Confused and Feeling Guilty
I'm looking for some input or advice or validation or maybe all of the above ...
I've been married almost 30 years. We have two wonderful children (22 and 18 years old) who are both away at college and doing extremely well. I have a wonderful relationship with both my children and they mean the world to me. My marriage, however, has been upside down and tumultuous for at least the last 8 years. The passion and love left long before that but I resiled myself to an unhappy life for the sake of my children. My wife is an alcoholic who sought treatment last year but has had many relapses this year only making things more difficult in our home. I'd like to blame the alcoholism for the state of our marriage, but I truly believe that we'd be at the stage now with or without her addiction. I've tried to get her to counseling or therapy (couples and individual) or treatment, but she refuses. Now that both my children are out of the house, it feels more than ever like my wife and I are simply roommates leading separate lives. I have only stayed this long because of our children.
Almost one year ago I met a wonderful woman. She lives about two hours by car from me and we see each other at least once a week. We've carried on a PA for almost 8 months. I want to be with only this woman. She is strong, independent, kind, loving, caring, passionate, beautiful, intelligent, funny and I love her more than I have ever loved my wife or any other woman. I want to be with this woman and I feel guilty when I am away from her.
There is only one thing holding me back: the fear that I will hurt my children. I feel no guilt towards my wife (to be honest, I'm not sure she'd even notice if I was gone) but I do feel guilt about hurting and losing my children. I also feel guilty about not being able to devote my full attention and time to the woman I love. She has not asked for anything other than my time and it hurts me that I am not with her every minute of every day.
So, this is where I am now. I have decided to leave my wife (I have not told anyone this, not even my lover), but I cannot seem to pull the trigger. I have just started therapy but wonder if anyone out there has been in a similar situation and can offer me an advice. How have your children reacted? How has this affected your relationship with your children? I feel very confused about how to make this work so that the hurt to my children (and my wife) is minimized and I feel very guilty about the affect this will have on my children and that I cannot seem to pull the trigger and leave.