thank you PixiePoo.
ThatGirlInGrey, the tears did help. I don't let myself cry often enough, I guess
ViableAlternative, to be fair to FWB, I accepted his marriage proposal at the height of my worst PTSD symptoms and he stood by me through the most harrowing recovering process the best he could. I don't think he was at all prepared for what was going to happen. he's emotionally very reserved and has made a huge effort to move past that, but I was very lonely in our relationship and he has apologized many times for his role in that. the annulment was my idea and ultimately my decision and I felt like it was the right thing to do, given that had I been in my right mind I never would have remarried. it was only after I went through PTSD treatment that I entertained the idea, and I did present it to FWB as a choice, not an ultimatum. it did hurt that he wasn't in love with me, but he did offer to honor his commitment... but that's not enough for me.
but, you are right in many of the points you made. FWB does not fulfill me emotionally although he has been a steady friend and supporter over the years. I just changed too much after I went through treatment. and yes, he did create the drama and has taken responsibility for it. if I didn't know from experience that he can and will change his behavior based on self-realization, I would have dumped him a long time ago. when I moved out it was just about keeping someone around to have sex with, but he has been and is my best friend, aside from his dickish behavior over my relationship with E, and to his credit he's made a huge effort to change his attitude toward my love life since I called him out on his double standard.
not that I have a love life now
ETA: and you're right. I take on blame that I shouldn't. still a leftover feature of the marriage before FWB.
I don't know how people do this. the stress of getting to know someone seems like a major deterrent to finding people to share your life with.