Haven't posted here in three years

Hello all~

I don't know if anyone is left since I last posted.  I used to post here often--looked back at my old posts and they went from 2010-2018ish.  A little back story: I married DH in 1995 when I was 25 and he was 27.  We have two boys, now ages 22 and 20, both in college at this point.  DH has been a project to live with--if you search my name you'll see--unmedicated ADHD, anxiety and depression, self harm, dissociative disorder, loses every job after three years, financially irresponsible, fun parent-zero discipline, at one point walked out and we were separated for 6 months--still don't know where he lived during that time and it was nine years ago.  He also has had four affairs that I know of.  So why did I stay you ask?  Well, he is also kind and gentle and talented and would have taken a bullet for me and the boys if anyone hurt us (besides him lol).  And I was not financially able to manage the boys on my own.  Fast forward a few years--both boys are in college, things are more stable, I have made my peace with the way things are, we've now been married 25 years--he is 52, I am 50, the stress of raising kids (ours were HELL RAISERS) is behind us, we have both mellowed with age.  I have decided that I do indeed love this man, we have history, we have made it through a hell of a lot and that counts for something, I am in it for the long haul.  Well, jokes on me--on May 20 DH announced he no longer loves me, does not wish to be married and walked out the door.  To move directly in with affair woman #4 and her two kids.  She is 12 years younger than he is and twice divorced.  He took nothing with him--turns out he had been building a whole life with her--clothes, bank accounts, other couple friends--the whole nine yards over the past two years. In August they bought a house together.  Now, for the entire 25 years of our marriage, we lived in apartments because he didn't want a house--he works in maintenance and didn't want to come home and be responsible for a house plus he traveled for work--all fair reasons.  I am not a gardener, decorator, house-y person--it was fine by me, and now he tells our grown sons he always wanted a house to renovate.  Huh.  I had no idea.  He told our sons I had an affair.  Untrue.  He told our kids he just met her in May.  Untrue.  He told our kids he cannot afford a house on his own and that is the only reason they have to live together.  Untrue--he makes plenty.  It's like he's been taken over by another personality.  As I find out more, it just gets worse and worse.  We had adopted a dog two years ago when the youngest left for college--DH always wanted a dog, I didn't, but he was all gung ho volunteering at the shelter and fell in love with this one particular dog.  I should have known better--that lasted about six months--turns out the affair woman was on the board of the shelter.  That's why he was all over the volunteering.  And now there is a 105 pound dog to deal with.  That he left behind when he walked out.  And so divorce papers have been signed, we are just waiting for a court date.  October 7 would have been our 26th wedding anniversary.  I have not seen or spoken to him since the end of July.  I moved out of the place we lived as a family on August 1st.  Our boys were still home for the summer--went back to college at the end of August.  He moved back in WITH THE GIRLFRIEND.  Now everyone is out of there since they closed on their house at the beginning of September.  And he told our boys how much he likes her kids and looks forward to doing fun things with them.  That seems pretty hurtful to me, but what do I know at this point.

So that is the end of my being and ADHD spouse.  It's been six months since life shifted.  I like having my own apartment--living alone is very peaceful.  The boys visit me when they come from college (I have a two bedroom) and that is my greatest joy. I am finishing a second MA degree and applying to two PhD programs, one in my state and one out of state.  I did not realize the extent to which my entire life was arranged around him--his moods, his mental health, managing literally every detail of our lives because he couldn't/wouldn't/didn't.  Even that I have a demanding full time job and am in school (at age 51--my brain is not as sharp as it used to be lol), I have more free time and more energy than I used to and I don't dread going home.  Here's the part that gets me: when he left he told me it was because he didn't feel loved by me, I was too busy for him (work + grad school = busy yes), and if I was going to pursue the PhD we couldn't be married because I would have even less time for him.  He listed things going back 10 years that I had done that hurt his feelings.  That he never brought up in multiple rounds of therapy.  When I pointed out all the chances I had given him and all the things I had forgiven him for--he said he had given me enough chances.  If I live to be 1000 years old that will stay with me.  Here I was managing our money, filling out FAFSAs for the boys, keeping them on track in school, working as a school principal during COVID plus going to grad school, having my ass kicked by menopause, and oh yes--missing my boys when empty nest syndrome hit me like a ton of bricks.  But yes, he gave me enough chances.  In trying to make my peace with all of this, I really wonder if it's ADHD or narcissism.  There are so many traits that apply.  I guess it doesn't really matter, but I am riding a roller coaster of emotions--glad to be done one minute and missing a person I was with since I was 22 so badly I can barely breathe.  I was Christmas shopping last night and force of habit-I saw things he would like and have to remind myself--nope, not my deal any more.  We celebrated literally 29 Christmases together.  I don't care what the issues were, that's a lot to set aside.  

So this is my final post.  I don't know what will happen next.  I did not want to or plan to be single at age 51.  I do not want to start over, but it was not my choice.  Thank god for a good therapist!!  

Best of luck everyone.