Hello, please don't beat yourself up Wannabe. They do everything they can to get us back, make promises, sweet talk us, tell us what we want to hear. It can be really difficult to fight them off. You trusted him and you love him despite all he has done to you and keeps on doing to you.
I am not surprised your kids adore him, he is the "fun" parent. He probably does nothing but play with them and undermine you. That is what they want, not what they need. You are what your children need.
Are you able to go to your local DV center and perhaps seek counselling to help you figure out a plan to move on? It doesn't have to be this way Wannabe..it really doesn't. I know it isn't easy and it may be the hardest thing you have ever done, but leaving him will the very best thing you can do for you and your children.
Everyday is a new day to try and figure out a plan for you that will work. You can call a DV hotline and talk to a counselor about figuring out how to put a safe plan into place so you can leave. You don't have to stay Wannabe..you don't. You can leave, take your children, and go to some place safe. It isn't going to be ideal to start, but everyday is a new opportunity to change your situation.
Wannabe..you matter. You matter so much and deserve to be happy, healthy and not live in fear. You left once, you can do it again. Prove him wrong this time, leave and don't look back. Someday your children will understand. They see the abuse, they may not understand it, but they see it and they are being affected by it. What he does to you is not love, it is abuse. You don't deserve to be abused, you deserve to be happy, and you deserved to be loved and cherished and kept safe.
You can be free Wannabe..you really can. As the saying goes.."You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think"
You deserve love, kindness, joy, safety, and guilt free living. You can walk away again..you honestly can. And anyone who blames you for being the problem? They are the problem, not you!