen to NOT visit family this Thanksgiving and Christmas. My son is ok with it, but my daughter craves the rare chances to get together with aunts, uncles, and cousins. My husband has NEVER considered our feelings on such things and just makes the decision. I will eat Christmas dinner at home with him and my son, but I am encouraging my daughter to go ahead and eat dinner with the extended family if she wants to. She really does, and missed out on that at Thanksgiving. The more I think of a life with my husband after the kids are gone, the more I realize I will NOT be able to tolerate it for long.
He did have a long affair that I did not know about until it ended. That alone is reason enough, if borderline mental abuse is not. This year I finally gave myself the green light to have an affair myself. It has put all misunderstanding and bitterness of his affair in the garbage forever. I no longer am tormented by his affair, and I totally understand it now. But we have grown apart. I tried for 12 months to give and receive his passion and love. He refuses to discuss marriage counseling at all, so I did what I could and read what I could to help our relationship. He is just not passionate (with me) or communicative. I found a lover who is both of those things now. I know that I will always need passion and communication in my life, and I know that my marriage to my husband will have to end. I am so afraid of his emotional swing when that happens. I want so much for us to remain friends and for him to stay in touch with our then grownup kids. I'm afraid he'll withdraw. But maybe that withdrawal won't last, and eventually he'd open up to new relationships and be happier than he's ever been. That's my hope. He's a good looking man, so I hope so much he allows love to enter his heart from some willing female out there. I only want to be his friend. Nothing more.
I'm also afraid of him wanting sex now and then if we DID stay friends. I don't think I'd want that. I'm sure I'll always have a relationship with another man, whether it's my current wonderful lover, or another wonderful man. But I don't want to hurt my husband by stopping the sex when we divorce. Maybe I'm thinking too much, and I just need to take things as they come.
But I AM taking my own mental and physical steps to slowly move toward divorce. It no longer feels weird to me, or out of my comfort zone any longer. Our youngest turns 18 in 1 year and 3 months. 3 months after that he'll graduate highschool. He may live with us 2 more years while attending community college, or he may leave home for a 4-year college. The summer after he graduates, my husband and I will "celebrate" our 25th anniversary. I think the soonest I'd bring up divorce is the following January (AFTER the holidays). I hope to ease into it gracefully, but I fear it a bit. I am starting a new career and plan to be rich enough to support him and I even after the divorce in case he becomes disabled or any number of things. I will probably always feel responsible for him unless he ever starts another long term relationship with someone who has money. My husband has never made much, but he does have a full-time job and likes to work.
Even though my divorce will be at least 2 years away, I'm finally feeling some excitement for my future. It feels nice. I will turn 50 just after the soonest the divorce might be final. I have such BIG plans for the 2nd half of my life. It will be like I'm reborn!