| | Re: Should I leave?
This is pretty serious stuff. You are a single person stuck in a marriage, so it seems. Do you want to stay married to him? What are your kids learning about love and relationships?
These are important questions, but so too are the ones about the reality of divorce. If there is a lot of anger and blaming, then the kids tend to suffer a lot. It will be hard on them to be shuffled between households, but you can help and this will eventually seem normal to them. If you split custody 50/50, you lose control over a lot of their time, although it can improve their relationship with their father, a lot. Right now, he is an absent father, however, and that is a "negative" for them. Will he do better if he takes them 50/50? Would he even want them?
My guess is that if you shut off the sex, he would want a divorce. And you may well get to the point you cannot allow him to touch you--you aren't there yet, but it can happen. Rather than wait for some crisis, maybe you can sit him down and offer him two choices: you start marital counseling, or you get a divorce. If you are willing and able to make the divorce easy on him--ask for the bare minimum you need to survive, and agree to look for full-time work as soon as both kids are in school full-time (in a school, if you can--great job for a single mom, b/c the hours tend to match your kids' hours), limiting your claim for spousal support (alimony) to as few years as you can--he may choose the divorce.
Work up an agreement. Find out your State's formula for child support, and show him. In my state (WI) it is basically "Higher income - lower income x .25" for two kids. [Usually, and in your case if you lived here, that would mean Dad's income - mom's income x .25.] If you could survive on that for a couple of years, without alimony, tell him you won't ask for any, tell him how long you will keep open your claim for alimony, and let him know the most you would ask for--all these are things that can be written into the legal agreement, usually, and he may see that divorce does not have to be the financial nightmare he may fear. You can often download divorce papers from your county court's website (or borrow from another county in your state; they are the same, I THINK, w/in each state, but don't quote me on that). You can show him what the divorce "bottom line" would be for him financially.
Bottom line for him, remember, includes these things: marriage counseling or divorce. The sex spigot is being turned off--be sure to tell him that--until he chooses.
Since he does not want a divorce, however, you may want to explore what keeps him in the marriage--convenience? Not wanting to look like a bad father? He is being a bad father, of course, and even if no one outside your household knows it, his KIDS will know it and hate him for it down the road. Ask him if he wants to be the kind of dad kids never mention to their friends and whose kids never visit him when they are old enough to have choices. What is the facade worth then?