I have to apologize it took me some several days to get the "guts" to read your posting. I am so glad that so many others stepped in to give you some insight.
Since you have been reading awhile I dont need to explain a lot of my own story.
I'm not out to rain on your parade - but my gut just "shudders" that something is waaay wrong with what you've been thru.
He keeps the "extra female" - I was glad that Dave mentioned (paraphrased) that perhaps she was the one he could do the rotten stuff to, keeping you upon a pedestal so that you do not fall and shatter into the porcelain he seems to keep you as.
Have you asked him if he is "using you" to heal himself until he can get to a point in his life that he can be brave enough or "healthy" enough to leave even you behind? Taken from you what he needed , or what stands out at the end to me -- forced you into a position that YOU end up making a decision that HE has no guts to do himself.
Perhaps he does not want to be with you long term, yet has no way out of feelings of not just so many yrs of history , but of feelings of obligation of the "true unconditional" love you have given all these years.
A guilt that has him frozen, unable to stand up and make a choice for himself. Abused or not, he must, as all of us be responsible for HOW we treat others in our lives.
Is he asking you to make the "rules" of the future so that perhaps he will then "know for sure" what rules to follow to have a successful relationship? Or is he asking you to make the "rules" so that it can be something so black and white he can then say guilt free -- I cannot live by these rules there fore we cannot go on.?
I know I am asking more questions than giving any insight. Far too late in my 18 yrs of marriage I found out that my hubby not only needed me to be the "one in charge", but was also constantly angry at me for being in charge also. How fair was / is that to me? I couldn't win. Can you? if placed in this position he puts you in?
I hear of your wonderous relationship, yet in the end the truth is, it isnt all that wonderous. (I am not trying to be mean, i am at a loss for better kinder words at this time).
Dear CupCake, Please know ... forever in this relationship it shall take two of you to make even the simplest decisions.
The sexual contact -- will be an area of your relationship that will consistently change and grow and move and morph. Some of what you share I get the impression that he perhaps is placing more responsibility on YOU for his own mixed sexual feelings. BUT, YOU should not be punished in anyway because of WHAT he is unable to process yet.
I know the greatest key that helped my own spouse and I get thru one of our toughest times sexually was writing down what was "safe" sex for us. From details of HOW to be touched, when to the point that now with very little prompting we both KNOW the lights must be on at least on dim.
I do agree that I think he is testing you, but if you dont know your being tested thats not fair to YOU!! and testing himself. But what do YOU get from this relationship? WHY, do; you accept the pain of him being with another female whom he is probably very much having sexual contact with.
If you are questioning yourself of the time you have vested him in all these years as a possible "waste". Please remind yourself that you HAVE gained, knowledge. Not just of him, but of yourself.
What is it that YOU need to live and survive with?
so i am here. i have never cut anyone out of my life before. never. no matter what and i do not feel it is fair to either of us if i do. we both need each other and want to share each other's lives. but clearly we both have different boundaries and needs in mind.
this was toward the end of your posting. No it may not be fair to cut him out of your life. perhaps not fair to him -- but in your life, YOU must come first. So be FAIR to YOU.
If you cannot be strong for yourself then you cannot be of help to anyone else. AND there is a FIRST time for everything.
I hope I have not been too harsh in my words cupcake. But I must say this: had I known all the details of what my married life would have contained, especially these past few years with dealing with his SA & SO issues. I seriously doubt that I would have chosen to marry him.
He must do this himself, YOU cannot teach him anything. YOU are not his savior, no matter how devoted you have been to him and how much he has shown his gratitude. HE either needs to step up to the plate and finish committment to this relationship, or end it.
May Peace Fill Us All, Sammy