want a divorce but realize I need to stay

Hi, I’ve gotten a lot of good advice listening to Brooke talk about her own divorce and talking to other scholars who’ve disclosed that they also want to be divorced. I’ve been married for 14 years and have been disappointed in how he shows up for most of this time. Through scholars I’ve realized that much of the circumstances that I thought were causing me feel bad are actually my thoughts about what I’m making it mean.

I did have a conversation with my husband and brought up the subject of divorce knowing that this could be very damaging and I was right, it has changed things. My husband is on the surface nice to me but there is no intimacy, he no longer wears his wedding ring and doesn’t usually talk with me unless the kids are in the room.

I’ve heard from Brooke that divorce was one of the hardest things she has done and that the work is really staying and offering love to the situation. So I’m trying to also be nice to him and show up with love without losing myself to feeling bad that I should do more (start intimacy) to make things feel better when I know deep down they are not.

I also worry what we are modeling for our kids, it feels like we are roommates who sleep in the same bed. I also feel like we need to stay married because this helps me protect my kids from some of his behavior. He’s not abusive but he didn’t grow up with a father in the house (his stepdad was only around on the weekends) and I don’t really see him parent very well. Any suggestions for how I can show up that will help me and my children in the most loving way.

My husband is so much like my father was to my mom, I really want to create something else for my kids to experience. My parents did get divorced and it was really hard on me and I want to create something better for my kids. How do I do this when I know I can’t change him, will it be enough if I change? I know I’ve heard from other scholars that this work has changed everything for them.