So I made a decision: DH and I have been seeing a marriage counselor since the dawn of time and we each want different things--he has hope that things will get better, I want to figure out how to deal with the reality we find ourselves in. We don't fight, I am paying down our debt, DH helps with the kids, makes dinner when he works from home, the news is not all bad. What's bad is there is virtually no emotional connection. There has not been anything physical in 18 months. We don't go out, either by ourselves or with other couples. There is no romance, no tenderness, nothing to distinguish us from platonic roommates, so that is what I think we should get used to. Everything that makes a marriage a satisfying relationship has dropped away in the past 5 years, slowly but surely. So, at our first therapy appointment in January I said that: let's just figure out how to live like roommates. I cannot come in here every week and act like there is hope for more when there is not, it's a waste of time and money. I feel much more free the past two weeks. I don't have to worry about everything I say or do being misconstrued and I find myself actually being kinder to him, like how I would treat a friend. For 21 years, there has been bizarre behavior, unclear communication, other women, secrets and lies, sketchy financial stuff, a 6-month separation, a military deployment, PTSD from the war, periods of unemployment--all this is him and I have to hold me and my two boys together in the middle of the hurricane that is this ADHD man that I am stuck with. So you know what? I am closing down the parts of me that can get hurt by him or confused by him or let down by him or misunderstood by him. My actual feelings for him are not enough to make this marriage satisfying--how much I love him isn't even a consideration any more and over time I find I don't love him like a husband, but like a friend that I feel bad for. I regret all the wasted years. I regret that I didn't choose a more stable person for a husband and father of my kids. I regret that our finances got so messy thanks to many periods of unemployment and bad decisions that we have no money to send our oldest to college. I regret that at age 46, my only desire is to be left alone. I regret that the soft parts of me have been forced out, that there is no fun, no romance, and frankly not much to look forward to. BUT...I am starting to let that go because all of that only hurts me--DH has no idea and likely wouldn't know how to respond even if he did. So we will live like polite roommates for the next two and a half years and then see where we are. So much has been sucked out of me I don't know if it will ever come back. Add to the marriage a 17 year old who OD'd last year and spent 8 weeks in rehab and a 15 year old with Asperger's. Not a lot of extra brain power to make big life changing decisions!
So I feel good that I was honest in therapy--I cannot continue to hope this will change. I have nothing left to give and so how could it possibly get better. I am making my life sound much more bleak than I mean it to--I LOVE my job and my kids are on decent paths finally but they are still a lot of work. I have lots of friends that I do things with. I feel better being realistic, not pretending. Sad maybe, but that will pass.