I don't want to hurt him....but....
Hi... first post. Where to start? Well, I have been married to my husband for almost 30 years... we have two daughters who are grown and off on their own. I haven't been happy for a really long time - since the girls were maybe 3 and 5... and there have been many, many times over the years when I wanted to leave... and I should have... but I always stayed for the kids. The early years were filled with his drinking, cheating a few times, arguing about his parents (old country German and he is an only child) and staying out all weekend. On top of this he was away week at a time long distance truck driving - so even though it was bad, at least I had the weekdays to myself. I came from a home with parents who eventually divorced, and I was determined that my marriage would last.
Over the years there have been many drinking binges on his part. He drinks beer constantly, and now he hides it in the garage. Since the girls have been gone and there is just the two of us, he is no longer away all week, but home every night. He is miserable to live with. Always complaining, always grouching, has temper tantrums, brings up old arguments, and has become controlling and angry with me. I am sure he is not any happier than I am. He has no hobbies or interests, so he is over top of me all the time... always yipping, never shuts up. I have withdrawn a lot - finally learned how to tune him out.
I have had enough. I can't take any more. I am unhappy, on anti-depressants, and tired. We have no sex life whatsoever - it has been 3 or 4 years of sleeping in the same bed with nothing - not that I mind these days because I am so done with that.
In hindsight, I realize that I should have left when the girls were small, and saved myself a lot of grief, just to end up where we are today.
So here's the hard part. The truth part. The part where it gets complicated. Years ago an old boyfriend called me out of the blue. He was and is the love of my life. Fortunately, he lives way across the country, but whenever he would come to town we would go for lunch or hang out together. He was always very respectful of my marriage and my family, and even though he made it very obvious how he felt about us, for years nothing happened between us. Until last year. I can't help it. He is what I have always wanted and could never have... In any case, my situation at home has escalated, and even my girls have said to me that it is time for me to go.
I know that my leaving will hurt my husband a lot. He doesn't understand that his behaviour over so many years has chipped away at the love I had for him when we were first together, and I am no longer hopeful that he can or will change. I don't want to spend the rest of my life walking around on eggshells for fear of another outburst.
I am not sure what to do - whether to leave suddenly and spare myself the tantrums and the arguing, or to try to make this an amicable separation (LOL). In any case, I know that if I go where my heart tells me to go that it will hurt my husband even more when he realizes that there is someone else.
Has anyone else ever been in this situation? I wouldn't feel guilty about leaving at all except for my destination....the heart wants what the heart wants. Help?