And so we come to the end of a ..... era?

Friday January 14th I was served divorce papers I found out later that afternoon that future ex (he has the ADD) told our oldest son @ home that it would happen the night before. (Is that putting child in the middle?)
Not sure if the youngest knew or not, thinking not but ............

There was no information in his papers which he paid a lawyer to draw up. The date of marriage wasn't even right! According to the papers marriage was in 2001.............. that is about the time I lost weight and decided to go back to school (should have been 1981) Sons name was spelled wrong and he wants joint physical custody of the youngest (he who thought a 10 yr old is old enough to be left home alone 40 plus hours a week last summer when he returned to work). This is going to be a long ordeal as he refuses to talk anything out and his lawyer will take care of everything.

I have been reflecting on the last 29 yrs, and I came to conclusion that I actually enabled him to avoid finding out what the issue was. I would sort laundry by child each had a basket and colored hangers, outfits for school and special occasions were hung, organized bills so he could find something if he needed or wanted to, paid all the bills and only bothered him if there wasn't enough money......... don't think I need to go on. I was by his side for cancer treatments twice, multiple other health issues (pneumonia, broken ribs, severed finger ....................) open heart surgery last year and he has COPD but still smokes........ no support for me and any health issues though..........

When things got to a breaking point he would focus on making corrections til the storm had past then he would gradually go back to old habits. His coping skills were firmly in place when I rocked his world by going back to work when we had our last child. Then I lost weight and went back to school........... gone was the person who dealt with all the issues until they possible got to the point he had to acknowledge there was an issue (but I was the cause of the issue). His solution was to start putting the tasks he agreed he would to as chores for the boys so if they didn't get done it wasn't his fault.
 

Now he is trying to get more organized (haha) his exact words, he is still trying to control things but don't think that is going to last much longer though. And I am starting counseling for myself tonight, my goal is to get myself to a better place while dealing with the latest crisis and move on. He has moved on though he has dealt with none of the issues that led to the divorce, maybe as a single ADD person he won't have to.

I have seen in reading the posts here and see so much of my own situation over the years, wonder what it would have been like to have had diagnose 20 years ago!

It is probably for the best

It is probably for the best that you do let all of the 'details' be worked out between lawyers, you'd be better off not dealing with his untreated ADD at this point. I think part of the 'healing' is removing yourself from him and his attempts to control everything as much as possible.

I am so sorry. I am glad you're starting counseling for yourself. It really will help having that support through this tough time. Time to let his problems be his problems and your future be fully in your hands!! (((HUGS)))

Sherri

confused60's picture

The lawyers don't work out

The lawyers don't work out the details - you do.  They only assist.  And they don't care about you, only the law.  That is their job.  The courts won't solve your problems either, you'll need to work out an agreement outside of the court and take it with you or else the court will use the law to divvy things up without regard for your desires.

Yes, I am just saying that

Yes, I am just saying that she needs to get her own attorney, tell him/her what she wants/needs, and let the 'dealings' be between her and her attorney and then her attorney and his attorney. I know the details and the leg work are hers, but she does not have to deal with him at all while working out the details.

confused60's picture

Ah, now I understand.  Yes,

Ah, now I understand.  Yes, you are right, the attorneys can be used to shelter her from DH.  Her attorney can also "go for the throat", if warranted.

waynebloss's picture

Re: Hate to add to this

Last night my wife told me that she does not think that we are going to make it. She does not feel she has the strength to fight for our marriage.  She asked me to give her a week to decide for sure, but they way she was talking, she has made up her mind already.  I did tell her that I do not want a divorce but if she s not going to fight, not going to do the things she said she needed to do then we need to start the process sooner rather than later. 

I am sad that we are where we are, I am angry and mad that she is quitting and not fighting but somewhere inside of me I can understand why, it is just a sad time for us.  Her opening comments were that she does not think we are going to make it because I continue to be mad, judge her and stew about her decisions.  I do get mad at some of her decisions, she is married but living a single life.  I do not stew but I do have some questions about our issues, which if I discuss them with her she just gets mad and it is lost so I wait til she wants to have a talk and then I ask her about things.  Am I good at conversations, not right now I am not, I stink at it, but I am trying.  She is still angry, resentful, hurt, and even though she says she has started to forgive I do not think she has yet. 

We were supposed to start the "healing separation" this month but she stated that she has had no time to breath, no time to relax because she thinks I am still mad, judgmental and stewing about her and what she does.  When we talked about the healing separation she stated that the ball was in her court, that I have done everything she asked and she was happy with the changes I made (I am the one with ADD), and that she sees progress.  Then 4 days after she went back into her shell and has not come out.  She even stated last night that she thought we had a good 2 weeks after the talk but when she came home after New Years with her friends she felt that I was ready to ask her for divorce.  I was not mad or angry but that is what she saw and has been locked up in her walls since.  She stated last month that she needed to start to talking with a professional, she even asked me if I knew of anyone else, so I sent her a link that my counselor sent me, she has done nothing with it.  Her excuse is that she was waiting to see if I was going to remain happy and on track with my changes.  Since I was mad at her for something, she has not even started to look for one because of me and my actions. 

At the end of our talk, she stated that maybe we need to divorce and be away from each other for a while so she can see me for who I am today and not who I was the last 3 years.  Told me that maybe I would not be so jealous of her being a free spirit and that I could accept her for her.  I told her I did, but being a free spirit, hanging out 100% of your free time with your single friends and not including me is not actions of a married woman but actions of a married woman who wants out.  I do not want her 100% of the time, we both need the social structure but if you are going to be married then your family comes first, not your single friends. 

At the end I told her I was sorry for the last 3 years, that I did not do things on purpose and I had no intentions of hurting her, making her suffer with pain and that I did not want a divorce, but if she was through then I would give her what she wanted, I would do everything I could to stop her from hurting, suffering and being miserable.  I just said I was sorry and left for the gym. 

So, based on our talks, I am getting a divorce sometime soon, which kills me, and I am sad for our kids but I will continue on with what I am doing. Continue with my changes, my meds, seeing my counselor and making myself a better person.  Maybe through this divorce she will be able to see me for the first time as Wayne and no the bastard that caused her so much pain and suffering. 

Wayne 

confused60's picture

Why divorce?  Is this really

Why divorce?  Is this really necessary?  Are you/she getting married to someone else in the near future?  Please reconsider this decision.  You have jobs with health coverage, insurance, etc?  Kids are involved.  My feeling is only employ divorce as a last resort (safety is in jeopardy), and I wonder if you have exhausted all your options.

Wayne, have you given up on your relationship?  It doesn't sound like it.  What happened to the "healing separation" period you mentioned?  I have to leave for work.  I will be interested to follow your train of posts tonight.

waynebloss's picture

Re: I have not

I did not give up, I am still fighting, but she said she does not feel she has the strength to fight anymore.  She says she loves me as a father but not as a husband or the man she married 13 years ago.  To her, the love is not there, she is tired and she wants to be a free spirit now, does not want the responsibility of being married anymore. 

She did say that she should have fought and pushed more earlier in the relationship but she didn't and now she is scared of going back to the emptiness of 3 years ago.  I told her that we would not, that I believe that communication was our weakest point and that if we could communicate better that we would see more positives.  She did not agree or disagree, like always she was silent. 

As long as I do not say anything, be happy all the time with everything then she feels that we are doing better, but if I show any emotion of questioning or being mad at something then she reverts back to saying that I am being the old me.  I am human, I will have emotions mostly good some bad but that she cannot continue to go backwards or this will never work. 

She applied for her own medical coverage last year, told me a week after she did. She has stated that she needs time and space from me, so I moved downstairs and tried not to talk to her or act like we were married.  I failed at times but thought I was doing good. 

The weekends, we have other other for our individual time.  I work on Sat morning, which means that she has to be home by 7am so I can go teach. she complained that she does not get a "full" weekend away because of this, I told her neither do I, I have to work so I cannot leave and get away.  I tried to remedy this by working during the week but she said that would cripple her career so I chose to work Sat.  I said it is damn if I do and damn if I don't.  Again she was silent with that as well. 

She wants to get a loft or 1 bedroom apt that we share so we can stay there on our weekends or when we want to.  I do not want to go to a bed where the possibility of her bringing back another man to that bed and then I sleep there after,  I cannot find it in me to agree to this.  I told her that she should consider leaving since she wants out, she wants to be a free spirit and she said that will not happen over night!  I said but you need to start looking for a place or looking for a therapist, she can decide what she wants. 

Maybe we need this, looking back at all my posts, all the emails, the texts messages, maybe we do need this, I do not want to give up but why fight for something that takes 2 when it is only 1 still fighting? 

 

Wayne

My gut kept telling me she

My gut kept telling me she was going to end up here...at this decision. I am sorry for you...and for the kids...and for her too, but each for different reasons. I'm sorry that you've done so much hard work to restore and rebuild what was damaged, only for her to continue to keep you at arms length, make excuses to discount your changes, apparently only looking at the times when you did have a slip up (WE ALL DO!!!), and probably does all of this to rationalize to herself that her 'single lifestyle' is OK..all the while she ISN'T single. To me, I am from the good old fashioned school of thinking that if you're married then you act like it...until you're NOT. But, that's just me.

I think you are showing yourself a huge act of love by letting her go. You are human, you probably do make some of the typical ADD mistakes, but you are trying...you have given all that you thought she wanted. If it wasn't what she wanted, she didn't seem to care enough to ask for something different. You did all you could, with what you had to work with...and for that you have many reasons to be proud and look forward with no regrets. Yes, Wayne, 3 years of hell is hard to get over...just like 6 years or hell..or 20+ years of hell like some people here have suffered through. If your wife took the time to understand ADHD, read a book, come to this site and see how lucky she is to have one of the rare cases when the ADHDer is willing to get help, admits his mistakes, holds himself accountable to those he's hurt, etc...then maybe she'd 'get it'. But, sadly, it seems her priorities are elsewhere right now....and just as she cannot change you, you cannot change her. I KNOW you're going to be just fine...and I know that you're going to be a much better partner to someone in the future because of all of this. Focus on yourself and the kids and what is best for you guys right now...and see a lawyer sooner rather than later. I will continue to pray for you and your family. (((HUGS)))

waynebloss's picture

Thanks Sherri

I do believe that I am doing the right thing.  I know that it sucks, it hurts and I do not know if I can forgive myself right now for the pain, torment, and hurt that I have caused her.  I will some day but right now, like most ADDers, I am taking responsibility for another failure in my life.  I will learn, I will move on with what I am doing I like who I am now.  Maybe in time our paths will cross again and we will be ready to start a new chapter, maybe not, but at least I can honestly say I have tried everything and I have no "what if's" at this time! 

I will continue to check back on here, this site has helped express my difficulties, and the suggestions, examples I have found here as helped me tremendously.  So I might be absent here and there but you will still see me!  (Like it or not!)

 

Wayne

Separation vs divorce

Hi Wayne, Not trying to sound naive, but even w what is going on- can you just agree to separate w your wife and tell her that maybe you guys could take this as a cooling off period. Agree onthe basic idea that neither of you will "date"- given your past history she may need that reassurance from you that this won't happen. And you should ask the same from her- at least for now. Though the healing separation idea sounded nice, it may just be too overwhelming. If it was me (and onsome level it has been), i would really need to know that you genuinely were going to be there and not "revert" back to old patterns. I hope that does not hurt you, truly i have been following your posts and my heart goes out to you- perhaps you shouldwrite to her in this way (not just love notes but your thoughts in earnest as you have done here). Understand this has been a rockin, confusing rollercoaster of a ride for both of you. The past hurts are there for you both. But at times, the best thing to do is put aside the anger and talk or just have fun. And re-address the crap later. Because sometimes this all gets too heavy and no one wants to live in a dark and depressing place ALL the time. I don't know you, but there is stuff here that sounds like it needs to be addressed bet you and Jen, no matter which way it goes.. And if you could take a moment to press reset through a separation this may help. Again, you guys have to agree not to date anyone else (or do anything else) and syart from there. You might be surprised--- dont overthink this, bc you can overtake the process. Yet again, my (somewhat beat up) two cents...
waynebloss's picture

I did and it backfired

I suggested that we separate last night through an email since we are not communicating well face to face. and this morning I received a angry response to my suggestion.  Told me to "stop shoving information down her throat" and give her time to think about things.  Really, you have had over 4 months by yourself, living single and NOW you want to think about it.  my response to her was "Relax and stop being angry or we will never work this out. I was not shoving information down her throat, I was offering her a suggestion and knew that she takes a lot of time to think about things. 

That is just it, she will not put her anger away.  She will not set it aside, instead she ignores and leaves to deal with it.  She told me in Dec that she needed to talk to someone professionally to get out the "bad" stuff inside of her.  2 days ago she told me that she has not had time since and that since she feels I am being judgmental about her decisions and that I should just let her be and not be mad that she spends all of her free time with friends, that she does not feel this will work out so why go. 

I do not know what I need to do anymore, which is why I offered the separation which was met with fire.  I am willing, now waiting on her.  

Ok then this is what i

Ok then this is what i suggest: DO NOTHING. For now with regard to her. Put away all that and gor now work on you. Understand adhd aside what baggage you have and what it is that you need to work on yourself to find what you need in life. Really, that codependent no more book sherri recommended was great. It is helping me - because the truth is, it is your wifes responsibility to do what she is saying she needs to do- GIVE HER the space. Dont email dont call. Be kind, tell her thats what ur doing IF SHE asks (dont offer). Just for now. Work on taking care of what you need to be genuinely there. Your anger frustration defensiveness is a match for hers im sure, so STEP back a moment and breathe. Understand your angee and allow her hers. K? Believe me, i know its not easy and i am pulling for you 100%.
confused60's picture

No, no Lulu.  "old soul"

No, no Lulu.  "old soul" means you have the wisdom of an old soul even though you are young.  Some of us grow old without ever accomplishing this.

waynebloss's picture

Re: I will

I am trying to give her space, but when I become silent, even though I tell her I am not, she thinks that I am stewing about something or that I am mad about something.  I try to tell her that I am trying to be "out of the way" on purpose to give her space but she does not or wants to see it that way, she still sees me as the bastard who has ADD and ruined our marriage.  Then her actions, which are to leave for weekends without letting me know where or when she will be back, do make me mad.  We are still married with kids, a nice communication about either where she is going or when she will return would be nice.  If I suggest this, then I am accused of not trusting her, being controlling.  Flip side, I leave for the gym around 4am some mornings, she asked me that it would be nice if I told her when I was going to the gym so she could prepare for the morning better. 
 

I will try to step back, I do understand that I have frustration, anger and confusion which gets in the way of me.  Do not worry about e-mail or texts, they are non-existent in our marriage.  The only time we do is when is has to deal with the kids or important meetings. 

I hate the not knowing, I hate the "one day I want this, the next I do not know what I want".  With ADD you would have thought this would be perfect for me, but it is not.  I just want my wife back who wants to be with me and the kids, not the wife I have now who wants nothing to do with me and would rather be with friends than be home. 

Wish me luck, now it is time for prayer, Mt. Dew and attack some servers!

Wayne 

Wayne, I will pray for you

Wayne, I will pray for you and family.. Im glad you'll step back - but do it for you and let Jen do what she needs. Though email, etc is nonexistent for you guys, your strength lies in your eloquence and love. So if it will make you less crazy (lol been there, done that) leave a short note on her pillow: that says, "These past couple of days have been really tough. I love you and understand theres so much to work on. But if its ok, lets take a break for now and talk in a few days if we can.". Then leave it. If there is stuff like kids to talk about do it. Or when you are planning to go to gym (why not?). Detach in a way that u are still loving: but work on your own stuff. Go to work, do what you need to do, self-reflect (did i hear a guy groan?!)...meditate if you can.. It is about letting her deal w her anger and you need to work on how you deal w yours. No, she is not doing nice things. No you did not either in the past. Now its time to try to refocus your energies not on getting her to change (thats her and choice) and work on YOU. Find your peace, enjoy the kids, get safe, lose anger and gind who you really want to be (stop just focusing on this). The adhd is only one component of all this, how you each compensated over the years, where you are in your life now, each of your wants, etc.. The big Picture will get clearer as you lose this anger and focus on YOU. Ok, off the soapbox (sorry but like i said been there done that, still at it). Off to work!
waynebloss's picture

Re: Notes

I will try, it is hard but this is worth it!  I did try leave her a note on day about how beautiful she looked in a dress and that sent her back into her castle for weeks.  So I do not know if I will leave any notes, but will just take this day by day. 

I thought that the anger was leaving but I guess I missed a few hiding places, so it is now time to clean out the rest of the "closet space" try to lose this frustration/anger and see what happens. 

 

Wayne

Wayne, I am going to put this

Wayne, I am going to put this out there...

You've tried...and you've tried hard. You have EVERY right to expect certain things from a woman who has kept your life in limbo for over a year now. She has withheld herself as your wife for over a year now, if you know what I mean. She DID separate herself from you MONTHS ago. Your frustrations over her comings and goings...and her attitude "I shouldn't have to answer to you"...you have a legitimate right to be upset. STOP feeling bad for being upset and frustrated over this. She has stomped all over your boundaries. You want to know where your wife is and what she's doing...there is nothing wrong with that!!! If she did not want to answer to HER HUSBAND, then she needed to let you go.  Would a simple "I will be staying at XXX's house this weekend, if you need me" KILL HER? Talk about 'control'! I think her behaviors are just as cruel and hurtful as what you did because of (and some maybe not because of) your ADD. From the get go I feel she has been behaving in a way that does NOT speak to someone who is trying to make their marriage work. I know that there may be a lot of people here who don't agree, but sh!t dude, look how long you've given her. A year without sex and you're still there, still trying, and she's making you feel like a controlling pig for asking where she's spending her f'in weekends! What is wrong with this picture? Sorry hate to seem to angry about it, but just as I hate to see a non-ADD spouse be made to feel bad for having reasonable expectations from their spouses, I hate to see you being made to feel bad for having some reasonable expectation that your efforts be met with some of the same from her. No matter what happens from here, the one thing you need to stop doing is feeling bad for being upset over the way she's treated the marriage in the last year. That isn't you being controlling. That isn't you being 'the bastard'. That is you being a husband. What you did to her does not justify her behavior. We all have to learn this in the end...or the marriages will never work. You don't 'build' a good  marriage by going tit-for-tat.

(((HUGS)))

Sherri

confused60's picture

Thought about you today

Long day at the office today. I kept thinking about you and wanted to read though your posts but was running meetings all day.  I understand better why you are on your present course, but I can't help but wonder why don't give the separation a try.  Maybe you just need a little space of your own to get past the heartache your wife and your situation is causing you. 

If you look at some of my posts you'll see I'm trying to do the same thing (separate for a while & not get divorced).  Can you swing a 2-bedroom apt or loft?  That's what I'm doing to avoid having to sleep in the same bed as another man has done with my wife when I visit her.  I mean, I'll stay in the 2nd bedroom when I visit so I don't have to share my wife's bed cause who knows who else has shared it with her.  That sounds awful but hey, we're all adults here I think, and sex with other partners is going to happen. 

You have children and daily responsibilities complicating your situation.  Is there some way you can share these and be able to make a temporary separation work?  I know friends who have shuttled the kids back and forth and that has worked, while others have moved out while the other partner assumes the burden of being both parents.  I'm not clear from your posts if your wife wants out of everything or not.  A creative solution might be to treat both residences as shared homes and keep the kids in the marital home.  The 2 BR apartment could have her bedroom and your bedroom and an agreement not to violate the other's bedroom.  You could then alternate using the apartment.  The marital home with the children would be sacred.

I've seen so many mid-life crisis' fizzle out within a year and the one with the crisis wants back in.  It takes a really mature and loving person to forgive and accept the other person back.  Then again, sometimes the other person realizes how great it is to be single again and moves on.

You seem to have your head screwed on just fine Wayne, and I sense you know what is best to do, although it might be emotionally very difficult.  I feel for you.  I will counsel you to keep up the fight.  If you don't do everything you can to help your relationship survive you may regret it later in life and you don't want that hanging over your head.

Like you I've tried the being separate in the same house thing and it doesn't work.  I have been sleeping on the couch for the past few years and loving it.  I'm much more comfortable sleeping by myself.  Like you I've tried hard to be good and respectful and loving, only to destroy all my hard work with an impulsive negative comment.  You said: I said it is damn if I do and damn if I don't. Again she was silent with that as well.  Oh man, I get the same treatment.  I wonder if that's an ADHD thing or a fault with our spouses?

Yikes is it really 5AM already, I have to get up at 6.  Wayne, I wish you well with your present situation.  This too shall pass.  Please don't disappear from the website; I thought you were here for your ADHD and not necessarily for your marital issues.  Hang in there.
Matt

confused60's picture

It is clear your situation is

It is clear your situation is very involved over a long period of time. Please ignore my post about getting a two bedroom apt and whatever.  The situation has obviously changed and my advice is no longer appropriate.  I am sorry for this and I wish it could be what you want it to be.  Sherri's response made a lot of sense to me and I really could connect with it, even without knowing all the past details.  However, it's easy to give advice from the sidelines and you must consider our posts as input and make your own decisions, of course.

Trust in yourself and you'll do fine.  You are obviously a very smart man who might be hurting at this moment in time.  It would be great if you were able to do as Lulu suggests and do nothing until you can get past your feelings and see your situation from an intellectual perspective instead of an emotional one.  Easier said than done.  If you can't do that with your wife living in the house then shoot for the apartment and work out a sharing of responsibilities agreement that you can both live with.

I send much love and support to you.
Matt
<original post edited by the author>

Sorry just one thing more

Sorry just one thing more (see my other kind of babbling post,lol) and i may be viewing this from a womans view (i used to HATE that comment BUT), it doesnt sound like she has completely given up on this marriage either Wayne. She sounds tired, defeated...and she may need periods of step out and then step back in. With your loving support and patience (yeah, i know not easy) it can become more of what u both want and need. I dont necessarily believe the "i am not in love w you" comment... So much as how an anyone allownthemselves to feel it bwfore healing has happened? I think it could still be there but a separation coupled w talking will help you guys. All my best..

Your wife needs a counselor

I just re-read your post and again, I can't see what else you need to do for your wife to forgive - and that's because she is the one that needs to work on herself.  She needs to look into herself - all she has been doing is running away (hanging with single friends) from the issues.  I think that reason she continues to change her mind back and forth is that she wants to stay with you and the kids, but she hasn't owned her share of the pain and anger in your relationship. We all know that it is SO much easier to blame others, walk/run away from issues, and hang onto anger then to start that long journey of self improvement.  I don't mean to diminish her pain, but I believe that she is playing the part of victim - its so easy to fall into that trap.  I'm not saying that she WANTS to be the victim but it sounds as though she has been stuck in that frame of mind for so long that it can become comfortable and it can help to justify (to herself) her behavior as being okay.  And the reason that she wont do the Healing Separation is because she isn't ready/able to face those issues that she is responsible for.

One thing that our counselor has brought to my attention is this: no matter the outcome of the ADD treatment and the marriage counseling (if either of us decides to stay or go), if each party does not acknowledge, process, own, and fix their issues (as related to the ADD and marriage) they will carry those same issues (and how they deal with the issues) into their future relationships and will (not could) create new issues in that new relationship. So in a nutshell, fix yourself no matter what, so that you can move forward into a more fulfilling, healthy relationship (weather business or personal). (This really struck a cord with me, realizing that the current relationship had changed me and how I communicate with others so deeply that just changing the person won't cure the problems. I think that was the first A HA moment I had in really getting that I had to change if for no other reason than if I wanted happiness/fulfilling relationships, ect out of life.) It would just be exchanging one set of problems for a new set of problems.  Do you think that she would be willing to try say 5-10 marriage counseling sessions to see what an independant evaluator could offer your relationship?  What reason could she possibly have to not try this?  

Wayne, you have done the hard work, you are continuing to make progress and reaching out to her, respecting her wishes - she acknowledges all of these things.  My question is, aside from not moving out, what has she done to own and fix her part of the pain and anger in the marriage? 

You are in my thoughts and prayers ((HUGS))

I agree completely..you get

I agree completely..you get small glimpses of her showing some bit of accountability in the marriage, but very little. That has bothered me more than anything. She seems to have a long list of 'expectations' from you but none for herself. I do not discount her pain either...but I have been in her shoes and I know that based on what you've posted here, she hasn't been 'trying' at all. I could be wrong...only she knows for sure.

Sherri

waynebloss's picture

Funny you should say that

When we had our separation discussion in Dec, that was the second thing she said to me.  The first was that now the ball is in her court and that she needed to talk with someone professionally.  She even asked me, as I posted earlier, for links or if I knew of anyone.  I gave her a link that had 25 local counselors that treat or have experience with ADHD. Nothing, she has not even looked at the link, has not even open the email that I sent her!  Then about 4 days later is when I said she looked beautiful in a dress through a email and she went back into her castle.  To me, then next 2 weeks after were the same they had always been, not good, then she left and went to her friends farm for a New Year's Eve party.  That was supposed to be her "weekend" to be gone form Friday - Sunday then come home for "family" time.  We are dying financially, so a nursing job popped up for Sat night.  I asked her if I could work, reminded her that this was her weekend and she could say no, it was fine, but she said yes go ahead.  I did but was canceled at the last minute.  The next morning, I was supposed to come home and sleep for a few hours then wake up watch some football and then she and the kids would come home.  But since I was canceled, I did not need to sleep but this made her mad ( I did not know at the time), she had plans already and I was not part of them.  So I had to take my car to church because she did not want to take 1, drive back to the house to drop me off then go to her best friends.  So I did, then she was gone for about 3 hours after church and came home, still mad about something but we played it off, I think.

Well 2 days ago when she told me she was ready to quit, she told me that she actually thought that we had a good 2 weeks after our talk, it was when she came home from her farm party, she thought I was going to ask her for a divorce?  I never mentioned divorce at all.  She said I was fuming, mad, stewing and could tell that I was ready to explode like a powder keg!  Really, she could tell all of that without talking to me? During this talk, my wife stated that I messed up her weekend and that she really wanted to stay til Sunday.  I gave her a confused look, reminded her that I asked first and that I was ready for her to say no but she said YES for me to work.  Told her you cannot blame me or be mad at me for that.  Since then, she has been back to mean, angry, cold wife who wants nothing to do with me.   

I listen to her, I really do about my how I present myself both in non-verbal and verbal language to her but I cannot seem to stop presenting to her in an angry fashion.  I do not know what to do??  I try to listen to myself, rehearse what I want to say, ask instead of changing my tone to one that produces anger, I think I am doing it but her feedback has been nothing but negative!  I know that being in that house, with me is a place where she does not want to be. 

Last night, she did not come home until 11:30pm, she gets off at 5pm.  I sleep downstairs, so I cannot hear the kids if they get up, so when she did not come home after 10, I had to go upstairs and sleep/rest on the couch until I hear the garage door open. Then I go downstairs to bed! This is the crap I get mad about, I need to know when she is not going to be home by 10pm so I can adjust where I am going to sleep.  I asked her once to let me know, I was told that I was controlling, and that I was being my old self, wanting to know when and where she was.  I assured I really do not care and did not want to know about where, who, or what she is doing but I cannot hear the kids if they get up sleeping in the basement that I need to sleep on the couch til she got home so I can be there if they wake up and need something, so please let me know.  She has not and will not but had the gall to ask me to let her know when I will be gone early in the am so she can wake up early to get the kids ready!!  

This is what I get frustrated at, this is the crap that happens all the time in different situations and I am just tired.  I guess I have more to learn, I have more reading to do, I guess all of you are correct, I just need to breath, step back and look at the big picture!  This is hard, anyone have instructions, torrents I can download or a cheat sheet!  PLEASE!!!! 


Wayne

confused60's picture

You said several things in

You said several things in this post that concerned me, for you:

1.   Your wife thought you were going to ask her for a divorce and you had not given her any indication you were leaning in this direction.  Hmmm, do you suppose she had done something that was grounds for divorce and she felt you might know about this activity?  I mean, more than just going out with her "friends".

2.   Your wife is staying out overnight and not telling you where she is or what she is doing.  Per Sherri's post, this is not right.  It is one thing for a couple to agree that one or both are going to start dating other people and it is a very different thing when DW doesn't give a damn about DH's feelings and just starts doing it and won't talk about it.  This is very immature and inconsiderate. 

3.   Your wife dumped you over New Years holiday.  Sorry, that's what you stated.  That has to hurt.  I am still reeling over being dumped over the long Thanksgiving holiday break, but I'll get over it.  Still, it takes a piece out of you.

4.   Your wife is not informing you when she will be late arriving back at the marital home when she is out with others.  You guys have a shared child-raising responsibility and scheduling it around work responsibilities (i.e., pressures) can't be very easy.  Do you guys text one another?  Texting is very impersonal and communications are much more easily done via texting because you don't actually have to talk to the other person.

5.   The feedback you say your wife is giving you contains words like controlling, angry, mad, ready to explode like a powder keg.  Be careful Wayne!  If things worsen they can easily get nasty very fast.  These perceptions could be used against you in a Civil Restraint, especially if corroborated by her friends.  Please protect yourself.  Start looking at your wife as "the enemy" and see if your perspective on your situation changes.

Those were my red flags.  I empathize that you are tired of it and may not be very clear on what to do.  When you get to the point that you can't take it anymore -- let it all go.  Release yourself from the pain and accept your situation.  Truly, you do not accept it now or it wouldn't upset you so much and you wouldn't be asking for a set of instructions on what to do about it.  You'll know what to do, you just can't see it now. 

Consider my and Lulu's suggestion to take a break from each other.  Get her out of the marital home or get yourself out temporarily.  Turn your marriage into a partnership to raise the kids for now.  And later when you can see the forest despite the trees getting in the way, talk to her about your relationship.  Just my two cents.
Matt

All of the behavior your wife

All of the behavior your wife is exhibiting is that of emotional abandonment. She felt like that for whatever reason, she felt on some level things were done and she left mentally as well as physically. Is she fooling around? Maybe yes or maybe no. Ask her. Does it stink? Yes, most definitely. But you are the only one who can decide enough is enough. I dont necessarily agree you should perceive her as the enemy. I dont think that will help but I do think you need to do "loving detachment"- loving because you clearly do, and detachment so you dont have this rollercoaster ride anymore. Have to wonder how the kids are dealing w all this?! I agree that you should not spend energy beating yourself up. You dont deserve it and things won't change for you until you love yourself, care for your needs (and the kids) and come to terms w the fact that while the ADD has influenced your relationship as has her crappy behavior, you need to find a new baseline. One you can be happy with. It is sooo hard, but it will help you whether in this or other relatonships. Take a stand back. Dont send notes about her beauty just now, she is not able to bear hearing it- she left mentally right? Can she come back? Yes, i believe so but its up to you to decode if you want her too. Cause its going to take the patience of (?). So my advice stands, take a step back. Tell her that and thats it. Then work on yourself and that of your kids. Wayne, I feel for you and in the weird way of the internet world know that I and all these other people support you as a friend.
waynebloss's picture

Re: Answers to your questions

When she said that I started to think that way but I stopped.  I am not going back to the person I was, the one who was insane with jealous, not trusting my wife.  I cannot and will not go back there, it is not me.  She is my wife still, I will trust her, I have to trust her since we no longer communicate about each others life. 

She asked me if she could go out with her friends with an open mind about everything.  I told her that I did not like it, I wold not agree to it but looking at our situation, I cannot stop her.  I have to trust that she will make the best decision for her which I pray that it is the best decision for our marriage.  If it's not then we will need to address it, which I told her this, I said to her that if she makes a connection or starts/wants to date another person, that she will have to leave the house and stop wearing her wedding ring.  I will be very stern on that one, believe me!! 

She did not invite me to Thanksgiving with her family, but I still had her at mine.  She would have not had me at Christmas but her family comes to our house so she had to have me there.  Then New Years stung a bit but we talked about it, it was agreed by both of us that it would occur.  Now, I was very sad that at Midnight, I had no one to say Happy New Years to, not the one person that I have said it to for the last 12 years!  So I was sad and mad but I did agree so I could not hold it against her or over her and I have not. 

I just asked her, just now in a text.  We only text/talk/email only important topics such as kids or finances.  Anything that has to do with one another is nonexistent. That is what she asked me to do several months ago, so I did as she asked. 

I am a nurse and retired from the US Army, I CYA everyday and I document everything from e-mails, to text, to our conversations!  But to treat her as the enemy, to start down that path will lead me back to who I was and I do not want to be that person again!!  That person is why I am in my position today, that person destroyed me as a person and assisted with demolishing my marriage.  I will NEVER go back to that, I can't.  

Things will not worsen, Wayne is about ready to re-adjust the living situations, re-adjust what is happening to Wayne.  I am going to do this with a nice even tone, approach this as a business deal.  I am tired of living in the basement, I am tired of trying to do the budget and she not willing to help and/or follow what I set out.  I am tired of the all the privacy she has, she has locked me out of her personal and professional.  We used to share emails, share finances and share our lives. Right now we are strangers who do not trust each other and it has to stop.  Something has to change or we will continue to get worse.  I do not want that, I honestly want this to work, I really do love my wife, love the person she is no matte who she is now!  I cannot stop and will not stop but right now I do not like her!

So last night I decide to wake up everyday and think of something nice about her, to tell her something nice about her.  Not loving, not too much but something small and nice.  I need to start thinking positive, I need to start being happy again, not with just my kids, my own life and my life with God ( and he knows that I am questioning but I still love, trust and believe in him/her) but I need to start being happy about my life (no matter how short it is) with my wife.  I need to become that husband she had from 1997 - 2008, the one who unconditionally loved her no matter what.  SOOOOOOOO...wish me luck, I know I can do it, I know that I will stumble and fall but I will get back up with the aide of my walker and continue down the sidewalk of life with a smile!  (Man was this last sentence cheesy or what?) :P

 

Wayne

 

PS - Matt, I am not leaving, if I can help just one person, one couple from my experiences then I have past the gift of God to someone, which what he wants me to do!  So you and the others are stuck with me...Like it or not!!

confused60's picture

I love you but don't like you

Isn't it odd that we can love someone but not like them? That love is founded in many years of companionship or some other strong bond.  You sound like a good man Wayne, and it appears you are poised to help both you and your DW.  You plan to do something positive, and will take control of the situation instead of being controlled by the situation.  Big difference.

I guess I didn't do such a hot job of saying "treat her like the enemy".  What I was trying to express (albeit poorly) was to think of her as the enemy in order to possibly gain a different perspective on who she is or could turn into.  It floors me to witness how a marriage can turn toxic in a few short weeks.  This is, of course, on the surface because stuff has been brewing underground for a long time.  But the other party never knew it.  I was just trying to inject the thought that you can end up with the short end of the stick if you're not careful.  But you're way ahead of me -- good.  Sorry for the crappy job I did.

Looking at this most recent post, you might want to consider doing what I am currently doing with my DW.  I have a goal: to repair our relationship (thereby possibly) saving our 25 year marriage.  Every event that comes up where I either need to act or respond I ask myself: will what I am about to say help or hurt achieving my goal?  Oh Geeesh, I wish I practiced this last month when my behavior was atrocious.  Frequently now, I end up toning down my response significantly

Like you I have minimum standards, but I am learning to relax them to obtain a better outcome.  Sometimes I feel like I'm along for the ride when I compromise my standards, but I'm slowly gaining a new perspective on love, sex, and marriage.  I'm learning that I suk at compromise, and my particular marriage needs a lot of that.
Matt
PS - I spent two years on crutches learning how to walk again so I know all about walkers, ICUs and rehab
PPS - "God made man, and on the 7th day she rested" (a stitched saying framed in my daughter's former bedroom)
PPPS - dare I speak for the other posters: we like being stuck with you

Wayne, I am so sorry to hear

Wayne, I am so sorry to hear about your current status. Honestly, I don't know all of history of you and your wife, but I do know that you have made tremendous progress and have been so open and honest with how you feel and your desires for your marriage and family. 

I don't know of any ADD spouse that isn't praying and working toward their spouse accepting, owning and dealing with their ADD issues like you have.  I don't know what else you could have possibly have done to prove to your wife that your progress and love for her is real.

By your statement to her about how you love her and that if a divorce will stop her from hurting then you will give it (divorce) to her so that her pain will end.  That is a true statement of love - expressed so beautifully.  Wayne, if she isn't able to see how much you have changed and how much you love her and your family after everything that you have been through, I don't know what else you could possibly do at this point.

You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. ((HUGS)) to you.

One Suggestion...

Hi Everyone!  I have been lurking here for a little while and soon will post my introduction.  Hopefully.  If I can remember.  ;-)

Although I should control the impulse to make one quick suggestion before posting an introduction, I just cant lol.  Wayne, I am wondering if you have ever thought to print out some of the posts you have written here and give them to your wife to read? 

A major problem DH and I have is although I have all of these warm and fuzzy thoughts and emotions about him, apparently I do not show them outwardly (no matter how clearly I thought I had).  This was news to me until I took that first major important step back and looked at MY life and MY behavior (towards everyone, not just DH). 

Finally I was able to focus on my reactions to a comment/action/etc.. that DH has made, rather than the comment/action itself.  That is when I realized that it did not matter who was right or wrong.  When my reaction was to yell/insult/shutdown then I was at fault regardless.  Then the fight became about the fight rather than the issue.

Maybe this is selfish thinking (I'm still a work in progress) but I figured out that if I did not react badly when DH would actually do something wrong (which was a news flash to DH that he isn't perfect either, btw) then we could focus on the real issue (his misdeed)  rather than my reactions to the issues. 

I really hope that makes sense.  When I was able to explain to DH that I realize now that my my emotional outpourings to him were actually still stuck on my tongue he felt very relieved.  I am suggesting you allow her to read the long heartfelt messages you have posted here because just maybe you will find that although you THINK you have told her all of these emotions and feelings, you have not.  Can you imagine how happy she might be to see all of the things you feel, but because of ADD you are unable to put into words (yet)?

Wow it feels good to get all of those bouncy little thoughts out!

Have a Great Day!!

Katie

 

 

 

confused60's picture

Welcome

Hi Katie,

I'm new to the site too, and I have found there are a few frequent posters who seem to have a vested interest in the site and are all too willing to respond to posts (thank you all, esp. Sherri).  I also feel the way you do about opening up to the significant other with the info posted here, but my fear is that if this backfires, there could be a disaster.

I think you have to assess your own situation and decide how your SO might react to the info.  Generally, I think most folks would have a feel for how the info would be received.  If not, then yes, I agree with you, reveal your stomach and hope for the best!

We all look forward to hearing more from you.  Why are you here?
Matt

waynebloss's picture

Well I would but I am not ready for war

Thanks Katie for the suggestion but right now, as I was told by my mother in law yesterday, that I need to find a way to give her a "pleasant, happy" space and time from our situation so that she can "breath" and gather her bearings.  I have suggested this site, have her read some of the non-ADHD spouses posts, what they are going through and what they did to resolve some of their issues was met with a very cold look and a "no thank you." 

A brief Hx, starting Jan of 2010 my stopped all sex with me, April-May she stopped all verbal language about being in love with me and stop saying "I love you" to me, around Aug she stopped all physical contact with me except 1 hug I got on her birthday.  She has been cold, will not talk to me, has been concentrating on her social life, and has done nothing with me since March 2010 unless it was work and/or family related.  Thanksgiving I was not invited to her families, but she came to mine, Christmas she had no choice her family came to our house.  New Years she went to her friends farm for a party.  Now we rotate weekends, one weekend is mine to leave and do what I want and the next is hers.  I do not know usually what, who, or where she goes for her weekends.  She has hidden all her finances from me except what is deposited into our account.  In Aug of 2010, she asked me if we would have save any money if she was off of my medical insurance.  I checked and we would not, then I was told that she already went and got her own, but leave her on mine.  Did not understand that until a week before New Years, she would have to pay her deductible and we/she had already paid mine. See, I am married to woman who has taken the space and time she wanted to the point of having a husband who will stay in his van, hotel or beg a friend to let me crash so I do not have to go home.  I am the one with ADD!  She told her her mother that I keep score and that I "brew, stew, and I am ready to explode like a powder keg" on everything she does.

Now for me, I have ADD, I have cheated on her (1x and never again!), I was addicted to porn, I would ignore her when she would actually tell me she feels alone and that she is losing me.  I was the one who did not listen, who abused alcohol and would become verbally abusive to the one person I should not have been.  We created this HELL that we are in, March of 2010 she pushed me to read a book "Driven to Distraction" and demanded that I go to counseling to make myself better.  I balked, I huffed and puffed but in the end I knew that she was right.  I had to do something or it was going to get worse!  So I went, and the world I discovered, the eye opening events since have made me a changed man!  I finally found out they why's and now I know the how's so I have changed almost every aspect of my life in a 180 degree.  I drink very rarely, I am no longer verbally abusive, I am trying to learn how to be a better at conversation, I am aware of what I am doing and I continue to change everyday. I am so much better but I have just started this journey. 

In Dec of 2010, we had a talk, going to try "healing separation", had agreement about everything except that when she wanted to go out, she wanted to be ale to have an open mind if another man approached her and "flirted".  She wanted the ability to flirt back to see what would happen, if feelings would appear or not.  I did not agree to this but since we do not talk, I do not know who or where she goes after work to happy hour or on her weekends, I told her that i had to trust her.  After that talk, I thought we had a good 4 days then I told her she looked beautiful in a dress and that was too much too soon and she went into her castle again!  Little did I know, she thought that next 2 weeks were very good, but when she came home from NYE party, I thought we started our separation, she did not it was a bit confusing and she took it as I was going to ask her for divorce, and since she has told me and her mother that I am not changing, I am not giving her any space to breath. 

Now today, I am sitting in Starbucks, not wanting to go home until 10 ish so she will be in bed and I do not have to talk to her.  She told me last Sunday that she does not think we are going to make it too much longer, and that she does not know what to do and she wanted a week or so to decide.  Really, you have had at least 6 months to decide and now 1 more week, ok.  2 days later I suggested that we actually start the process of a real separation, she move out we split the finances, and take off our wedding rings until we decide what to do.  This would give her the "space" she wants to see what is best.  The response i got back was the same as all the rest.  Anger with that look people get when they start to talk down to someone, "STOP IT, STOP shoving information down my throat like a fire hose!!"  "You said you would give me sometime to think about, so do what you said you would do!"  My response, "Relax and breath, I am not shoving information down your throat, I am suggesting this as an alternative to divorce.  I know that she takes a while to "chew" on stuff and I was just giving her this so she could take her time to think" 

Nothing, she never did respond but her mother sent me and e-mail telling me to stop keeping score, leave her alone and give her space and time from this.  I should stop trying to fix this and just leave her alone.  My response to her..." I am not talking to you about this, do not take offensive, but I am not going to discuss this with you." 

So this is where I am, ready for a divorce even though I do not want one....can you believe it, I still love this woman, still want to be married to her!!  She did tell me in Dec that she needed to talk with a professional to help her but she has not yet and has given excuse after excuse as to why.  I just say ok and leave it alone.  She has so much anger, so much resentment, so much pain that she is stuffing down inside and does not want it out.  If it does not come out we will be finished, I am hoping that she sees this sometime soon and starts but I cannot control her or what she does, I can only control me and what I do. So I would love to print some of my posts along with others but it would only act as a fire starter for the bonfire that would melt our marriage, our wedding photos and videos!  Not ready for that happen just yet. I have started to set some boundaries and I will give them to her soon, just waiting to see what she decides.  Wayne is waiting patiently, seeing if I am going to continue to fight or if I am going to start a new adventure.  Like Melissa and George stated, I know that I cannot do better then Jennifer and I want her but if she does not want me, does not want this marriage then I will have to give her what she wants. I do want her to be happy and if that is without me then I want to give that to her, she deserves it, she is a beautiful woman who along with me became lost and is trying to find her way back.  Just hope she see the bread crumbs I left before they are gone.  

 

Wayne

Wow. Her mother telling you

Wow. Her mother telling you that really crosses a line. I am glad you didn't get angry with her...it really makes me sad for you to be meeting so much opposition. No one is perfect, but you really deserve more than to be told you're not changing when you NEVER see her to let her experience your changes..you only see her when you're in passing or having to discuss things that frustrate you..and rightfully so. I am glad you're setting boundaries Wayne, and my main hope is that you don't get discouraged by your lack of support and give up on yourself. I didn't know you before but I can honestly say that I feel you're going to be a great partner to anyone you're with from here on out. I hope for your sake it is your wife. On a side note, I am not 100% convinced that her main issue is holding onto the anger at this point..although I do think counseling would help her...I think she is just unwilling to trust..period. She will carry her walls into her next relationship and be miserable all over again if she doesn't give it up soon. You cannot carry the burden of that for the rest of your life. You are remorseful, you are making huge strides to change, and she isn't interested in putting in the quality time to see this all...that is on her shoulders. I am sure this will be in one big block...I will go ahead and apologize ...the iPad will not keep my paragraphs separate once I submit for some reason...

Wayne, I understand how you

Wayne, I understand how you feel almost exactly. I've felt awkward going into too much detail about my scenario but pretty much all you are getting I am too-only I am the non-add one. So what you are talking about is someone who has removed herself from the relationship, set up "protective camp" for herself and is now trying to make sense of things. IT SUCKS and it hurts. The up and down is killer and if you want you can decide to cut the relatonship off if that is where its at. Or not- but stop waiting around for her to decide. Seriously. You are a great person, you are growing personally and spiritually. Leave the situation for now FoR YOU. Dont sit and wait around to see what she'll do- it makes you (US) into a doormat that is too easy to be taken advantage of. Sex right now w her would not be good for you anyway- it would hurt you ultimately esp if she were not committed.. So get yourself safe friend emotionally. Find a support system nearby (pref not a bash the wife one but a "your a great guy" one. Feel good about yourself even as your emotions are so vulnerable. Im trying hard too yo keep from drowning in this, and man, IT'S HARD because I do love my husband and I miss him horribly. But I remind myself that I need to stay afloat for myself and for the kids. Please please spend special time w the kids. Its easy to forget but its got to be a hell of a confusing time for them. As for a separation, take it slow...it kind of sounded too much too fast if you dont mind my saying- though I realize its been going on for a long time. In a weird way you are being too much the doer (forgive me for suggesting this), and I do think YOU NEED to take a step back. Use your energy to find a better place to crash than a van, you need better. Get your "own house" in order, meaning your finances, your things (is that silly to say? Use the energy to organize your closet, your tools, something else that will give you a positive payoff for you). Make a plan to take the kids to a movie or a park.... Meet a buddy for coffee... In other words though you've thought about the "terms of a separation, or even a reconciliation, or this or that (!!) STOP and take a deep calming breath at least for a week. Give yourself that and you may find a more positive outlook will help not only you but those around you.

Wayne

That is frustrating Wayne! It reminds me if a couple I know where the wife is done being a wife and mother. She has agreed to go to couples counseling, but it turned she was using it as a way to ease the divorce. Like you mentions she only hangs around single/divorced women. How can that be healthy for one's marriage. She is leaving the husband and young child because sis a free spirit and wants to be free. Ugg....Wayne, it sounds like your wife is just so lost and surrounding herself with more lost. I don't know how she can learn to trust again unless she gets some council, but it sounds like that is not going to happen. 

 

MellyY49 - Posts like that make me wonder why I do enable my DH so much. I don't want to confrontation. The littlest things set him off. HOWEVER, if I really start asking/making him work on his issues, maybe I can say after 29 years I have a healthy marriage. I am only on 6 and is something does not change then neither one of us will have tried our best to make each other better.

 

Both - I admit I am just too tired to try 100%. So I understand your wife being to tired to fight for the marriage anymore...but that is where gaining strength first comes in...not just leaving.

Is it possible he associates you with the problems he had?

Maybe he can't stop thinking about the cancer, etc. and you being by his side, and being around you reminds him of those horrible times.  Maybe he's just running away from that pain. Maybe a kind of mid-life crisis? I'm still here so I'm going to live my life to the fullest without worrying about her?

I am still stuck in the miserable times with my husband and can't get past them. Sometimes I want to divorce him just so I won't have to think about how bad our life was with his ADHD untreated.

It isn't your fault. It does sound like you made it too easy for him and now he thinks it is easy. Some folks with ADHD don't feel like they need to change anything and it's their due to have everyone cater to them. I know my husband doesn't feel like he needs to change anything.

I am sorry this is happening to you. Please forgive me if I sound like I'm butting in where I don't belong.

confused60's picture

Maybe what you say is true,

Maybe what you say is true, but he should be able to get past those memories.  As a cancer survivor, I can say that it is a very personal and individual battle you are fighting.  Something is growing inside of you and it won't stop until it kills you.  Hmmm, sounds like many of the marriage situations revealed here...

Some people can come to realize their mortality and it scares them.  Certainly heart disease would scare the crap out of me.  The knee jerk reaction can be to get away from your current existence and start afresh, like the mid-life crisis you mention.  I do not feel the cancer or the heart disease would be equated with family and friends; it is within you.  So, having a last fling with life sounds like a good idea, but I would take my partner with me unless there were issues with the relationship.

confused60's picture

Discover Your Legal Rights

Melly, I too am sorry to read your post.  Personally, I don't much care to use attorneys as my experience has been (divorced once, complicated legal situation recently) they are very expensive (200-300 per hour) and really did not add a lot of value.  In looking back at my first divorce, the lawyers for each of us did little we couldn't  have done ourselves.  It doesn't surprise me that there were errors in the divorce papers, since the lawyers don't really care about you- just the law.

My DW and I separately consulted attorney's in preparation for our pending divorce.  We discussed our specific legal rights but decided to dump the lawyers.  We were considering a "collaborative divorce" and found "collaborative attorneys" to represent us.  In this approach, you sign a legal agreement that basically says you agree to negotiate a separation (money, possessions, children, pets, retirement saving, alimony,.. everything).  When we thought about it, we decided we could do this ourselves, due to our relatively uncomplicated situation.

Children are involved in your case, and you should educate yourself on your specific legal rights.  In my state, the woman has a significant upper hand.  In my case for example, my wife isn't working so I must pay for her attorney.  She gets half of everything I've ever been able to save, even though she worked for most of our 25 years together and she never saved a penny.  She gets half of my future retirement income even though we would be divorced and possibly living with other partners.  I cannot touch her inheritance; not that I would.

Last but not least, I have to pay her alimony and keep her standard of living the same as it is now, because I have paid for everything during the past 10 years and have established a certain pattern.  This alimony might be reduced if she cohabitates with someone eventually. So, hop on the internet and discover your specific legal rights.  Some attorneys offer a free initial consultation; ours charged us $200 each for an hour.  $220 for me cause I was ADHD talkative and went over by a few minutes. 

Once we discovered we had each consulted with attorneys, we talked it over and decided we could architect our own distribution of assets.  When I thought about it, I suggested to my wife that we not get divorced and instead separate.  Since she is not working, she would still retain my medical benefits, life insurance, auto insurance, etc.  I wanted to take the higher road and provide these things for her.  If at some future date one of us wants to remarry, then we can proceed with the necessary legal papers in a do-it-yourself divorce.

The downside of this approach is that you do not establish a marital end date.  When you file for divorce, every penny you make after that date is NOT part of the marital assets (at least in my state).  I don't have millions in assets nor do I make millions in income so money is not a big consideration for me personally.

Finally, it is comforting to see that you've taken steps to ensure your independence and peace of mind.  Congrats on losing weight and going back to work and school.  That had to be difficult to accomplish all together.  The counseling you've started is great especially if they are acting as your life coach.

Best of luck to you and keep us updated with your progress.  And don't dwell on the end of an era but think of it as the start of a new chapter in your life, one that you will ensure is wonderful and fulfilling.
Warmly,
Matt