I understand what you mean when you say "...I feel like a good mom should sacrifice her own personal desires and comforts in favor of her kids'." I still struggle with this thought even having made the choice that I did. I feel torn about all of my decisions still and I'm saddened by my 5 year olds questions about leaving his dad. And I question if my 4 year olds aggression is due to just the life change that has/is taking place in her little world.
What I do know tho even amidst all the trials, transition and pain of the last year and some months... I am stronger, happier and capable of way more than I ever imagined. I know that when things do settle down I'm going to be a really great mother and have loads to offer them because I'm happier and have faith and confidence in myself and I'm better at giving to others.
Also tho...the stress of divorce, money, time, jobs etc...has added a tremendous amount of stress to my life. I've had a lot of unfortunate situations occur with my living situation and with my transportation that has honestly been the most stressful. I think if things had worked out where I didnt have to move so many times....I would have had less stress and in turn been a better mom. Losing my vehicle and just the traffic accidents due to stress/lack of concentration has created more stress.
I do feel tho that I am sacrificing this time of life in their lives and disrupting their life because of my choices. Would I have left their dad still knowing what I know now?? I still think I would have. I found someone. A very strong, kind man who has proven himself to me and is trustworthy and loves my children. I had no intention of getting into any kind of relationship and questioned it...especially since I'm not divorced or legally separated yet. I struggle with feeling like I'm disrespecting my ex....but I think I'm beyond that probably since I left him. But I forget I do deserve to be happy and I didn't plan to meet anyone yet I did.
So much has happened and still is happening (another story for another day...) and this new man, been there in so many ways that I've never experienced. We have passion. I've never had passion before. Not just romantically or sexually, but yes those are good and way better than I ever imagined...but emotionally and in our conversations. That was something I lacked and never felt entitled too. Having gotten married at 21 and just grabbing the first guy who was stable and nice...I settled. I did settle well. He was/is kind, loving, stable....but we were friends. I got to the point where I wanted to die...really. I knew I needed to leave. I do feel guilt daily but its lessening as time goes by and as things settle.
You should be happy. Perhaps theres a way he can remain engaged with your kids and you guys can come to some sort of agreement where you live separate and divorced. Or depending on how open you both are maybe and open marriage...I did try and open relationship last year at some point...its very interesting and I did enjoy it for some time...a little nontraditional but oh well-its your life. I also asked the ex to consider that but due to the religious aspect that our marriage was centered around...that suggestion was shot down with fire and brimstone.
Your kids will know if you are "tolerating" their dad. They'll observe your relationship and come to see that as what a relationship should look like....I don't think thats a good example either. I would think that two parents engaged on a regular/consistent basis with their children would be a better example. But thats just my thoughts. Again I struggle with guilt too about most all of this stuff.
I think you deserve to be happy and have your desires met. I think a childs mom modeling happiness is very important...shit life is hard! Our kids need to see us trying to work out life and fight for happiness versus settling for something...but again its a personal choice.
Whatever you decide I'm here. I won't judge you and you can share whatever you want. Its all murky waters and I think each person has to make their own choice cause they have to live with the implication of that choice.
ps. hope this all makes sense I'm kind of tired and don't want to proofread..sorry..long week and my back is killing me. But if you have ?'s bout any of it feel free to ask. :)
Another reason I chose to leave the time I did was because I realized it would probably be easier when their this age than when their older