To leave or not...
My wife and I have been married for a year and a half and together for three. She is considerably younger than I am and has never been that supportive of or liked my kids. Two years ago she went off and joined the military one, because she always wanted to and two, because she could no longer take sharing my time with the kids. A supported her in her decision and a part of me figured that she would gain some maturity from the military and things would improve.
She has always made me feel bad for nearly everything I do with and for the kids and the mere subject of the kids, as well as my ex and anything to do with my life before I met her. Anytime any of these topics come up, or I have to give time to my kids it ends up in a fight. This has put a huge strain on my relationship with my kids and they have since moved to their mothers partly because of her. I have allowed this to continue for 2 1/2 years (I know...) but I always held out hope that she would learn to, if nothing else, accept that the kids are an important part of my life and be accepting of the fact that I was alive before I met her. However, things have only seemed to get worse with her jealousy over the kids and my past. Recently after a long weekend of moving in which the kids helped me a great deal moving into our new home, I decided to treat them to a fun day at the amusement park, away from the stress of carrying boxes and furniture. This was met with very much anger and resistance from my wife. After over two years of this behavior, this was the straw that broke this camel's back. It ended up in a huge fight and we kind of mentioned divorce. Ok, she mentioned it but I was also not opposed to it. I Feel like I have always tried to be fair with my time and not neglect her because of the kids, but it seems like ANY time spent on them was unacceptable to her.
Since then, she has been trying really hard to change and show me that she wants us to work and that she is talking to people and getting help to work through her issues. And I really can see an improvement in her and her attitude. Here's my problem. She is 1400 miles away and the daily life of kids and responsibility really has no effect on her, nor has it for the past 2 years, so if she does change, I feel that it's only superficial since she isn't truly "dealing" with anything because she's not here. I feel the real test of if she has changed will be in another 2 years when she is back home and faced with it on a somewhat daily basis. But do I want to "burn" the next two years to SEE if she's changed?
I'm struggling and don't know what to do. Should I give her that chance, or has she already used up all of her chances by making me feel like a monster for being a devoted father for the past 2 1/2 years? Should we just cut our losses and accept that we want very different things? I do love her very much, but for the sake of my kids and my relationship with them, and my own sanity I don't know if I can take it any more.
I'm a father as well and I can understand your point.
I believe you should draw a thick and unerasable line were your kids are. Let her know that if she tries to take you to the "it's them or it's me" plane, that's a lost battle for her. Your kids are part of you and nothing will ever change that. She met you being a father, she can't ask you to act like a single man now.
Show her that her jealousy is unfounded and that your love for her and your love for the kids are not mutually exclusive. She has to learn to deal with it and adapt. Otherwise, I don't think that is going anywhere.
Have a deep conversation, make a letter of what you expect from here, and let her make a letter of what she expects from you. If both things are compatible, then you can decide if it's a signal to go on. If there are unresolvable differences in the expectations, then save your time (and hers) and have a honest and direct conversation.
A relationship where each one of you is looking on a different direction is meant to fail at some point.