I’m ready to get divorced

Technical glitch -- New post for Thursday coming at 10.

Hi Meredith,

I have only ever been romantically involved with two people in my life. There's my husband (we have two children) and my ex-boyfriend, whom I know with 100 percent certainty is my soul mate. We were together for three years when I was in high school. I am now in my late 30s. I broke up with my ex when I met my now-husband in college, a decision I have lived to regret ever since.

My husband doesn't show love at all. He comes home from work, eats, and isolates himself from the rest of the family for hours. He doesn't even come to bed until long after I have fallen asleep. He says he loves me but never shows it. He gets me nothing for holidays. He rarely communicates with me. I know he is not having an affair, but it is so isolating living with him. I try to communicate but he doesn't want to talk.

Two years ago, I ran into my ex (soul mate) and found out he was going through a divorce. He is still in love with me after all these years. I have gone to dinner with him several times to catch up. I disclosed to my husband that I was doing so and he didn't care. We have not had a physical affair but I am 100 percent in love with him. He wants to be with me and I want to be with him because I know my life would be so much happier. He calls me beautiful, texts me all day, writes me love letters, and protects me. I know our relationship would be the end game for me (marriage for life). All of this makes me feel extremely guilty. I don’t want to screw up my kids' life.

When I discuss divorce with my husband, he talks about moving out and staying with friends and doesn't seem to care, which makes me think he wants the same thing. How to I get the courage to make a move to get divorced? How do I pursue happiness without having the constant guilt that I am screwing up everyone's life around me?

– Sad in Mass.

Take your husband to a counselor and get a road map for splitting up. It sounds like you're both looking to take next steps; he's already thinking about to stay. A professional can explain how to separate in a responsible, thoughtful way. Really, all you need is a guide.

I know you're worried about the kids, and that's good! They're the priority right now, and their happiness and comfort should be part of that road map. Worth mentioning – when you get divorced in Massachusetts, you have to take a parenting class. I've heard it can be very, very helpful.

Please know that you can't expect your kids to fall into a new life just because you’ve found a soul mate. You will not be able to jump from one partner to the next. Honestly, that kind of pace isn't good for anyone.

There's no way to ease all of the guilt, but you need remember that if there's tension in the house, the kids probably notice. The status quo isn't working for anyone, I bet. That's another reason to make a move.

As you make plans, try to remember that this "soul mate" is a catalyst for your divorce, but he's not the solution to it. You're leaving your marriage because you're unhappy, and there are no guarantees that your childhood love will marry you forever. You're getting to know him all over again. Try not to rush it.

– Meredith

Readers? How do you start this kind of process?