D-Day was about 6 months ago, and I feel more lost than ever. BH and I are separated as we decide whether to R or D. For me the hardest questions to answer are those that were present pre-A.
My needs for affection had not been met for several years. I had talked to my husband about this countless times. He would try to change, but his efforts were inauthentic...not done out of a desire to do them, but checking off an item off a list. Approached like returning a work email. He always felt like I was critical of him, and not appreciative of the good that he brought to the relationship like being a good dad and provider. He felt put off by my advances and attempts for "closeness". I became a drain on him, rather than a bright spot in his day.
That horrible dynamic was created by both of us. Not blaming him. I never meant to be critical or unappreciative, but clearly I did not approach fixing these issues in a way that he felt loved.
To clarify, the needs that I wanted met, were talking about the little things in our day, hugs, cuddling, a smile when he walked in the door, and a general attitude that he liked me. He concedes that my wants were not irrational, but for some reason could not meet them.
A lot of WS say , "I love you, but I am not in love with you." In our case, I have always felt that this is how HE felt about ME. He admits that there are times sprinkled throughout the marriage that he felt "in love" but the majority of the time he felt distant and resented me. He felt that I was critical and needy. He didn't share his feelings, and over time got angry that his feelings were swept under the rug. He admits he was part of the problem on this.
Now at this juncture, he has admitted that he needs my full commitment and honest security in the relationship. I had been "behaving" in regards to the OM, and thought that this was security. But I have realized that this is wrong. Because I have not resolved this for myself, I have only been following the rules of what I have should be doing. I do not feel that I can offer honest security until I work through the emotional aspects of the A. And I need to choose to do this for myself, not as if my Daddy is enforcing a curfew.
I want my marriage to work. I love this man very much, as he is a wonderful person. But I also know that he may not be able or want to be affectionate and "close". He is very introverted, and now add the wounds I have inflicted, extremely guarded...as he should be. Is there a way for me not to need this from him? Can I alter my needs and expectations to be happy in a relationship with these flaws?
If I need the affection and intimacy, I feel like it is so selfish that my family would live differently based on that. But I don't want to promise my BH some level of peace with this, if it is not possible for me.
How in the world do I clean up this big freaking mess? How do I know what I really need?