Dragonfly and Gabrielle (and anyone else):
Please see the post/poll I put up today (11/17). Tho my husband (we have decided to split) is awful as a husband, he's not bad as a friend/housemate/co-parent. In terms of emotional support for me, and help with the really hard stuff ( getting up with dd at nite), I have been a single mom since my babe was born. However, having dad in the house makes life a lot easier in some ways, and I think much nice for my dd than us living apart would. Especially since she loves hanging out with dad, as long as I'm nearby. She is 18 mos. old, and has major separation anxiety, even when she's with her papa, so having to leave me to be with him (our plan is/was 3 eves, 4-8/wk., half the weekend with him, the rest of the time with me - he works days, I stay home with her).
It's interesting to note, Dragonfly, that, yes, you can be a "single mom" or feel like one, when you're married, living with your partner. It's hard not to envy my friends who have loving, supportive husbands who not only give them love and caring, but also share a lot of the really hard parts of parenting.
I know that there is a huge weight off my shoulder since we admitted we cannot be together, and since I started telling people. I never spoke openly about how bad it was, cuz I knew people would think I was crazy for staying, but I knew I wasn't ready to leave yet. So I hid the bad and highlighted the good, and now people (even those closest to me) are surprised to hear what it was really like. And it's a relief to be able to tell the truth. I just felt so ashamed before, being the kind of person that would stay in a bad marriage, and let myself be treated so poorly. I knew that if I was honest about how bad it really was, people who love me would tell me I had to get out, and I couldn't fathom having them know the truth but see that I wasn't getting out.
My husband is not abusive (tho his witholding all intimacy and complete non-communicativeness and ignoring me feels emotionally abusive) and he works very hard doing construction to turn over every penny to us, just to barely make ends meet, so that I can stay home with dd (tho I can make more money than him at an easier job). He loves our baby and tho he isn't as involved as I would like him to be, he spends a lot of time with her and genuinely adores her. He wouldn't be a bad person to live with, if you weren't married to him.
I'm wondering that if we can continue an amicable relationship, would it be better for all involved if we stayed living together, as housemates and co-parents? Can you really make an emotional break from your X if you do that, really be available for eventually getting involved with someone else?