I have a very good friend, who is married with two children. She has suffered about ten years of verbal abuse (though at times the abuse is not too bad) and has been separated but living together for the last sixteen months.
She has met someone who is very good for them but is at a stage where she feels scared and paralyzed to commit to a divorce because of the fear of a) not being able to see her girls everyday and b) the financial impact of selling the house and c) she still enjoys the family days with her children and their dad together as a family even though most days are difficult.
There is also the feeling of guilt she is facing for going out with another men and she is starting to see them less whilst she is in this state of confusion.
No matter what I say to try to help her move forward, and that life can be happier on her own with just her children, she can't see past that and is on the path of just staying put in the house and putting up with the abuse at times, just for the sake of the children.
Has anyone else been in a similar situation or can offer some advice to her? She just seems so weak and its upsetting to see. Her parents have not helped because they would prefer for her to just live in the same house for the sake of their grandchildren not being upset.
The grandparents speak with the wisdom of age. Relationships warm up, get hot, and then burn out; so falling out is inevitable. If she divorces in order to pursue another relationship, it will come at a cost to her children, and she will eventually burn out on the new relationship and end up faced with the same choice of leaving or staying with an old friend for the sake of companionship.
Since she has problems with her children's father, it is probably best for them to separate, and if divorce is necessary for financial reasons or other protections, then it should be used as a legal tool without putting too much faith in it as something more.
Ultimately, parents' priority should be their children and they should make sacrifices in the children's interest. She may not be able to live with her children's father peacefully, but ultimately they are going to have to work out a way to do the right thing for their children, so whether they divorce or not, the priority should be the children and starting new relationships is only going to complicate things more than they already are.