My marriage is over, why are we still holding on?

by Angela
(New Orleans)

Im not the best storyteller but here it is: My husband and I have been married for 17 years, 2 children together, who are going off the college this fall. To make a really long story short, our relationship has been rocky for a very long time. He's cheated on me several times.

I'm not understanding how he was able to convince me any of those times that he deserved a second, third, forth chance. I think that's why i'm so numb at this point. But that's not our only issue. He is very critical of me, never says thank you. When his family is around he turns into this prick of a person. They secretly hate me but he will never admit it. He has an amazing relationship with his sister. They are inseparable. He shares everything with her. They have the relationship that I wished we could have. He'd definitely rather spend time with her than me, but lets me tag along 'sometime" just because. I feel sort of hostile towards her for that reason, but please understand, she's no angel. In the past, She has encouraged his infidelity on more than 1 occasion which another reason i'm not that fond of her.

There is definitely no intimacy. That's mostly my fault because I have no desire. I don't feel like I love him anymore but yet i seem to be miserable when we are apart. Ive put him out of the house on several occasions after a big fight. Any small conversation can lead to a massive blow up on either of out parts. He always states that we should split, and I've told him on several occasion that's exactly what he should do.

As if all of that isn't enough, we have problems communication. We don't talk like a married couple should, we are definitely not building together. He seems to get an attitude when anything good happens to me. He prefers to be around his sister, friends, and co-worker more than with me. When he is in conversations with any of them he seems vibrant and alive, I'm getting none of that. How does he expect me to want to be sexual with him after being consistently treated like that. He doesn't realize what he is doing. He thinks that
since he's home and he doesn't cheat anymore that he is being a good husband.

Now I must admit. He is a really good dad when it comes to providing for our kids. He provides their every need and almost all of the things they want. He feels like he is giving me money to meet my needs when he pays the utility bill or other household bill. Never anything personal. He has surprised me with flowers a few times, and usually buys gifts n special occasions. My children has watched this toxic relationship all of their lives and I pray they don't think this is what love is suppose to look like. My son sometimes gets disrespectful but especially when i'm disciplining him. My husband on several occasion has questioned my authority right in front of him so he has learned that he doesn't have to listen.

As i'm writing this i'm thinking, what is it left to question, you should have left a long time ago. What has been holding you there. Is it the kids, if so they are soon off to college. Sometimes I pray that he cheats so that i could have a tangible reason to flat off ask for a divorce. Why do i feel like i need more justification. At this point, i feel so numb. I've told myself to change the way I think, Ive told myself to try to forget the past and focus on the her and now. Only problem is,that the here and now isn't always that great.

Now don't get me wrong, we have good times. We go out to eat often, take trips yearly like any family would. Sometimes we even get along. He acknowledges that he was a horrible husband in the early part of our marriage but thinks that he is a good one now. He doesn't see how he treats me. Maybe he's right, maybe it is me. Maybe i'm still holding on to the things from the past, which wont allow me to love him anymore, i'm numb. He's shown no evidence of cheating these last pass few years but he feels like I'm not intimate with him enough. It's probably only a matter of time. I think he's scared to do so because he know it would be over.

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