Hello again,
Thank you Queen JJ for your kind words. It was just the welcoming message I needed! I am what you would call a private person and don't share a whole lot with many. (Maybe that's why I am still with my confidential therapist for over a year!) I think it comes from the fear of being judged.
My mother, who is a strong and independent 87 yr old, is still quite judging but I wonder how many mothers are not, even to their 53 year old daughters! LOL! I did learn to "watch my step" growing up or at least watch out that somebody didn't find out about it! I wonder how many of us were able to share and be open with our mothers and how many, like me, did things in secret so as not to make them mad.
I think what we learned in childhood had a big effect on our adult lives, whether we want to admit it or not! For example, my mother stayed with my Dad even though she definitely had reasons to divorce him including jail time. Now when she speaks of their long union she says she just couldn't do it and stayed together for the sake of the family. And since my siblings and I loved our Dad very much, I guess we're happy they did. What their lives could have been like separately, who knows. I know they came to depend on each other through the years.

Anyway, saying all that, here I am 53 years old young, with 20 years in public education helping kids, married for 35 years but separated for 1 1/2 years and emotionally disconnected for many more and I am having an extremely difficult time with pulling the plug, namely anything legal.
We lived like roommates for more years that I want to admit, me not wanting sex, him not wanting consistent emotional closeness, for years. But we stuck together and accomplished things along the way that we might not have been able to do apart, such as gaining guardianship and raising our only granddaughter as a baby when she was in a neglectful situation living with her too-young parents, me pursuing a college education from scratch and obtaining a Masters degree, buying and selling houses, and enjoying home interests.
But what was missing was the kind of close, loving relationship that married people should have. He was a workaholic whether it was at his job or on our last house which remains incomplete even afte 8 years because of his fussiness about doing the job right himself, not wanting to go places I was interested in such as movies, auctions, out to dinner, events. He would go where he wanted such as cross country skiing every day in winter and I sometimes went, but he was such a fitness buff that we didn't ski together as I plodded along the trail myself. I was very uninterested in sex and checked out medically ok. He would get angry and not talk to me for weeks on end, something he copied from his parent's long marriage. Which then made me more emotionally disconnected from him after begging him to talk and him refusing until he was ready weeks later.
After my father and his mother died within months of each other, I took stock of how unhappy we were in the marriage, and vowed to change it or leave. I didn't want to end up on my deathbed still unhappy and regretting the lost years. I asked him to go with me to counseling, he refused, wouldn't talk. I began doing more and more on my own as I had always been independent. I started seeing more and more of a good male friend who was the exact opposite of my husband and actually wanted to experience things with me. All this time, I still wanted my husband to listen, to know that we couldn't go on living like this. He ignored me. Finally I told him I was moving out and meant it. I bought my own house. He was shocked and hurt. Begged me not to do it. I knew I had to anyway until I saw some changes. And here it is - a year and a half later with us living separate lives, but little has changed. He wants to get back together but expects me just to come back and be with him. He went to counseling on his own 4 times and then quit when things did not magically work out. He continues to work hard, not date, put time and effort in our property, ski, exercise, send me flowers on special occasions, go out to lunch with me once in awhile, so most things remain the same with him being a bit more attentive. Now we just live apart and I have bigger bills. I haven't asked for anything in the house or from him and he pays the bills on that and I pay the bills on mine.

I have come up with two legal separations, the last one with his input, but he won't sign them. Doesn't want anything legal. He wants us to work out. I would love us to work out too. I am sure I still love him on some level and 35 years is a long time. And he has been my best love/hate friend for all that time. But I know I can't go back to the way we were living. It felt like a slow death. But now I feel so in limbo. And something is holding me back from making the moves.
Sorry this is such a long post! Thank you so much for listening. I welcome any and all you have to say.
Love, Cubby