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I've been married for 7 1/2 years. We rushed into getting married because of ongoing custody issues with his ex-wife (we were living together, but he couldn't have the kids and me at the house at the same time. I got tired of leaving every weekend for a hotel or out of town, so we "eloped" to the court house). While the 7 years haven't all been bad, the bad outweighs the good. About 3 months into the marriage, I went on an out of town trip, and found a chat session with another woman, which consisted of an exchange of nude pictures as well as the last line with directions to our house. He insisted she didn't come over, and I chose to move past it for the sake of the kids.

Fast forward a few years, and we did get full custody of the kids (mother lives out of the state - hasn't seen them in over 2 years, and only a couple times a year before that). I have caught him having conversations with other women multiple times. But, as I am the one to support the kids (at this point, I believe them to be my own in my heart), I've never been able to end it. Over the last 6 months to a year, it has gotten worse. I am now paying 90% of the bills, and almost everything related to the kids. I don't know where all his money goes (we keep our finances extremely separate), but he is always broke. He comes home late every night (gym trips take upwards of 3 hours) and does next to nothing to help around the house. I am responsible for all things related to the kids, the house, bills, everything.

I am almost positive he is yet again with someone else, but honestly do not care enough to bother checking. We mostly sleep in separate rooms, unless he has an "urge", and comes into our bedroom. If I have any health issues, I still don't get any support or help. But, I have never been able to adopt the kids, so I know that legally I have no rights over them. If we were to divorce, I have no hope of getting any type of custody, and I know that he will not support them or be there for them the way they need and deserve. I keep counting down the years until they are out of high school (5 more to go) and I can escape. It feels like a prison sentence at this point - with no hope of parole. But, I know that I can never leave my kids. However, I am so unhappy all the time, I also don't know how much longer I can continue. Any happiness I have occurs when its just me and the kids or if I'm away for work. I can feel myself getting depressed when he walks in the door. Weekends are intolerable if there are no sports or activities for the kids, because I don't want to be around him. At the same time, we rarely fight, and almost live as cold roommates. It's not healthy and not the relationship example I want for the kids, but not disruptive either.

What options do I have?
 

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I hate to say it....none. If you want to stay in the children's lives until they turn 18, you have to stick it out. And may I commend you on being a great step mom. If my husband ever passed or we divorced I would hope that someone like you would come into their lives.
 
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