So, my wife wants a divorce. She can see how my problems make it hard for her, and she isn't willing to try any more. She sees how her problems make things hard for me, too, but she thinks I'm stupid or crazy or something for wanting to keep trying. She's depressed, and she can't see it, and no one she trusts can either. Nothing I say at this point is any good. When she is feeling good, she thinks it will work, and she wants to wait out the problem, but even then, she isn't willing to make the right effort to fix things, because she's afraid. She's convinced that what I need is really just a want, and it's a want for codependency. I don't want that. She tells me all the time that I never take responsibility for my actions, but she wants me to find the part of every problem for which I am to blame, and consider that the root cause, while she does the same, find the part that is my fault, not hers. She hasn't always been like this, but something has changed recently, and every time we take a step forward, she finds a different step backward to take. When she first asked for a divorce, she just assumed she wouldn't have a relationship for a while. Now she wants me to tell her that I think it would be OK for us to have an open relationship, so that she can develop romantic relationships with other people, and I can be left out in the cold. She won't admit it, even to herself, it seems, but that's what she wants. She has point blank told me that she wishes she could have all the benefits of staying married (which were mainly based around the kids and her having things easier, and some mistaken idea that I would be happy to have a half-marriage) and also all the benefits of being single. She's been obsessing about this for a couple of years, and only recently started talking to me about it. She sees me as sicker than I am, and for a long time defined her life around that idea, in spite of evidence, and so now she can't remember me not being helplessly depressed. She goes to counseling appointments with me, but when I bring up a topic that's hard, she shuts down. She gets angry and won't talk things out. She feels attacked if I say what I think, even if it's neutral, and she feels yelled at if I talk to her when I'm angry, even if I'm not angry with her and bend over backwards to express that. She is critical of my efforts, and she complains of me walking on eggshells all the time, while blowing up randomly.
And yet, when things are good, they are very good. She is still my best friend, the one I can bounce strange ideas off of, who will tell me what she thinks without lying and without being too stupid to understand. She still wants to want to, somewhere inside of her, and sometimes that pokes through. She just is scared, and is sure that I can no longer offer her comfort when she's scared, because I'm not competent to do so, even though I do it, almost every day, in lots of little ways, she only notices the ones I fail at. Right now I'm feeling particularly empty.
It doesn't help that my DD is becoming defiant, and making our life hell. She's been taking all my time for a week, and is starting to take my wife's time as well. The other kids are feeling neglected, the chores aren't getting done, I'm falling behind on everything I need to do around the house, she's falling behind at work, because my DD won't even try to adjust to her new school. She has decided that she would be being false to herself to try to like it, because right now she doesn't. The added stress is not helping anything between my wife and I. I want to turn the challenge with my DD into a mutual enemy, but I feel she won't let me. It's always either I deal with it or she deals with it, or we have to find an agreement but she doesn't like the way I've been going about things so it would have been better if she had just done everything from the start.