Long time, yadda yadda yadda. I didn't mean to leave that post up as the last one for so long, but life just is busy and my blogging muscle (along with many other muscles!) is out of shape.
First, I need to thank you so much for the sensitivity and thoughtfulness you put into the comments and emails on that last post. I really needed that prod to think through how I was really feeling, to continue the process that had been milling about in my head for months before I posted. It was a real signal of just how mixed up I was (am) that every comment, as they switched tack and made different points, meant something to me, and made me think differently about the situation.
Where have I ended up? Well, first, I have not 'ended' anywhere. This is an ongoing process of making our marriage work, or not, so I don't expect everything to be suddenly hunky dory. I did bring up some of what I wrote about, and we've had some productive discussions together. I need to do more on this. H is seeing a shrink, and he's finding that helpful to process some stuff which is going on for him and which he's never dealt with. We haven't yet decided to do couples counselling although I think it's a good suggestion.
One reflection after your comments was that I haven't been 'in love' very often in my life. And I wonder how much this is to do with my first very serious partnership, the guy I lived with for 3 years when we were doing our PhDs. It's a long story but the short version says he wanted to be gay, but was drawn into a relationship with me nonetheless. I fell quite heavily in love with him, but part way through the relationship he made it clear he did not see the relationship as long term, that he wanted to use the move we would both make for our post-docs as an ending. I had to force myself to fall out of love with him in an attempt to protect myself. It was really painful, and left me very angry. Although I had very strong 'lust' for the following three relationships, the ones before H, I don't think I fell in love again in the same way.
Yet I think I did fall in love with H. I remember just sitting and smiling at each other. Just feeling so happy because he was in the same room. And our first kiss, on our second date, was electric. We were passionate, but H's sexual issues have come in the way of that over the years.
I take my marriage vows very seriously (as does H). For better, for poorer, etc. We owe it to each other and to the children to do whatever we can to make this work. There is lots good. We have to figure out what we can do about the less good, and where that leaves us.