it is unacceptable to have a spouse who can not share intimacy with me. Who can not be vulnerable and can not express love in a way that I feel is genuine. The way he that he is comfortable avoiding difficult conversations even if they are important to me, makes me feel devalued and unloved. We are on different playing fields, trying to play the same game but it just isn't working.
This is what I want to say but I also think if I could just let go of or modify the things I need then I could accept things the way they are. It's not that bad.
I think the above describes the way I lived my married life - 30 years.
I found ways to be content enough, living off the crumbs, without much of a real relationship - while he pursued what he "had to have", or his "childhood dreams".
I took care of the bills, the home, the kids and their education - so he could build a boat, study music, pursue a new career, using up all his free time in doing so. He steered the boat while I set the sails, stood watch, bailed the water, scrubbed the decks, fed the crew.... We weren't a team. He was the captain - aloof and detached studying his charts.
Take away the infidelities, and it wasn't a horrible life. It wasn't awesome - but we were in it together, or so I thought. Life was hard, marriage was hard, I soldiered on.
But factor in the infidelities -- And what the F*ck was I thinking? For me the betrayal, the lies - they changed everything.
It was one thing thinking he wasn't capable of intimacy, or of sacrificing for the overall good of the family, or of compromising just a bit of his time for me or the kids, or of showing appreciation. But to know he gave that time to others, feigned intimacy with others, went out of his way to make them feel special - that was unacceptable - that is where I drew the line.
What was most surprising was how little changed in everyday life - with him gone. I didn't miss him, I mean what was there to miss really... I still carry the weight of holding everything together. Only now I spend my free time seeing to what I would like or need - rather than making sure he had everything he wanted.
The hardest part for me isn't being alone now - it is reconciling that I was always alone and accepted it as a life, called it a marriage.
I'm not saying our circumstances are parallel, oblivious, but what you have written is familiar so I thought I'd share my take.
It isn't so bad adding Captain to my list of duties - when I recognize that the old captain was always trailing behind his own personal life raft, stocked and ready to abandon ship when the seas got too rough.
Strength to you.