You are in a tough situation, but it does neither one of you any good to remain in an unhappy, unsatisfying relationship out of fear. If you just stay to avoid your partner's hurt and anger, you will only hurt yourself. It sounds like you have grown and begun to get more clear about your needs and what would make you happy, and you've taken a good look around and found some serious lack in your current situation. A "Band-aid" relationship no longer does it for you. I think you need to start thinking seriously about how to leave.
And I say this as someone who was on the receiving end of a terribly devastating ending to my marriage two years ago. After twelve years, my husband simply announced "I want a divorce" and moved out a few weeks later. He refused to go to more than a few therapy sessions and exploded in our mediation meetings. As far as how to tell someone you don't love them anymore, my husband said, "I don't love you anymore and I'm not even sure I know what love is." I understand that he had to do what was best for him at the time, and he took the chance even though I have a history of low-grade depression at times in my life. Yes, I was absolutely beside myself and contemplated suicide more often than I would like to admit. But I got through it and eventually came to appreciate that I now have a shot at a whole new start now, which would not be possible had he stayed in a marriage that was unsatisfying for him. I feel that way even though I am struggling (severely) financially and would have done it much differently if it were me asking for a divorce.
I wouldn't just chalk off what you're going through as being caught up in NRE. It sounds like you have simply gained some clarity, even if it was prompted by a new relationship. Many relationships are just not meant to last forever, so do not feel guilty for wanting out - guilt is a useless indulgence anyway. You are experiencing with this new person the kind of rapport and affection you now want, and she enabled you to open your eyes. Nothing to feel twisted about, so stop beating yourself up. That does no good anyway.
Perhaps you can start by finding out if there are friends you can stay with until you are on your own. Then initiate some conversations with your partner about what you need to be happy and let her know what you would want to change in order to be satisfied. Perhaps find some low-cost couples counseling (churches and county agencies can be a possible source). But if you feel like broaching the subject at all would have hugely negative or volatile repercussions, maybe you need a secret plan to save some money and move out to a friend's place in "dark of night," so to speak. You can't be responsible for how she reacts, but you must be responsible for taking care of yourself! Sorry you are going through this.
Last edited by nycindie; 10-30-2012 at 09:56 PM.