2nd Marriage - End it or attempt counseling?
I went through a painful and lengthy first divorce. I was married to a corporate executive who’s career came first. She was very successful in a “man’s” world, while my career was in a holding pattern while doing the brunt of child rearing. We moved a couple times for her career and upon the conception of our third child agreed I would stay home for a limited number of months after the baby was born. She made more than enough to support our family and have plenty of extra income to live a fine life. We had been relatively disconnected for some time. After her first known affair with a co-worker was discovered, she sought out a job transfer to a new state – reason being her subdivision was going to be sold, spun-off or IPO and she didn’t have job security. She moved several months ahead of me and the children, and I discovered after we had moved to the know state and I moved out in a physical separation that she was having another affair. She clearly had checked out of our marriage prior to the move, but at the same time she wasn’t letting me go. I sought therapy, filed for divorce and tried to move forward. She had taken me away from my support base essentially to isolate me during the divorce. In working with a therapist, we came to the reality that she had emasculated me years ago (I let it happen) and that my self-esteem had withered. I was at an extremely low point. I had my children ½ of the time in an apartment and wasn’t working, I was having an extremely difficult time getting back into the workforce and great difficulty motivating. I was dating online at the time for recreation, and met a nice woman who got more involved with than I had intended, although I don’t feel I was “in love”. It was more a relationship of convenience. She was chasing a very "damaged" man who need to help himself, she was convinced she could help me. Or, she wanted an instant family, or both.
Fast forward, within several months of meeting this woman, who I had broken it off a couple times, I had agreed with my ex to move our entire family to my home state (her boyfriend was living there). This was a good and easy opportunity to break it off with my girlfriend. After about a month thinking it over, I told my ex I wasn’t going to move and kept my relationship going. I guess I thought something could work between us. A custody battle ensued, I bought a house with divorce proceeds, found a full time job and my GF and I spent an inordinate amount of time fighting my ex and preparing for custody hearing. I feel I was pressured into getting remarried, and our marriage occurred a week after we got the court order that the children would continue to live with me during the school year. It has been almost two years since we married.
During our marriage we have fought like cats and dogs and the fights have gotten really ugly. She has stepped up as a step parent (never married, no kids), but is extremely ridged and mean to my oldest and coddles my youngest. She can be mean to my middle child as well. There are so many dynamics that are just bad about this marriage, I don’t see myself ever being happy and growing old with my 2nd wife. She makes my relationship with my kids and my ex so much more difficult than needs be.
My dilemma. I don’t feel I ever became the man I needed to become to be happy and to raise my children effectively. I didn’t take the time after the first divorce to take care of myself and rise up to be the provider I never was and the greatest father I can be. I feel that my happiness and the children’s well being comes above all else. I feel the marriage was a huge mistake, and that I wish to cut my losses now and move on as a single parent doing what is best for my children. I have sunk into a deep depression over this and am writing while I should be out doing my sales job.
I have felt I want out of the marriage for some time now. I don’t feel I have taken control of my own life, but am co-dependent. I want to break this cycle and move on. BTW, my divorce proceeds dried up in the custody litigation, I receive significant child support and my family has bailed me out of some financial situations. My 2nd wife has not contributed financially to our living expenses and has given me the run around about her debt. I also paid down a significant amount of her debt and paid to sell her house. There was never full financial disclosure and a marriage of the finances.
I told her I want out of the marriage. She feels that if I can get my career going and make some money we can reconcile our issues. I feel I need to take care of my personal and emotional issues alone, without a partner. I feel she is bringing me down. She is negative, has no friends, her family is dysfunctional, she is financially dysfunctional, she is not good for my kids.
Bottom line, I married for the wrong reasons when I wasn’t prepared to be in any serious relationship. She helped me through some difficult times and with the children, but I am not “in love” and don’t feel I ever will be.
Do I just end this and move on? Do we seek counseling and try to save a marriage that my heart is not into. If they were both of our biological children, I would try to save it, but they are not. I have hit an emotional rock bottom and must make a move, have a plan.