I need your counsel and prayers.
I am a 40 year old man, never married, and I have lived with a certain family for the last 14 years. It is an odd arrangement, but I make good money, H never has, and so this allows me to provide for the children, who are very dear to me, and who would otherwise have struggled. There are three children (one now an adult) from W's prior marriage and two from this one; I have been a fixture in their lives.
Recently, H and W have separated, and H has moved out, very much against his will. W clearly wants a divorce; she refused entreaties to go to counseling. One of her complaints against H is that he has allowed his family to be dependent on me for 14 years. While she has tried to hide it, I know that since H moved out, W has been seeing a man from her (evangelical non-denom) church, and often talks to him on the phone for hours a day. On more than one occasion, she hasn't come home until morning. I know about him because I've been snooping, which I am ashamed of. I have, however, been able to restrain myself from asking her any questions at all about her activities.
I do have a history with W, she had a crush on me since high school, she was my third (and last) girlfriend in a relationship that was sexual and lasted only three months, and which occurred while she was separated from her first H. She dumped me. I was devastated, she was just fine. She was in precarious finances at the time, and her kids had become very dear to me, so I helped to support her after this. Soon they came to live under my roof. Soon after, she started dating the current H, and manipulated me into allowing him to live with us, because he really needed a place to stay. She knew how much I loved the kids and used that against me. They did not actually marry for a couple of years. She even insisted that, though they were sleeping in the same bed, they weren't having sex! :rolleyes: And then made me feel guilty for suggesting it. Of course, I wasn't stupid enough to believe that, but I was always thinking of the kids, and she would threaten to move out. That was a really bad time for me.
The years pass, two new boys are born, we have settled into an equilibrium. H has become a bit of a brother to me. For most of this time I have been relatively content to think of myself as remaining single. The idea of wife and family has an appeal, but it just didn't seem like that was my lot. The steady hum of life in a house full of kids kept the loneliness at bay. Until last weekend. I was reading Peter Kreeft's 'The God Who Loves You' and was suddenly struck by a revelation of just how selfish and angry I am. I saw how even my acts of generosity often had me at the center, and how my constant irritation and caustic tongue wounded everyone. I spent the weekend weeping and praying.
I saw that I have nothing. I saw a future of loneliness. I feel old, invisible, and unloved. I feel that if W and kids were to leave tomorrow, I would just as soon be dead. Now I get barely any sleep, and my weight has dropped because I don't want to eat. I am always in a panic to know what W is up to (hence the snooping), even though I really already know. I don't know if this is jealousy or despair. But I know that I have nothing else.
I have been caught in orbit around the Church for years. This has given me the final push, and I have enrolled in RCIA starting next month. From what I have read in these forums, I should probably expect to be lonely in the Church as well. I try to submit to God's will. I pray that God will grant me the gift of his love. It is very hard to go on.
I'm sorry this is so long. I'm sure I seem like the world's biggest chump. If I had any heart left, I would laugh.