Re: Confusing messages are killer
Your timeline and history is sort of similar to mine, married a little over twenty years, my husband asked me to move out (same date, lol Dec 12), only we do not have kids. Our marriage has been troubled for a while, due in part to my chronic health issues, and more recently due to his emotional and physical decline. Still, even though I was daydreaming of a fresh start alone, I was shocked that he brought up the separation. I did move out, almost at once, and am so much happier, feel better, etc...for the past year I had chronic indigestion to go along with my permanent health issues. Now that is completely gone, after just six weeks.
We have not taken any legal steps yet, and email cordially when needed. But as far as I am concerned, I am ready to file when he has had more time to process things-he is not great with change and had been depressed for a long time. I guess he thought, or hoped, his life would improve if he had another chance-he too is just over fifty. I know he does not want a new wife or women...what he thinks he wants is a solo life, a move to Las Vegas, a chance to live like he did during his twenties...alone, sleeping, eating, working and watching sports. This was pretty much his life with me, but whatever, lol.
Anyway, sorry to ramble...but I really believe men have a harder time hitting middle age than women in many ways. Something else always looks greener. Sounds to me that other than any effect you are worried about with your kids, that you too might be better off on your own.
If you want him to move out, I would give him a deadline. If you want to work it out somehow, marriage counseling is probably a necessity. There really aren't too many options, except to go on as you are and that sounds to me like a bad option. Good luck...