She doesn't take care of herself and due to the medical condition she has I'll be surprised if she makes it another 10 years, if she keeps going like this.
I think she benefits from people swooping in to rescue her or to be sympathetic to her or give her a free pass on things like quitting jobs or not working or being tired/depressed because of her getting sick so much and her inability to drive (i mean jesus, the amount of time i spent during the marriage driving her around... and the new guy is doing the same thing). I'm sure it's not pleasant day to day on a conscious level, but it seems like it's some sort of toxic, dysfunctional comfort zone. Ugh. I can't believe I put up with that shit for roughly 8 years.
Anyway, back to our regularly scheduled programming.
My exWH is a professional with a graduate level degree. But he's also one of the most practically stupid people I've ever met. I didn't always think this way, but now, I often think to myself, "was he really this stupid when we were married?". He has almost no common sense, no knowledge of how to handle money, and no parental instincts whatsoever. He's like an alien life form who can't function around normal, reasonable, rational thinking people.
I guess we see what we want through the eyes of love. Once that love disappears, look out - those masks drop off quick and we see them for who and what they really are.
But once I stepped back and saw what I was putting up with after DDay... let's just say that I spackled the heck out of my XWH, who was a moldy basement wall that was flaking away. I realized that it was time to knock the wall down since there wasn't any enough spackle in the world to hold it together.
At the time, you just think, " this is what needs to be done, so I'll do it.". Then after the discovery of the A and the level of betrayal that they dumped on us, you start to realize how lop sided everything was and how much you over functioned to over compensate for a partner who failed at a lot of the practical, essential parts of life.
I looked past so many things because I knew that love and marriage weren't supposed to be like Harlequin romance novels where the male romantic lead is either perfect or changed into perfect by the female lead's love for him. I figured that we both had our quirks, and we took the good with the bad.
When I think about the way I made excuses for him to my friends, to my children, to myself. "He's a nice guy, treats me well and is good to me even if he is a)depressed b)unemployed and not looking for work c)smoking a pack a day of cigarettes that I've paid for d)drinking too much rum that I've paid for. I'd say "he'll get better, once he finds a job", or "once the kids leave home he will have a better relationship with them." or whatever
There were some good years early on, but wtf was I thinking those last two or three years? I often think that his AP did me a favor....
some sort of toxic, dysfunctional comfort zone
It is nice to have the old dreams, but it's nicer to have a clear head, to not have to deal with the crap I used to ignore, and to be making ACTUAL PROGRESS towards making things better and developing a new set of dreams.
(I mean, actual measurable progress! I never had that when I was married, other than stuff I worked on completely on my own, like work and school. Everything else just got gradually worse over time.)