My marriage is a big personal void

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From the outside, my family looks perfect. Great house, lovely kids, level-headed and giving parents. However, my spouse and I have not been truly romantic in well over a decade.

He is sorry, but violated trust to such a degree back in the day that I doubt I will ever think of him as more than a friend (we are good friends, though). Multiple rounds of marriage counseling have been helpful to keep the peace, but have not lead to full reconciliation. Any "relations" we had ended the night our youngest was conceived, and that child attends public school, to give a rough estimate of how long that's been. I can't imagine wanting to kiss him. There is no deep connection. But I get paralyzed anytime I think about the impact of a divorce on the kids. There is no fighting, in fact everything is generally amicable. There is just a big personal void.

When is it OK to let go? Or, how bad *is* divorce on kids?

– Married

A reminder: I am not a child psychologist – or a psychologist for grownups. What you're getting here is opinions and ideas.

Just wanted to say that before I tell you I think you should get a divorce.

My parents got divorced when I was a pre-teen. Did it mess me up? Break my consistent home life? Teach me that no relationship can be permanent? Maybe. But I would say I already knew I was living in a tense home, and that as much as it did some of those negative things, it also let me breathe a big sigh of relief.

Even when my parents weren't fighting, I could sense my mother's "personal void" from a mile away. That's what made me stressed and sad.

The divorce taught me a great lesson – that I was allowed to make changes if I became unhappy. Would you want your own child to sit in a relationship that feels this way? You'd probably tell them to prioritize themselves and find a new path. I think people can learn so much about their own worth by watching parents figure out how to make a better life for themselves.

Keep in mind, my parents got divorced decades ago, when less people were separating and talking about it with ease. There's information and support that didn't exist back then. Your children would not be the only kids on the block with parents in different homes.

I am not your kids, and I don't know what they notice or how they'd take any of this. Regardless, you can show them they come first (the most important thing) and find a better life at the same time.

Consider going back to therapy with your husband, this time to get on the same page about a new arrangement.

– Meredith

Readers? Your take? Thoughts? Can you share your experiences on any side of this?