I've been a very longtime reader of these forums and have learned so much. This is my first post and any advice or food for thought is welcome.
My husband and I have two children, ages 2 and almost 5. Our marriage has been difficult and painful for most of the 7 years we've been married, and after a few years of going back and forth about it, I know in my heart that the best thing for us is to divorce. That was actually the "easy" part, deciding that. My husband is not a bad person, but there are many, many ways in which we are incompatible, and I have not been able to find a way to make this a workable situation. We argue more than we get along. I do not experience joy with him. I feel affection for him because we share a lot of history, and he is a wonderful father and I love that about him. That's about it. Anyway.
I am financially able to support my girls, I have a good support network of family and friends to help me through this, and while my husband does not want a divorce, I have no reason to expect him to become violent or abusive toward me or the girls once I initiate the process. So in many ways, this will be a best-case-scenario divorce.
BUT--I am paralyzed with fear about my children's emotional health and their reactions to the divorce. I try to imagine putting them through the back-and-forth of joint custody and I just cry. I spend a few nights away from home per year for work-related travel and that's it, whereas my husband works such long hours that he is rarely around (and if he is, he's not "present," if you know what I mean). So they are used to having their mama here. Thinking about them trying to understand why they can't be with me all the time....worrying that they will think I don't love them as much anymore....the fear that they will feel abandoned by me....these are the only things that keep me in the marriage. I am so afraid of hurting them.
The girls have loving relationships with my husband so it's not like they're strangers to each other--it's just impossible for me to imagine them being away from me. I'm an adult, I can handle it, as hard as it will be not to have them with me every day...but they are babies. They don't understand.
And yet I worry that if I don't leave, I'm going to be this empty shell of a person for the rest of my life. Ugh, that sounds so melodramatic.
So I don't know exactly what I'm asking....but have you been there? Am I an idiot for thinking of putting them through this? Am I overreacting? Are they going to be okay?