I'm sorry for what you're going through. I hope everything turns out for the best. Every relationship is different, so (at the end of the day), you guys need to do what's best for your family, no matter what anyone says.
Maybe you can live seperately under one roof but I couldn't. My husband & I (12 yrs, 4 kids, 1 house & 1 small business later) should have seperated a thousand times, but both of us lost our jobs last year (very unexpectedly) & can't afford to live apart. Even when our business (a non profit) was running though, we still couldn't afford to live apart.
I've tried to "seperate" myself from him while under the same roof, as has he tried to seperate himself from me (he's sleeping on the couch as we speak), but it's more painful than just trying to be together. It was like torture having to deal with all the bad stuff without the benefits of the good stuff.
If you think about it, nothing really changes while living seperated under the same roof...nothing except for the lack of physical intimacy, which may just bring on more problems, especially if one person starts dating & the other one doesn't. Talk about a nightmare. Sweet Jesus!
If our children were older and/or if we were financially stable, it would be an entirely different scenerio - we could just go our seperate ways - but neither of us are financially independent. My husband has a service connected disability (PTSD) & a mood disorder. Since our business closed, he's been supporting our entire family of 6 with his disability check alone, which doesn't even cover the basics of life (not his fault) & our 2 youngest children are homeschooled right now due to various factors, so I need to be home with them. We've pretty much been living on a prayer for over a year now.
It is what it is. I don't want to wish these last few years of our children's childhood away because I want my marriage to end. Correction: I don't want our marriage to end. I want to solve our problems, for the wellbeing of our family, but my husband can be impossible to work with. I've taken on far too much over the years. To the point where my health was endangered. I cannot solve all of our problems on my own. I need help. He's great with running errands, taking the kids to the doctors & putting dinner on the table most nights, but the rest of the time he's very difficult to motivate. Everything's always messy & broken...he doesn't want much to do with the kids at all. He keeps them safe & he loves them to the best of his ability, but he just struggles with being a parent. He usually just lets them sit in front of the TV all day, which breaks my heart. He doesn't want to teach them anything or read to them, or help them learn how to interact with oneanother in positive ways. He has 4 sons & has never played catch with them, or done any of those typical Dad things with any of them. It's sad. He either yells at them or ignores their bad behavior, neither of which leads to a good outcome.
I know hes capable of more. He HAS the skills. He was a teacher for several years.
I know his mental health issues can make it difficult for him, but my life isnt a cake walk these days either. We got ourselves in this mess. Were the only ones that can get ourselves out of it. But he'd rather sit there and rot. I try to focus on the positive, but he's just given up on everything. He can't seem to find a rhythm to life. Our family can't function that way.
Everytime I ask him to help me solve some of our major issues, he either gets upset, makes up excuses as to why he can't help, outright refuses to help altogether, and/or completely shuts down. Then, not only am I left to try to solve our problems on my own, but I'm left to manage everything else, too & without any mental or emotional support from him, which is the WORST part of all. He'll sit in the car or in the basement for days. Even on Christmas. It's sad. Horribly sad. And the mental state I spiral into when he "ghosts me" like that (treats me like I'm dead) hurts SO badly that I'm not much use to anyone either.
My children will only be children once. I can't get that time back. Our marriage has been unhealthy for all of us in many ways. I've lost so much of myself - all these beautiful pieces of my former self are smoldering beneath the ashes of what our love used to be - we don't have a reliable support system & simply cannot afford to live apart. Hes all I have to lean on.
I know my husband loves me. I love him, too. We have had good times, but something's always been missing. I didn't know what it was until recently.
Sometimes love just isn't enough. I know I'm no picnic much of the time but I try. I try to communicate my thoughts, my needs, etc. He gets defensive & shuts me out - so cold - and is often mentally & emotionally abusive. I've tried everything. I even have a degree in Psychology and am very skilled with understanding people's feelings & behavior but not his. He's so defiant & combative, at times, its exhausting. It doesnt matter what I know. All that matters is his mood.
I know he's suffered alot of loss - trauma at a young age, war in his early 20s & the loss of many loved ones throughout the past few years. We lost our business & have lived through some pretty extreme financial hardship, but nothing can excuse a persistent pattern of emotional & psychological abuse.
I say "hard times build resilience & character" (cuz life is all about how we respond), but he lets his problems cripple him, to the point where he neglects mostly everything in his life, including himself. When he can't hold in his feelings any longer, he turns into a monster.
I don't know what to do. He's really all I have to lean on (I want to lean on him-he's my husband), but even then, it's fruitless. Leaning on him usually just leads to more pain. He's like a grandfather in a young man's body. He'd be the perfect husband if all we had to do was just sit around & watch TV & snuggle all day, but that's not life. That's not reality. We have responsibilities. We can't solve problems together. We can't set goals...
I've always been such a strong, positive human being, but the mental & emotional roller coaster we've been on for the past few years has fried our brains. I dont know who's right or wrong anymore. I dont care. I just want things to be better. I want a healthy family. We need to be healthy. Happiness is ours to cultivate, but it's kinda hard to do when you're financially struggling & unwell.
I wish I had an answer for you. All I can say is that, if you have kids, whether you live together or whether you live apart, you're going to have to work through your problems together. Personally, I thought it'd be best to end up together in the end, but now I'm not so sure. When the respect is gone & there's no communication & two people can't even work cooperatively together to manage their own lives, what kind of a future could we possibly have? All we're doing is struggling to survive right now & that's not living. That's not life. A marriage is a partnership.
It is unacceptable for me to feel so alone so much of the time. I have never shut him out. I have always loved him with open arms, no matter jow much he's hurt me. I'm not afraid to say I'm sorry. I always try to make amends. He doesn't do any of those things. I'm not saying he needs to be me, but there needs to be love.
Love isn't what people do during the good times. It's how people work together to make it thru lifes ups and downs, come what may.
And this toxic relationship, I'm afraid, isn't teaching our sons how to love a woman. No marriage is perfect but some things are just not okay & some things you just shouldn't have to live without.
I'm tired...and I'm empty...and that's not like me. I want me back. My kids have a right to know their mother. I used to be a wonderful mother, the best! But now...we live in the same house - hour after hour, day by day - and they don't even know who I am. That beautiful light has faded away. That frightens me. But we can't move forward if all my husband wants to do is stand still.
I don't know where to go from here, other than to try to get him to come to bed with me, so I can find some measure of comfort snuggling up beside him. That's something that's never changed - the peace & satisfaction I feel when he holds me.
Good Luck & Goodnight
God be with you all.