I need advice on how one begins the separation process. I am a 34 year old woman, married to my one and only ever husband since I was 18 and my husband was 20. We have 4 children together ages, 15, 10, 9, and 4.
I won't bore you with the details but, basically we got married too young and for all of the wrong reasons. Over the years, despite our problems and differences, I've come to love and appreciate my husband, but we are not really meant to be together. Our core values over the raising of the kids, husband-wife roles, sex, and the huge one MONEY and the lack of it seems to be whittling away any sort of caring and decency toward each other. My husband has mentioned that if it were not for the kids, he would leave me. Last summer he bought a motorcyle against my wishes, and quite frankly he would rather ride the motorcycle than be with me. We have big money problems as in debt and cash flow problems and we are always fighting about the bills: who pays what, how little money I've brought in over the years, etc. how he'd be further ahead if it weren't for me...and the fact that he's only here because the kids would be on the street without him.
Anyway, I've had about all I can take of the emotional and mental put-downs and I need to get out. I don't know what my first steps should be. I don't think I can ask him to leave because 1. This is his house, even though we're married and my name is on it, he pays the mortgage. 2. Even if he did leave I couldn't carry the bills on my own. He always mentions how I've never had to stand on my own two feet and that if I had to then I wouldn't survive. Or he'll say when I'm by myself and on my own then I know what it's like.
I do have parents near by who have 2 spare bedrooms, but I am VERY hesistant about moving there as I my kids wouldn't feel comfortable there and wouldn't regard it as home. They wouldn't understand why we'd be there and would just be bugging me to go home. I could leave by myself without them, but that wouldn't be right as a mother to do that. I feel so stuck and its this stuck feeling that has kept me here all these years.
I have mainly been a stay-at-home mom over the years and therefore had no monetary contribution to the home. I recently took a course to become a nurse-aid and have begun working a bit casually and bringing in a little income (not enough according to my husband).
I just need a plan and some help on how to think this through. I don't know if we are getting a divorce but, I do believe a separation is in order. We both need to figure out what we need to do. He is probably right when he says I need to learn how to stand on my own.
Please advise - I'm grateful for any comments. Thanks.