Disconnected marriage with kids involved
I'm a 37 year old mother of 2 wonderful girls. My husband of 10 years says that since we have girls, he has no responsibility (he really wanted boys and am pretty sure he blames me for having girls). I take them to and from school everyday; make all breakfasts, lunches, dinners: do ALL household cleaning (he doesn't even rinse off his dishes). I've recently started working out more than normal and asked if he could pickup the kids twice a week so I could workout right after work. At first he was supportive, but now says him getting the kids twice a week is me controlling him too much. I actually had to get a babysitter to go workout tonight bc he wanted to go out drinking w friends. Yet, if I suggest getting a babysitter for us to have a date night, he says that's a waste. I am the primary breadwinner. I keep myself in shape and dress well. I own 75% of our house. My husband doesn't celebrate my birthday (even knowing it's important to me) bc he says it's stupid. If our kids weren't involved I'd have been gone years ago. Am at the crossroads of is it better to keep with my husband so my kids have a "no divorce" house (we don't fight-he totally ignores me and the kids sometimes). Or do I put them thru an emotional roller coaster just bc I made a mistake in marrying him 10 years earlier and want to kick his sorry ass out?
"My husband of 10 years says that since we have girls, he has no responsibility"
"he really wanted boys"
"and am pretty sure he blames me for having girls"
"says him getting the kids twice a week is me controlling him too much"
"My husband doesn't celebrate my birthday (even knowing it's important to me) bc he says it's stupid"
"I am the primary breadwinner"
"we don't fight-he totally ignores me and the kids sometimes"
This so-called husband of yours... How old is he? FIVE???
I'll tell you what's stupid: you still being married to him! You have too little to work for where suggesting marriage counselling is concerned because this guy isn't even grasping or doing THE BASICS.
That is NOT a marriage. That is not a grown man. AND IT IS AN OUTRIGHT DAMAGING INFLUENCE TO YOUR KIDS AND THE SEXUALLY/ROMANTICALLY-MATURE ADULTS THEY ARE ALREADY FAST ON THEIR WAY TO BECOMING. And that grossly weird and unhealthy parent/couples template is FAR more long-term damaging than a *brief and fleeting* emotional rollercoaster ride.
Anyway, who said it even HAS to be an emotional rollercoaster? Your fear of leaving's attempt to let you stay put? (yup).
Kick that fear in the nuts and do the only right and healthy thing. It sounds like he's been having a long-term affair, anyway, because if he isn't exchanging love with you then WHO *IS* HE EXCHANGING IT WITH? What - he has no humanistic needs??
Do your kids a huge favour and dump the dud. Stay business-like about it, explain to your kids as best you can that your HUSBAND (not their 'daddy' - that's a separate side of him) is obviously not happy in this marriage because he has for too long been behaving like a school friend (they know the type) who expects you to act like his best friend, including always sharing your toys and sweeties, whilst he doesn't share a thing with you and treats you like you barely matter one iota to him, meaning despite he'll always-always be their daddy, YOU want the new and better *husband* you and every woman deserves (so that you'll be happier and they likewise will be happier as a result). DON'T give them that cop-out, single line 'mummy and daddy just don't want to live together any more' rot. Kids are not stupid, they just lack adult articulation skills and wide enough vocab. You leave too many gaps to their imagination to fill in and you wait and SEE what nightmareish messes and frighteners they go and fill them in with!
(Let them find out for themselves in their own sweet time that their father is equally a dud. It's too much disillusionment in one hit, otherwise. And they will. And you'll be there for them when and as it dawns. Alternatively, the divorce might make him step up where they're concerned. It happens a lot. Which is another reason not to diss the father side of him.)
Truthful, honest, willing to answer any questions, but keeping it kid-shaped, -sized and -friendly. That's what you aim for. In the same way that kids learn from (mostly) mum's repeat cue whether or not to scream on sight of spiders, if YOU stay calm, accepting and optimistic, as well as sad but resigned and understanding about the fact that daddy and you don't love each other like a husband and wife are meant to, and that the change will cause painful emotions just for a while until you've all adjusted to the new set-up, so will they. Again, don't leave *anything* to their over-active little imaginations. Let them ask all the questions they want or give them a questions box (old shoebox with a slot) to post worries and queries into that you respond to either in person or likewise in writing the next day. Let them express their negative feelings about it all, DON'T make them believe you're superwoman (just make it clear crying makes you feel BETTER so that you can then immediately get back to full grown-up-in-charge capability), and you'll ALL come out of the wash just fine. I'm suspecting, BETTER.
Ask him to move out toute suite because you -not *want* but *are* going to start divroce proceedings, and then, once he's gone, sit down those kids to explain. (I doubt very much that 5-year-old in a fancy-dress grown-up's suit will want to join you in informing them, anyway.)
If you can't face doing that quite yet, suggest you ask around any friends or acquaintances for recommendation of an excellent divorce lawyer willing to give you a free consultation to find out exactly where you stand and will stand in terms of finances, etc.
*Don't* fold or you'll just find it harder to do the next time. He should be perfectly capable of ruing his total behaviour then chasing and *working* to get you back (if that's truly what he wants). Nothing man-made is irreversible, it's just a choice made then repeatedly sustained (or not).