You marriage is a mess. I'd bet your children already know - since it's all over the community.
Do what's best for YOU. Don't wait for your children to be of age. This marriage is not an example for them to follow. You insisting on respect in a marriage is important for them to see.
Get out of his mid-life-crisis crosshairs and leave him to deal with his obvious problems himself. Insist on a decent separation period (6 months at least) with zero emotional contact. He's hardly allowing you to help him to get back into the marital boat so what else is there to do unless you wish to be the only rower going round and round in circles until you get driven crazy? Your kids need a happy mother above everything and anything else - FACT.
Don't be scared of separation; I know the thought of it's scary but it's actually a godsend merely in monstrous clothing. If you have enough left to draw you back together then there's nothing like absence to make the heart and ones sense of appreciation fonder; and if there isn't, there's nothing like separation to allow YOU to detach (to where you'll barely care or have a clue why you ever did). This means that whichever is the result, by then you'll be happy with either, win/win. If you don't summon all your strength to do this, I promise you that you'll only months or years from now wish you had.
Also, go talk to a solicitor (most offer free consultations). You'll be surprised what a huge difference it makes to find out, without obligation to act, exactly where you stand and how surprisingly secure (or securER) you'd still be if you wanted to divorce him.
Basically, he's broken the romantic contract, meaning there IS no marriage or relationship any more. If he should decide he regrets his actions and wishes to start another relationship (persuade *you* to start another, I should say), he's perfectly capable - repeat, PERFECTLY CAPABLE... just like he was starting this side one, Big Fat Eh!
Show your disapproval with your feet. Men hear and respond to actions, not words.
Hope that helps.
I do agree with SOULMATE. I guess he needs to heal on his own because he is not letting me help him. I beleive in God and was trying to do the right thing but God gave us our own free will and obviously my husband will is not my will. So just like God lets us learn our lessons but is there when we need him then I guess I must do the same. Thank you both for your advice.
You come over as very mentally strong, but I advise you in weak moments to liken this nightmareish period to the struggling of a chrysallis before it emerges as a magnificent butterfly that takes to the air, because that's exactly what's going on in terms of psychological equivalent (despite he's been the one to trigger it).
It's likely that either your marriage was never 'perfect' enough to last longer than X years (some people are only supposed to be stepping stones rather than the terminus itself) OR this immature man had forced/found/obediently positioned himself onto a life path and style with which he is nowadays too dissatisfied and rebelling against - in a way that avoids having to intellectualise and talk... the lazy/helpless/emotionally unintelligent way. After all, if one wishes to cause a drastic change by acting out or to introduce some excitement and challenge in ones life, what's more effort-free or more instant than an illicit affair? It's certainly easier than changing your career, getting in better shape, fighting aging, etc., isn't it, and it's accessible to anyone.
I note he's not leaving you, however. So I suspect this is a Leverage affair whereby you're supposed to end up so cowed he gets his way more often. He may not actually want you to end up a total doormat and is just be going too ham-fistedly far in his quest to shift what he perceives as whatever long-term power imbalance? Don't let it work, however. He's not a toddler. The grown-up, CIVILISED way to bring about an improvement in the marital dynamic is to initiate a serious sit-down discussion or suggest counselling. There again, if he possessed that level of emotional intelligence and confidence, we wouldn't be having this conversation in the first place, would we.
Try not to take it too personally, however. He's not thinking of your feelings and wellbeing, he's not capable. What injured animal IS? And trust me, to reach middle age or thereabouts only to discover you dislike intensely where you're at and increasingly headed is to all intents and purposes an injury. Consider him temporarily insane...certainly chronically DefCon-ed.
As for you, courtesy of his being the one to have acknowledged the 'corpse on the floor' that is the state of your marriage or lifestyle over which he hasn't the clue/energy to improve, I guarantee that in 2-5 years you'll secretly be raising a glass to him for having forced you to [a] start anew with someone else, someone emotionally stronger/more intelligent and whom shares your core moral settings even under duress of life's kack or [b] start afresh with a far more enlightened and mature him.
Yes, God/Fate/whatever manipulates through our remit of free will decisions and actions. "No pain, no gain", aka pain leads to gain... and the greater the pain, the greater the eventual gain. It's all good. ...just doesn't feel remotely like it in the meantime, that's all.
Again, I think you should indeed tell him to leave, for a while at least. Frankly, I suspect you'd be doing him a huge favour (shock therapy) because clearly he can't find the self-motivation for actually dealing with all that's ailing his mind, and obviously cigarettes/weed and a change in music won't make any difference in the long term.
"Don't know what you've got until it's gone (or nearly gone)" - another truism. I think Einstein put it best, though: "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."
Best of luck, despite you don't even need it, just a healthy sense of what's right, justified and productive, like fight or flight and having the courage to see either through. Only freezing and doing nothing gets you killed or maimed. And that includes mentally.
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