So way last January I stopped all therapy--mine and couples. I just could not sit around talking about the same stuff every week that didn't change (couples) and I spent most of MY therapy time talking about HIM. So enough already. But lately I have not been sleeping and having those unhelpful loops in my brain: what am I not doing? how did I end up like this? what have I done to wind up in such a crappy marriage? my kids are going to be damaged forever because I stayed in a crummy marriage. how did we get this far gone? what is wrong with me that I settled for this? I feel so old and used up at age 48-is this all there is? Basically a non-stop woe is me loop--pretty unhealthy. So with my tail between my legs I took myself back to my therapist. And I gotta say it was harder than I thought. And it's hard for me to even admit to it being hard because I will yap to anyone who will listen how mental health is just as important as physical health, there shouldn't be a stigma to mental illness, no shame in getting help, etc. But for me...I SHOULD be able to muscle through. Well, I couldn't. And I go back to school on August 13, so I kinda need to have myself together, mentally and physically. So back I went. This is a therapist who has worked with us for years-worked with my kids with their ADHD, worked with me when DH up and left 6 years ago, she knows me well so we didn't waste any time on the "getting to know you" stuff. So I went in with three goals: to figure out how to separate from by the end of this school year when our lease is up and I can have us out of debt. I am meeting with my attorney tomorrow and a counseling center in my neighborhood later this week that helps women who want to divorce get their ducks in a row. Second goal: to remember how to have FUN and do that again. Third goal: to not come out of this bitter and feeling like I wasted 23+ years of my life. No one wants to be around a bitter person and that is not how I want to be in the world. God has really been very good to me and THAT is how I want to be, just having trouble being that right now. And she pointed out that there was a reason DH and I got together and did pretty well for many years. I was 21 when we met, he was 23, both from awful homes/childhoods. I was really good at organizing, planning, achieving, DOING, and he was passive and happy to go along. That worked for a long time, even until the kids were in junior high I would say. Once the boys started to separate and be their own people, that's when my role HAD to change-my iron fist way of running things didn't work for them or DH as it turned out and he left for 6 months when the oldest was in 8th grade. When the kids were little, I was able to keep us afloat through his deployment, his being stationed out of state for two years, his unemployments, work travel, all the chaos he brought plus life with little kids plus our youngest had lots of health issues. It was a lot BUT that made it really easy for me to go into hyper organizer-planner mode. I cannot even tell you how many people used to tell me what a super mom I was that that house was always perfect and we were always doing interesting activities--museums, plays, beach, classes. I say this now not with pride--I paid attention to the wrong stuff--who cared if the house was clean if I wasn't actually SEEING my kids?? I worked really hard on that when they hit junior high and DH left and it was clear something had to change. All along DH was medicated sporadically for his ADHD, but by and large he went along with whatever plan I made. As the kids got older and it wasn't so easy to use them as a distraction (me) it became clear that we had very little in common any more and here we are. I am typing all this with tears in my eyes because my therapist would not let me get away with a narrative of this marriage where I was blameless and it was all his fault. Now granted untreated ADHD is really hard to live with, but I picked him for a reason too--he was passive and easy to boss around. Over time I was able to change when the needs of the boys changed and they became older and more independent and it was no longer appropriate for me to be in charge of every aspect of their lives. And over time I became exhausted with being in charge of everything, but DH didn't know how to pick up the slack, in fact is probably not capable of picking up the slack, likely doesn't even notice what to pick up and is in his self absorbed ADHD-ness which was easy when I ran the show. So here we are. It's really hard to be honest about my part in all this. I would like to think I am and was the perfect wife and why did he not get with MY program but maybe we were a bad fit all along and I just strong armed us into the shape of a family. That is hard to think about. How do you forgive yourself for stuff you did in the past when you thought you were doing the right thing, making the right choice but it turned out to be really really bad and now the fallout is pretty painful? I used to tell this man that he was the man of my dreams and now we barely exchange 10 words in a day. How does that happen? That's rhetorical--I know how it happened. It was necessary for both of us to change over the years of our marriage and we didn't do that together. I am going to have to work really hard to be honest about my role in all this and not act like I was blameless.