Self respect

I have been told by a professional counselor that I may have an "overzealous concern making things right for others". I was not that way before marriage and family.  I remember myself being very independent, possibly even self centered.  How did I get to be the exact opposite of what i started out to be?  Our first years saw me expecting dh to do the financial responsibilities and me the home and family responsibilities.  When the financial thing just didn't happen from him, I thought I HAD to pick it up.  I expected a commitment to the marriage and family by both of us.  Rather than plan things WITH the family, he went out at night - late nights - with friends (both men and women) from work.  I should have turned to my family and let him go to be the singleton he obviously preferred to be.  But I didn't turn to family believing that I didn't want to be a burden to them. I didn't want to accept defeat.  I was too proud to admit failure. I thought I could MAKE this work.  I thought I WAS making it work good enough.  I was only fooling myself.  I wish I would have given my friends and family and myself more credit for being strong.  Trying to be and do everything in my own marriage has not worked out well.  NO ONE likes themselves very much now.

After being through it, and seeing how it worked out (didn't work out), I don't see a way it could have worked out any other way trying to stay with dh.  He just didn't or couldn't contribute to a commitment.  He sabotaged the marriage with his own independent interests and refusal/inability to care and maintain.  

So I have been trying to make things right for everyone for 40 years while dh "did his own thing".  He acts like a happy puppy these days and I am exhausted and resentful and feeling stupid.  Don't let this be you.  If your spouse is acting like they want to be single with no responsibilities, let them be single.  Don't hold on to a marriage because you think you should or you think you have no other choices.  Find friends and family to support you through to a life of self respect.

Now I see my sons with an "overzealous concern making things right for others". I feel a compulsion to now make things right in my LIFE "for them".  I feel like I let them down in trying too hard to make their parent's marriage a loving, giving, trusting union. I should have been getting counseling 39 years ago when things began to be difficult in the marriage.  I should have opened the doors to open communication with them by divorcing dh when things began to unravel.  I thought I was giving us a chance by hanging in there until he matured. I felt a responsibility to him that he never felt toward me.  He never matured. As I look around, I see the children of divorced friends better off because they are able to have open communication with their parents, I tried to construct a marriage around a husband who just wants to have his own fun and do his own thing and be left alone.  Don't be like me. It was more difficult being a single mom 40 years ago so I will stop blaming myself for what I did/didn't do then.  I am trying to find strength to be open and accepting of the way things are and who I am and who I want to be.