Need some advice
I need some advice. I know a marriage counselor would be the place to ask these questions. We've tried that. And yet I still sit here not knowing what to do.
A little background. I've been married for 10 years. My husband and I have 5 children together. Yes, we both wanted a large family. And now, I'm not sure that was the wisest decision. Not that I regret ANY of my children. That's certainly not what this is about.
For so many years I was either pregnant or nursing. And during that time, my husband and I grew apart. He started sleeping on the sofa about 4 years ago. Every single night. Not because of the babies. Just because that's what he felt like doing. I was so busy with babies I really didn't care. But the babies started to grow up and then there weren't any babies any more. They are all kids now.
And that's when the problems really started. I wanted my marriage back. A real relashionship with my husband. Not just a kiss in passing on our way out the door and the small talk we've had for years. Last year I began really talking to my husband. Letting him know I thought we had better do something to fix this marriage or we were going to lose it. We had grown so far apart. I was so very very lonely. And I wanted him back in my life the way he should be. He didn't hear my pleas for time and commitment to our marriage. And quite frankly, at the time I don't think he cared.
Years ago my husband gave up on his physical appearance. People have told me it sounds like depression. But quite frankly, it runs in the family on his side. His brothers and father are the same way. He stopped brushing his teeth entirely. And they have begun to literally rot out of his mouth. He never showers and will wear the same dirty clothes for days on end. He has no desire to make himself physically attractive and just DOES NOT CARE. Like I said, those actions are not depression. It's how his entire family is. This is unacceptable to me. How can I feel spontaneous with someone who does not brush their teeth or shower or just SIMPLY CARE about general physical care???? I have brought this up to him thousands of times over the years and he just laughs. His mom tells me I better get used to it because that's just how the men in that family are.
I remember last summer telling him point blank that I couldn't take him sleeping on the sofa anymore. I couldn't take not having a real relashionship in my life. And that if things didn't change I couldn't say with certainty that if I was faced with someone I was attracted to and put in a not so good situation how I would react. He didn't listen then. Didn't care. Didn't take me seriously. And what do you know. 2 weeks after that conversation I was faced with just that situation. And I couldn't resist. Well I could have, but didn't have the fight in me anymore. I though my marriage was over. And I had an affair. A full blown relashionship. It only lasted 3 months. It was wonderful. I met someone with whom I had a lot in common and was physically attracted to. Well I ended up telling my husband about the affair. I think it was a wake up call for him. He didn't leave. I ended the relationship and for the first time thought there was hope for my marriage. We had hit rock bottom and the only place to go was up. And now that he knew how serious this was maybe things would change.
They haven't. It's gotten worse. We fight over EVERYTHING. Volatile crazy fights. He punches things. Will pack up all of his clothes and leave only to return a few hours later. He yells, spys on me. And all of a sudden wants sex all of the time. All the time. I feel like an object. And if I don't give in because it does not feel right with the state of our relationship the way that it is he really goes nuts. We have tried counseling to no avail. Tried talking to the priest at our Church. Nothing is helping us to reconnect and make this marriage work.
But put all of that aside for a sec. Because the bottom line is that I don't love him anymore. No "I thinks", no "I don't knows". I KNOW. When we do have sex I cry. I feel violated in some way because I am sharing myself with someone that I do not love and that I do not know. I know without a doubt I cannot find happiness in this marriage. Sure, I could stay and suck it up for the children. I could make it work somehow. But if deep down I am not really truely happy what's it for? I'm miserable. Drowning.
Yet everyone around me tells me that's not a reason to leave a marriage. I can fall in love with him again. It's not worth doing this to the children. It isn't fair to them. But I ask you, if I'm miserable how can I do a good job with them?
How can I fall back in love with someone I don't even like?
I have the opportunity to leave now. We have some money that came our way. I've been a stay at home mother for 10 years. This wouldn't be easy for me. I would have to go to work full time. My whole life would change. But to me, it would be so worth it to find peace and real happiness in my life.
The only thing stopping me is the guilt. I look at this man and wonder what would he do with his life? We live 1000 miles away from any of his family. All of my family lives 10 minutes away. He moved us into a home we cannot afford and if I left he would likely have to move out of this debt trap to afford his own living expenses plus child support for 5 children. he hasn't taken care of himself for years and his physical appearance shows. His teeth are rotted out and he has no desire to get them fixed. So who would want to date him?? Really who? And the fact of taking the daily family life from him. I feel so much guilt because how can I do that to him? I don't love him the way a wife should love her husband. But I've spent 10 years with this man. I don't want to hurt him either. But I see no choice. I can't live this way. What do I do about the guilt? Because if I stay just so I don't cause him that pain, I'm choosing to continue to live a lie and drown in this miserable marriage.
I'm lost. And I need to decide. Because the money is my way out. And it won't be around long. I've got to take it and leave now if that's what I choose. This is my chance. So why am I sitting here pondering this decision????