Well, it seems to me that one of the basic understandings (and therefore topic of discussion) about human nature revolves around the fact that different people need various levels of intimacy in there lives to feel good. By intimacy I'm in no way referring to sex although that may or may not come as some part of the package.
But it's just this feeling of connection to other human beings. Closeness.
Different people seem to need and thrive on different levels of that. Other people seem to be more interested in throwing themselves totally into something else - be it work, a social cause, family, etc.
You see to be one who needs that intimacy in life. That should be no cause for concern as long as it's clearly understood. May it be a shocker ? I suppose that's possible, depending on the level of deep communication you have shared over the years with your SO. A lot of times these deep inner things aren't really shared and discussed. Until a certain tension builds or a circumstance surfaces. In your case it seems both may have happened at the same time (?).
The key thing is that in a loving relationship, one would HOPE that you would desire to support each other in a quest for what has deep meaning in your own lives as well as the meaning the relationship holds. We all need both. Although "together", we are still unique individuals with different needs & preferences in some parts of our lives.
It seems that understanding and acknowledging this is the first step to wonderful, respectful and loving relationships. That's the "intimate" part.