Hello, I am Rafael. Thanks for asking your question - I'm here to support you. (Information posted here is not private or confidential but public).
I am very sorry to know about this frustrating and challenging situation.
What I see from your story is that even when you say you thought you had a happy marriage, you appear to have been suffering of anxiety, perhaps depression, a lot of stress and other serious issues, from weight problems, to financial issues, and apparently a lot of frustration in your marital relationship because of being very different in some areas, and your husband's apparent inability and unwillingness to make effective changes and get concrete results as a responsible and mature adult.
I also see that you have made wonderful progress about taking better care of your physical health, and that's what has obviously boost your self-esteem and self-confidence, and that plus the frustration, routine from your marital life and daily stress and overwhelming responsibilities could push anybody in your shoes to experience the episode you just described here with this old boyfriend.
Obviously this has been shocking for you and hurtful to your husband too, but I think it has been necessary for both of you to become more aware of how you have been taking care of your marriage and what areas need change and improvement, for you to truly take better care of yourselves as individuals and of your marital and family life.
Anxiety, when becoming this overwhelming, is a real tough disorder to cope with, and this is why necessary professional support is essential, and while medication could bring some relief to your symptoms, it cannot allow you to rehabilitate from it, but mostly numb such symptoms, and this is why it is through psychotherapy that we can truly and effectively work on the core issues behind our feelings and behaviors, fueling anxiety and hurting us. Obviously this is not easy at all, since it requires taking full responsibilitlity for everything we think, feel, choose and do, but it is also absolutely necessary and worthy.
Does it make sense?
Marriage do not have to become boring, without passion nor real joy, but since they do require a lot of hard work because of the multiple responsibilities, challenges and difficulties they present, spouses need to work as a real team in order not to get undermined by all these situations, so you could not only survive but truly enjoy your marital life, feeling there is no better life partner for you, and that both are giving your best to make it work, with necessary support.
He would have to work on making personal improvements for sure, in order to be able to play a healthier and constructive role in your marriage and your family. I believe this could be a core source of dysfunction and dissatisfaction, and he must address it if he truly wants to take good care of himself and of all of you as his wife and family.
Thus individual psychotherapy for each of you and marriage therapy seem to be very important for you to actually work on these core areas, to fulfill your personal and mutual core needs and expectations. Again, this is a lot of work, but is the only effective way to build and enjoy a fulfilling and healthy marital an d family life.
I am sorry to know about your child's congenital problems and to see how tough things have got for you. You are absolutely right, without your husband being truly able and willing to acknowledge the role he plays in your marriage and family, taking full responsibility for his choices and actions, it would b unrealistic to expect significant improvements in your marital relationship. You can and should always work on yourself since this is the only area you can control besides of taking good care of your children who depend on you, while he is the only one with the power and responsibility to do the same.
If he refuses to even acknowledge and start doing something proactive and responsible about it, things would not improve in your marital relationship. The lack of local professional psychotherapeutic services could be resolves through online counseling services, which would allow you to get professional expert support, everything would depend on how well each of you commit to this process.
JustAnswer does not directly offers any counseling or psychotherapeutic service, but has just started a Beta program allowing some experts to offer counseling services online whether though confidential text chat or via other interfaces like Skype.
Customers would have to post a new question-request through a specific category and accept offer for counseling session/charge. after that private contact information could be exchanged and session scheduled.
Absolutely, it does make perfect sense and seems necessary and consistent with your hopes and expectations for healing and growth in your marital relationship, while the other option seems to expose yourself to risky situations that could only undermine your marriage and its healing process.
You're very welcome. Thank you for your trust. Please feel free to contact me if you have any further questions and to follow up, since I am here willing to support you as possible. Take gentle care and consistent action.
(Please remember to rate session before leaving chat, thanks).