I have just joined this forum after reading your post.
I was simply looking through to see if this might be a place I might find helpful when I came across your description “15 years wasted” and I caught my attention instantly.
The more I read, the more I was shocked how similar our stories are.
I have also had the 15 years, best friend, he walked out, had relations with other women whilst separated, has a drinking problem, his personality changes dramatically when drinking (even a little), is emotionally abusive whilst intoxicated, projects anger onto me and others in the family, when I know we have done nothing to deserve it and it instead stems from an abusive upbringing.
However, this has been going on for more like 10 of our 15 years but it probably was gradually showing itself earlier but I didn’t realise.
We have children from previous relationships (mostly grown) and one together who is still a child.
I have endured all forms of chaos and haven’t been able to walk away because of the children.
I haven’t had financial independence from a job as life with an alcoholic doesn’t afford that luxury when the care of children is at stake.
I also haven’t had family at all as they just aren’t ‘available’.
I don’t make many friendships as others don’t need the drama and I don’t blame them. It’s so consuming I have very little else to talk about.
I wanted to reach out and let you know how similar our ‘ride’ is.
If you have a good family I would be very reluctant to leave that. I feel this would only isolate you further and I can’t help but feel this may sadly be his endgame. Once you have nobody left but him, he could feel more empowered and increase the disrespect towards you.
When he says he misses ‘us’ it sounds like he misses the times when perhaps you made him the centre of your world and he wants that back or to more of a degree than previous .This may be what he is trying to achieve (due to his own emotional issues) but this would not be a very happy place for you to be.
I am currently trying to navigate what I should be doing but the only thing I do know is I need to be looking after me. I need to do what is best for me (and the youngest child).
Exactly what that is changes from day to day so that’s how I’m tackling it.One day at a time. This is very hard since I am a planner and doer, I hate stagnating.
I hope this helps you in some way. Perhaps in the very least to know that your situation isn’t unique and it isn’t your fault.