Ultimately, you decide whether you will stay married or not. That part is your job, not ours.
If you do decide to separate and end up feeling relieved or that a burden has been lifted, that’s a normal response. You may be feeling many things when you separate and all of them are normal: fear, anger, sadness, excitement, relief, uncertainty, exhaustion, questioning yourself, freedom, loss, grief, happier, mad at yourself for “wasting” so long on this person, feeling robbed by him/her, and so on.
It may be confusing to experience so many conflicting feelings. How do you hold being happier and sadness at the same time? Yet you can.
Going through separation and divorce is a journey; you have to deal with lots of details and legal issues when you’re emotional and it takes a long time (in the actual dealing with paperwork and legal issues). Your feelings are to be expected to be all over the place. If you have kids, it’s a lifelong journey as there are all the key moments of your kids’ lives: birthdays, graduations, marriage, grand kids, etc. to figure out. I hope you can find it in your heart and mind to be friendly with your ex if you have kids as that’s what’s best for them.
Maybe you’re ready to date, but are officially still married. How will you handle that? Maybe you think you never want to date again. Normal.
If you are the one who left, it may be easier on you. But maybe not. If you were the one left it may be harder on you. You may wonder why you were left, what’s wrong? How am I lacking? And so on.
Whatever you’re feeling and whether you left or were left, talk to your friends or a clergy person or go to a divorce support group or find a therapist. This is a time of great change in your life and you can’t expect it to go smoothly.
Maybe it’s tough for you to be vulnerable or scared, but the truth is we are all vulnerable and scared at times. Opening yourself up to others’ support not only helps you, it allows others to give to you. Plus they know when they need you they can reach out, too.