Separated From Husband About 1 Month - Not Sure What To Do...I am a 44 year old female, been married for 22 years, have two children, ages 11 and 8. I am an accountant by profession but go to law school part time at night as well so needless to say, life is kinda busy.
My husband is a good man although he has never been very much into communication. He and his family are very much alike in that they would give you the shirt off their backs or do anything for you but they don't know how to have a simple, sincere conversation about anything. His family is also not very physically affectionate either. My family on the other hand is just huggie, kissie, let's sit down and have a long chat kind of people so, of course, that is what I am used to.
My husband says he has always admired the way my family is affectionate towards one another and that we can REALLY talk to one another about anything. He is very affectionate towards our children, of which I am grateful. He is a good financial provider and takes pride in keeping our household in good order (as do I) - I never have to ask him to do "honey do's" as he does them without my prompting.
Our problem is that during the early years of our marriage, I was in college and starting my career and he had just begun his post college career so we were both very busy establishing our professional lives. We had fun together, went out with friends, vacationed a lot and had a blast. However, after we bought our first house and started settling down to have children, I noticed our relationship began to change (this was about 13 years ago). He became more controlling about things (money was the big one). I blew it off but told him that I didn't marry my father and I had equal say about our financial affairs. I realized that he was more comfortable being a "hermit" and didn't really care for socializing at all, he just did it for my sake.
We had fertility issues (we were both tested and the dr's couldn't determine what the issue was) but eventually we became pregnant. Unfortunately we lost the baby at 14 weeks and we were both devastated. Two years went by and we got pregnant again. We were overjoyed when our first son was born. We were very surprised and thrilled when three years later, we had another son.
However, since the day we brought our first son home from the hospital, my husband has been VERY involved with the care and upbringing of our children. Not in a sick, twisted, ********* way. Just basically giving up his identity to do everything with the kids. I know this sounds weird coming from a woman, and don't get me wrong, I love my kids more than life itself, but as the kids got older and developed their own interests and friends, so did I. I was a stay-at-home mom until they both went to kindergarten but I eventually went back to work and am now back in school.
My husband on the other hand, has no life of his own, apart from work and the kids. All his extra-curricular activities center around "kid-related" things like scouts, sports, etc. He used to have his own hobbies like tennis, amateur radio, art, etc. Now he does none of those things. He doesn't want to spend any time with me anymore. And if we ever do go out on a date alone, all he talks about are the kids and his job (because he has nothing else going on in his life). It has gotten so bad lately that I have been sleeping on the couch and he doesn't even notice. We haven't slept together in over a year.
So about 8 months ago, I told him that if things didn't change I was leaving. We could have joint custody of the kids but I was not staying in a one-sided relationship (I had been buying books and tape programs, we had attended marriage workshops, gone to counseling with our pastor at church, but we never would stick with anything and went back to the same old pattern of ignoring each other).
I guess he didn't think I was serious because after we got back from vacation in July, I moved out. This was about 1 month ago.
One of our issues was that we moved to TX from AL about 4 years ago and have been living in an apartment that was very tiny (compared to our house previously). The intention was to live there a year while we got debt-free and saved for the house. Well we lived there for 4 years (lots of financial thing came up) so I suggested we live in a leased home until we could buy. He wouldn't even entertain the idea but we lived near a college campus that was noisy and inconsiderate of their neighbors. In addition, my husband rented this apartment initially without consulting me and the apartment is on the 2nd floor. I broke my leg 5 years ago and have a hard time going up and down staircases (one of the reasons we sold our home - it was a 2 story house). My new home is a gorgeous one-story rental house with a backyard. (The kids love it and so do I.)
He and his family have tended to make decisions over the years without consulting me. Specifically, over the course of our marriage, he bought two cars without even telling me first, let along consulting me. I have always contributed 1/2 of our household income but he makes financial decisions without consulting me. Yeah, right! And his mother is constantly asking his opinion about household matters that really should be made by both of us For instance, she recovered all of our furniture and made drapes for our home as she is a seamstress but asked his opinion ONLY about fabric, styles, etc. Also when she came to help when I broke my leg, she rearranged my whole house, kept me from seeing my kids (her theory was they would be bored just hanging out in my bedroom when I couldn't do anything with them) and just generally took over as "lady of the house" then entire time I was laid up for three months. In addition his father has been verbally abusive to me throughout our marriage because he is a redneck hick from Alabama (i'm from Los Angeles) and he feels that he can say any racist, slanderous remark about anything and anyone without consequence (I do stand up to him because I find him HIGHLY offensive and he is ugly right back to me - my husband does not defend me whatsoever even though he tells me he feels the same way I do about what his father says)
The list goes on and on about how I have felt like a piece of furniture in my own life - used when needed but ignored most of the time by both my husband and his family. Anyway, since I've been on my own, I am feeling a sense of freedom I haven't felt in years. Yes, I get a little lonely at times but I don't have to deal with the criticism or being ignored anymore either.
My problem is, I am dealing great with this separation, the children seem to be doing fine as they see both of us all the time. But my husband is not doing well with it. We are in counseling right now and our counselor has suggested that we "take a break" from the marriage right now and focus on ourselves and get healthy (physically, financially, spiritually, career, etc.) for a few months and then see if we want to work on getting back together. I think that's a great idea but my husband keeps pressuring me to see if he can stay over, do on dates, etc. I don't want to hurt his feelings any more than I already have but he has no concept of boundaries. I left because I need space and he isn't giving me any!
How do I explain this to him so that he gets it? The more he pushes me, the more I want to run away FROM him not TO him. That is what he doesn't seem to get. Even the counselor said that if we got back together now, we would most likely go back to the same patterns of behavior as before.
Any advice would be appreciated as I am at my wits end and am very close to just ending this now!