Wow, Cindie, I really feel like you're on to something!
His dad died. Maybe C then felt a big shift from being a more carefree, fun-loving playful guy, to being the new patriarch. And now he was himself a new father. Pressure, pressure... time to buckle down. Fun time is over.
I know having kids affected my ex-h in deep (although different) ways. He was the first born and in 4 years after his birth, he suddenly had 2 baby sisters and he was expected to be a big boy now, not need cuddles, or stories before bed, or really much parenting at all. Once we had 2-3 kids he was able to vocalize feeling like "low man on the totem pole," jealous of the attention the little ones got from me. This was on the table in our couples counseling sessions but he never really delved into it.
Anyway, I digress.
We used to sign up for marriage, for better for worse, sickness, health, etc.
But that was when people died young. And also had more social support, unlike our more alienated culture today.
C has changed, and changed a lot. So have you. He's become less playful and open-minded. You've grown into practicing your poly nature. It's like your individual train tracks were parallel and close, and now have diverged.
When relationships have more negative than positive going on, for a good couple years at a time, you've got to wonder, is it really going to work to fit myself into this box he wants me to be in? Packing my suitcase in the back of the closet? Not having oral or PIV with my lover? Barely being able to mention his name in THERAPY SESSIONS?
DADT is tough. It makes you have to hide. Do you want to live hiding, stealthy, lying by omission all the time? When C is still so continually dissatisfied?
Love withers under constraint; its very essence is liberty. It is compatible neither with envy, jealousy or fear. It is there most pure, perfect and unlimited when its votaries live in confidence, equality and unreserve. -- Shelley
me: Mags, 59, living with:
miss pixi, 37