It's been many months since I've had a good old spill of emotion on here, but this has been brewing for a long time. Please forgive me while I have a good old fashioned pity party.
My husband and I have been together for nearly 20 years - with a gap of 6 years. We met when I was 19, lived together for three. We were both young, dynamic and successful, and he is a several years older than me. I idolized him then. I was young and naive, and he was and still is an incredibly intelligent man - genius, even, having created a successful career at the age of 14 from his bedroom. He's quite famous now in his field and works hard to maintain it.
We split briefly after I find it very difficult to live with someone who was so work oriented, and he also has Asperger's (which is a type of autism, it makes it hard for him to recognize other's emotions and causes him to live very much inside his own head). I met another man, who I became pregnant by with my now 15 year old daughter. The relationship didn't last, he disappeared never to be heard of again, and my husband and I remained friends during the split and my pregnancy. Our friendship blossomed back into romance over the years - he seemed very much changed - interested in me and being a good potential father to my daughter, and when my eldest was 7 we got back together again. We then got married and had another daughter 7 years ago.
Our marriage has always had the same balance over the years. I stayed at home with the kids, he went out to work, doing 14 hour days (through choice). It worked okay, and we would work hard together as a unit to raise our children. Unfortunately, bubbling under the surface were all sorts of issues. His coldness/lack of empathy, his anxiety, social phobias and paranoia, his drinking and use of weed. He's very controlling because routine settles him, anything out of the ordinary freaks him out, so we never doing anything spontaneous.
When my sister died, after I got the phone call at midnight I went back to the bedroom to tell him..he gave me a brief, cold hug and then told me he had to work the next day so please could I leave so he could sleep. If I cry, he gets up and walks away as though nothing is happening. During dinner he can sit next to me whilst I am crying about something, and he continues to eat as though I am happy. That's another reason (amongst others) that I haven't grieved for my sister, or anything that has hurt me over the years, because I get no support or even a kind word of empathy.
He never spends any time with the children, either. My eldest feels unloved by him, and there is never any interaction between them. She feels that he prefers his younger, biological daughter..and I know that's true, he's told me so on more than one occasion.
He does no housework, childcare, house maintenance, paperwork, doesn't attend any of the kid's events or celebrations. I do it ALL. Everything.
He never really says anything more than about 10 words to me in any given day. He comes home from work, pours himself some wine and shuts himself in the bedroom with his guitar, only coming out to eat. I spend every night on the couch by myself with the tv. Now I'm sober, I could go out if I wanted to, but I've got so darn depressed about the whole state of this marriage, I feel so flat and lackluster about filling my time in the evenings. If I do go out to social events, I go solo, as he doesn't like socializing. A lot of my aquaintences think I am divorced or single as they've never met him.
I quit drinking over 100 days ago, not just for me (the most important person!) but for our marriage. I've spent so many hours arguing, I've spent so many days and nights crying about how lonely and unloved I feel, and I thought it was because I was drinking, and not a nice person to be around. It hurts even more now I am sober, because the REAL ME is still not good enough.
I want to leave..but I can't. We are here in the US on a visa, which is in his name. I can't work on my visa status. We have to be married/living together for the children and I to stay. If we separate, I would have to go back to the UK. I love my life here, I don't want to give it up. I've enjoyed being here more than he has, and the children have roots. I am totally STUCK.
Sorry it turned out so long..I feel like I am going to burst if I don't get it out. Thanks for reading such a long venting post!! Going to wipe the tears off my face and try and crack on with my normal stuff as though I'm fine. Which I'm used to after all these years.
When I look at him and at the state of our relationship, I am reminded why I felt compelled to drink.