I want to leave my husband and need to understand the potential impact to my daughters, aged 10 and 11. Please tell me what your parents' divorce was like, and the different ways in which it affected you.
I've been married for 16 years. My marriage was essentially arranged, and though I've never been attracted to my husband, I tried to make the best of it and be happy. He's a wonderful, caring man who has always treated me well...but I never developed any chemistry with him. He's below my level intellectually and we just do not click in the ways that turn me on. This doesn't bother HIM - he's always found me very attractive and considers himself deeply in love with me. But I'm dying inside. I can't imagine living the rest of my life not attracted to my husband.
We've had other problems in our marriage; they are complex and ongoing, and I have finally decided to call it quits. My husband will be devastated and my kids will be shocked and confused. They've never really seen us fight. They think we are happy...but I am not. I've done a good job of suppressing my unhappiness, and my relationship with my husband has always been affectionate, at least on the surface. He's a good person and I care about him. I just don't want to pretend to be happy anymore.
I've told my husband how I feel and he is in denial. He thinks we can work things out. He is 43 years old and feels it's too late for him to start over. He doesn't realize (nor have I told him in absolute terms) that my mind is made up. But it is. I want to separate within the next 6 months.
My daughters are very close to me. I feel confident that I can guide them through this with strength and grace, and that one day, hopefully, they will understand my decision. But I'm afraid my husband will not handle it well. I won't blame him for being heartbroken and angry, but I don't want his reaction to hurt our kids. They love their father to pieces, and he them. It will be very difficult for him to accept me breaking up our family. I can imagine he will say things to them like "your mother wanted this divorce, not me".
I'm terrified that my husband will end up depressed and my kids will hate me for it. I'm worried that I will cause them heartache and anxiety. The hardest part about this is hurting the ones I love.
As a person who has gone through their parents' divorce, what advice can you give me? What did your parents do well during the separation process? What could they have done better? Thank you.
Note - some further details about our relationship in this question
that I posted anonymously last month.