Divorcing after 22 years it will be 23 on the 25th. this is the most difficult thing I have been through. The marriage has always been difficult and had ups and downs. she says there was never anything good about it, and she never loved me it was simply codependency, I was a functional alcoholic for most of the marriage and found recovery four years ago. I went to rehab and quit. During my drinking I was very controlling and all of the things that go along with it. We have four children 19, 16, 15, and 9. two boys and two girls. They are amazing children. She stayed home most of the marriage and I worked. When I got sober it was under difficult terms I had hit bottom and was arrested, during the final few months I was drinking to blackout and not present. When I went to rehab I was ready to quit and I wanted it very badly. I wanted to give her the husband and marriage she wanted and I wanted to give my children the dad they needed. I was away from them for 9 months. when we got back together she told me she had an affair with my best friend and it had been going on for a year and a half. I was devastated, but knew I could forgive her. It took a long time and I finally was able to let it go. He lived next door and I lived next to him seeing him every day until he finally moved a year later. I continued to work my program and get better. She was hesitant to get counseling or attend a support group. she finally started attending al anon and seemed to be growing. I was working hard to grow myself and the process was slow, I still had some old habits to let go of, control, nothing like when I drank but still there. As I grew and she maintained her position she held onto behaving like I still drank and would hold to caregiver roles and seemed to be holding me to past behavior, I would get frustrated and she would lash out in fear that I was going to react as I did. I was crying out to be released from how I was to who I was becoming. She always though that if I quit drinking it would make everyone better. it did to some degree but she could not give in to her own recovery. the environment became very difficult. She would lash out and I would react. We would get along for a few days and then be back to arguing. I do not blame her at all, I take all of the blame, I married this beautiful creature and did not treat her as she needed to be. I could not recover enough for the both of us. Somehow our children came out pretty ok, I credit her. In recent months we grew apart as I hit bottom with my own childhood abuse issues I had been holding on to and having had enough, I sought counseling and began a new phase of recovery, she was established in al anon and we just seemed to grow apart, she became less interested in sex and when we did she was not there. We continued to argue and I struggled to try to hold on to her. I wanted so desperately to heal completely and be a hundred percent present for her. it was such a difficult time for both of us. She had her own issues of sexual abuse that she had not dealt with and a mother that gave her little support and was very critical. I became in her eyes every man that ever mistreated her, her mother and anyone that had crossed her. she shut down and hardened her heart. our oldest daughter moved out and wife blamed me. everything just unraveled. I had lost my job and she went to work part time, resentfully. by this time I was absorbing blame for everything. 45 days ago she served me with divorce papers, at my new job. in spite of the situation I was hurt, confused, afraid and every other emotion I could think of. I had been working to make some big changes and hoping it would be enough to get us back on track. She moved into another room and I did as well. We have been sharing the same home and it has been up and down. I have tried to speak with her and every conversation makes her angry and she pulls away. I have given her space and she is fine but if I say the wrong thing, sometimes good morning or hello, it can trigger her and then she either pushes buttons or all out attacks. I find that I get sucked into it sometimes feeling I need to defend myself, she sends mixed messages saying I could change this or that and it might make a difference. or talking about the future as if we are staying married. when she gets too close she reminds us that divorce is eminent. Prior to filing she read some books on codependency and diagnosed both of us. yes there were some symptoms, but without counseling it was difficult to tell exactly what could be done. I do love her deeply but she says it is only out of need, I have searched every corner of my heart and I do love her, she is the only woman I have ever loved. Her damage is too great and I cannot get through the wall she has put up. She no longer trust me which is the core of our issues I guess. She says maybe if we both get healthy we could come back together. I don't know if I buy it. I sense a lot of guilt on her part. I don't know her anymore. She is so bitter and angry, She clings to our children and they are becoming her support and comfort, I don't think in a healthy way. I worry for them and will miss seeing them every night. All I ever wanted in my life was a family. I am beating myself up and hold onto all of the blame. I have become depress and have trouble focusing. I did not get an attorney, her requests are reasonable and I see no need to battle her or be in an adversarial role. Some say I have been to kind. I do not think that is possible when you love someone. I need to learn to let go, I have a bit but it is difficult, I guess the mind is willing but the heart holds on to hope. I fear being alone after 23 years and I fear being single. I fear leaving our home, I built a lot of it myself, it was for her. I am confused about so much and so anxiety ridden. I feel like a shell of myself. My self esteem is just non-existent she has told me so many times how I damaged her and made her feel bad. She has not been able to let go of anything. It is heartbreaking. I am pretty sure she is not seeing anyone, that is neither here nor there, I guess. The fact is we are divorcing. I have so much regret and shame, I feel like a complete failure.