I admit that I am not the happiest person and I feel like it's contributed to many of the difficulties my marriage and children are experiencing. I don't think it's the sole cause of our problems though but from my perspective if I'm going to be the one to initiate progress on these other fronts I need to overcome feelings of inadequacy, frustration, depression
If independent counseling is going to make changes, it's going to take years. It's not like you're going to go to a dozen sessions, give the therapist your life story and list the problems and walk out of there a few months later significantly improved and ready to move on. Best case scenario, over many months or more likely YEARS you'll start to figure things out. Doesn't sound like your rapidly failing marriage can wait that long.
Now if you're depressed and anxious as you state, and you treat that depression and anxiety effectively with medications, you can experience huge changes in attitude within a few weeks.
Probably the only thing really keeping me going is my kids - but at this point divorce is NOT an option since they have needs greater than I can provide alone.
I don't understand this main reason for staying married. If the kids have two parents now, they'll have two parents after divorce, you just won't be tending to their needs at the same time.
All I know is this: the lack of validation and frustration is killing me. I can actually feel my body suffering from anxiety and lack of emotional support. I'm talking stuff like joint aches, feeling like I'm breaking out in hives, even chest pains. That is NOT good. Life is a gift and should be enjoyed. That is a lesson I took from having grown up as an only child to a single surviving parent.
I get the feeling that my subservience to her desires may have had the opposite effect.
In other words the kids see you as a doormat and they're starting to step on you as well. Well there's an easy fix for that.