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After many attempts to fix things my husband and I have begun the divorce process. We have been through counseling and tried all the things that people typically suggest. In the end we do not hate each other - we just don't love each other. He however, says that he wants to stay married. At this point it is in my hands.

Here is my issue..... I can't get past my overwhelming guilt that a choice to leave him will cause my children to suffer. I've read many posts about the "staying together for the kids" concept. I know where I stand on that issue. I just don't know if this guilt is normal. If it is, how long does it last?

My husband does not beat me or anything. We do a real good job of night fighting in front of the children, although yes, I am sure they sense the tension. I just can't get through this overwhelming guilt and it is making me want to stay with a man that I don't love just so I don't have to face the guilt. Can I expect that this feeling will ever go away?
 

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In my case (divorced when my kids were 3, 5, 8) I felt incredibly guilty knowing that this choice meant breaking up all they knew as 'family'...I did have a sense that I failed them. My eldest son was most affected as he was close to his dad and unfortunately, his dad used him as a sounding board which caused a lot of conflict and anger issues with him through his teen years. Strange because my ex remarried 2 months after our divorce was final :scratchhead: but my ex has always demanded a lot of attention emotionally.

Now, 14 years later (remarried for 11) I see more positives than negatives. My husband (their step-dad) is a great role model for them. I cannot even imagine what my life (and mental state) would be like if I were still in an unhappy marriage, so while divorce is never ideal when children are involved, I no longer feel guilty about it.
 

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I had/have the same issue. It's a tough thing to deal with but you have to just tell yourself that the after-divorce life is your new life. And not mope on how it "used to be". At least that's what I've told myself. Focus on the new life.

I'm still married and living at home but we have separated twice so my kids (12 and 9) are used to the idea. I'll be filing this summer for sure.

Good luck.
 

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I am the same way. The way I deal with it is being the best single parent I can be to my kids and realize thatt he marriage we used to have will never come back. This is the new normal for my family. I still have moments where I wonder if I did the right thing, but with counseling and making sure my kids are doing OK, I try and make it work. Also, knowing I would have failed them miserably had I stayed with my ex because I was so unhappy. There are better days ahead and I know this now. I know how hard it is in the beginning if this is the choice you need to make. You are not alone.
 

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The kids will be better off seeing parents who make positive decisions, stick up for life and you'll both always be their parents. That never goes away.

The lesson they see with miserable / passionate parents does more long term harm than good.
 

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Thanks for the great responses! I appreciate the support. I have always had the attitude that my children come first. It feels like divorcing their father (that is not abusive in any way and whom they love) is not fair to them. At the same time I know that my husband and I do not love each other. The guilt from this just feels overwhelming.
 

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No need to feel guilty. You have the difficult task of balancing your immediate needs with your children's long term needs and you do the best you can. When your kids grow up and want to get married themselves, they will have more than enough potential partners from similar backgrounds
 

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Anybody here who has followed my story knows I am going through a similar period of soul-searching. It's good to know that it's normal and that the kids can turn out OK as long as put in the effort to be the best single dad I can be.

I don't want to break up my son's little world. But the strange accusations, paranoia, and arguments that we continue to have can't be good for him. And I am so emotionally spent every day that I just can't always focus on him like I need to.

My mom and dad did stay together for the kids. In their generation, that's what people did. I knew my entire life that they were miserable together. They did finally divorce after 31 years...after I was already married.

I never got a chance to experience a healthy relationship firsthand. And I think that may have conditioned me to accept that it was normal for two people to be miserable. So I didn't keep my eyes as open going into my marriage as I should have, and I missed some HUGE red flags!

I really wish maybe my parents had divorced earlier. As it is, both of them are spending their declining years miserable, alone and sad. Maybe if they had parted ways 15 years earlier, they would have had a better outcome.

Anyway, whatever happens to my marriage, I want my son to be OK.

Jennifer, I hope you will be OK. You've gotta do what you think it best. Take care!
 
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