Re: 2 kids ... finances ... what do I do?!
Sorry to hear of your troubles. When I start to feel overwhelmed, I start to make plans.
It's painful, but when things were bad with my H, I started to visualize what life would look like if we were going to divorce. I wanted to de-sensitize myself to the possibility. I thought about what I would do to ensure/increase my income and lower my spending. I looked for potential homes/apartments. I work from home, so I, too, would have needed a 3 bedroom, or a 2 bedroom where one of the bedrooms was large. I thought about what I could have done to make a 2 bedroom work, if necessary. I had plans and contingencies.
I also tried to focus my mind on what I would be gaining, rather than what I would be losing. I would have lost time with our son, but I would have gained time for me. I would have been able to go extend my friendships and interests. I would have gained time to tackle things that would help my career. I'd have had time to hit the gym and increase my time for running. I imagined what I could do to enrich my life. Losing my marriage would have created a terrible deficit and I knew I would have had to rebuild, so I tried to cast my thoughts forward, like you might cast a fishing line. What would my new life look like? What would I do to start over, what would I want my life to look like?
Also, I was prepared to speak with several attorneys. I had selected them and had their contact info, and I had a plan to pay for consults. I absolutely did not want a divorce, but I wanted to be prepared in case it needed to happen. I did not want to let fear rule me, so I thought out and planned out. I prepared.
Thankfully, my h and I were able to turn things around. In our case, we had one major issue that was creating all our other problems. My husband knew that I was ready to leave over it (although I doubt he knew the extent to which it was already planned), and he resolved it.
Your head is spinning right now. You don't know what is going to happen and you don't know what your future will look like. Get legal advice so you start to gain knowledge of what, realistically, you will have as far as financial support and custody goes. Then, start imaging that future, and in particular, try to think about positive things. It's not to deny the huge and tremendous loss that will occur if you end up getting divorced; it is to also acknowledge that there is happiness and good things out there as well.
Think about what you would want your life to look like. I don't mean getting a new man or a new relationship; I mean getting a bucket list of sorts together. As a single person with free time, what are the things you love to do? What are your interests? What are the things that make you, yourself as an individual and not you yourself as Wife or Mommy, make your heart sing?
These kinds of things are very hard to think about when your heart is broken, so you might only be able to think about it for very short periods of time. But start. Start getting your brain to consider yourself as an individual. Start making your brain believe that there are good things ahead in the future, and that you will still be a valued person even if you are no longer married. Think about being a strong woman and what it will be like when you wake up each morning without worrying about fighting, without worrying about your H and your marriage. At some point, you will wake up happy to greet the day and without fear and anxiety. That day is coming, if you plan for it. Plan to either resolve the problems in your marriage, or get out of the marriage, so that you can get to peace and stability. You have power to make sure that one way or the other, the issue gets resolved.
If you can do these things, you will be able to act mostly from strength. You will make much better decisions. Hopefully, you will not need to divorce. But you will give yourself a stronger start if can act from your plans, rather than react to what is going on.
"Happiness is only the cart; love is the horse."- George Vallliant, long-term director of the 75-year (and continuing) Harvard Grant Study, on the primary contributor to a happy life.