You decided to leave your marriage, which has had good times but also so many bad ones. You finally came to the point where you realised you had to get out; how did you go from realising it to actually doing it, despite the inertia of being with someone whom you still loved (just not enough to overcome all the negatives in the marriage any more)?
Context from two posts: one
The tl;dr; summary of those posts: After a stupid incident in which I almost slept with someone other than my wife, and a period of counselling (both joint, which didn't do much) and individual (which is helping immensely) I've come to realise some unpleasant truths about my marriage. People have said in both of the previous threads that I have been the victim of an abusive relationship, and whilst I still struggle to accept that I do find myself seeing things in a slightly less rosy light than I used to.
I've just come back from a two-week business trip, during which I had some time to reassess how I felt about my marriage. At first I missed being at home, but after the first couple of days I started to really enjoy being on my own, making my own decisions and being around the people I wanted to be around.
On top of this, I had some in-depth conversation with a friend who once said that he didn't think I was making the right choice in marrying my wife. He pointed out that I am "never the same person" when I'm around my wife; that I'm quieter and seem to be enjoying life less.
After the two weeks I decided that I wanted to give things another shot, but that I needed things to dramatically improve. However, before I'd even got a chance to tell my wife about my feelings, there was already drama:
- She admitted to checking my Facebook friends' public profiles to see if there were pictures of me with any women from the conference
- Before I went away I asked her to get counselling, and to return to couples' therapy with me. She said that she'd rather leave. I haven't repeated the request yet, but when I did broach it (in a "have you thought further about getting counselling" kind of way) she rolled her eyes, sighed and said "No!" in an exasperated tone.
- Whenever I've told her that I love her, she's said "but is that enough?"
- Several times over the weekend she's said that she knows that I'd be happier without her, but that she'll never be complete without me.
- Whilst watching a street performer in town, she made a bitchy comment about one of the members of the crowd. I didn't agree, but didn't want to start an argument, so I just acknowledged what she said with a smile, which she didn't see. She then announced that "maybe [she] should just walk away, since [I] obviously didn't care about [her]."
- When I was feeling ill and tired in bed (having cracked a rib falling on some ice), she said "would you like to go to sleep?" I, thinking she was trying to look after me, said yes, and she got angry and turned her back - she had wanted sex but hadn't said so. I said I'd be happy to make love to her, but that I wasn't up for anything vigorous because of the pain; she accused me of wanting to humiliate her by making her beg. Eventually she apologised for her harsh words, blaming sexual frustration.
- We have tickets for a big gig by her favourite band in a few weeks' time; she's said before that she'd go with someone else if I didn't want to (I'm fine with going, though I don't care that much about the band), but when I suggested a couple of weeks back that maybe we should separate she said she wouldn't go without me.
- She's been saying things like "you're my life" and "I'd die without you", though she knows very well that I dislike such sentiments - indeed she used to share in my negative feelings about them
- She's started making contemptuous comments like "Oh, yes, because you've proved yourself so trustworthy," and vaguely threatening ones like "if there's something you need to tell me you'd better do it now; you know that your lies have a habit of coming out in the end."
I've also noticed a growing weariness within myself, verging dangerously on contempt, when it comes to her dramatic statements. When she was too ill to work one morning over the weekend, she was reduced to stamping her feet and shouting because she didn't know how to phrase the text message to her line manager. Eventually I wrote it for her because she was getting so worked up; I remember thinking, though, that it was a bit like dealing with a five-year-old.
Having been willing to give things another shot before I flew home, I suddenly find myself feeling wrung out and ready to stop. Reading Too Good To Leave, To Bad to Stay
whilst I was away, I noticed that many answers pointed towards me being happier to leave. I've even tried the coin test - "Heads I leave, tails I stay" and always finding that I want it to come down heads.
And yet I don't seem to be able to mobilize myself into actually doing anything about it. I tell her I love her (which I still do, despite everything; I just know I can't be with her any more and be happy) and I look after her and try to make her happy. I feel like I'm doing her a massive amount of harm now, that I'm stringing her along, or alternatively that maybe I don't really
want to leave and that it's all just a lie.
How can I move myself forward from here?