FarFromMrRight: I appreciate your candid feedback. I, however, do not see myself as clingy and I honestly do not think I give J the heebie-jeebies. Since discussing all of this with J, he understands the specific behavior I am desiring more of (sensual touch) and we have negotiated around this: we will have a monthly date where we do this intentionally, and any other desires I have for it, I will seek out in other relationships of mine. This need (sensual touch) is one that is very important to me to have at least sometimes within my primary partnership, although I am very willing to seek it out with others. I do not rely on J for all of my emotional needs, and I definitely don't expect him to give me everything. I really do appreciate your candid feedback, because it has given me a chance to articulate all of the above.
nycindie: I have read and re-read your post a few times, and have now swallowed it
I think you are right that I had become a bit complacent with that realization of mine (that I have insecure-attachment patterns). I do want to transcend it, very much... I think I feel a little stuck with how to, especially because I am not even aware of conscious internal dialogue that says "oh no, he's leaving you!" or other similar things. I know I have fears like that come up in very specific situations, and I am able to critically examine them at those times. But thank you so much for your post and for pointing that out; it feels like a critical piece of feedback to have for my self-growth. Thank you!!
Vinccenzo: Thank you for understanding my difficulties and being sympathetic to them. To be fair to J, while this need has festered for years, it was only in the past couple of months that I really started to identify and verbalize it. And like I mentioned above in my response to FarFromMrRight, we have negotiated about the need and I am hopeful that it will help. How invested am I in him? Pretty darn invested
Beyond emotional ties, we are not financially or legally tied to each other. Because it has been more on my end of not speaking up until recently, I want to make sure we work adequately on this before I would even consider not working on it together (it's not like he has been unwilling or ignoring my requests and needs for years; he's been trying to listen to me and understand as best he can in the past couple of months). He is an understanding and intelligent person, and does understand that I want sensual touch and presence with my primary partner. I am confident that we will work together around this. :-)