MJJEAN, thank you for your thoughts. They are very direct and to the point and, to be honest, I got a sort of lump in my throat as I was reading your words.
You basically articulated my deepest fears and it's something I don't know how to look at to even rest of it be a reality or not.
If, what you describe, could be the truth of the matter. I wouldn't have the first clue as to how to deal with it. It would involve hurting someone I only have the utmost love and respect for. To me, that seems unfathomable.
And contrary to what you say, even without the marriage in place, I have still experienced a great sense of commitment with him. And, IMO, children make a breakup far harder than marriage does.
Sorry if my directness was harsh to you. My laptop hard drive failed and my tablet drowned in soup a few days ago. I'm stuck using my phone until I research replacements.
My parents never married. They were together 18 years when my mother passed away. I'll say something to help you I never said to anyone but my DH. I think they were engaged for so long without marrying because they knew they weren't "it" for each other. I don't doubt they loved each other, but they didn't seem to love each other " like that". I think their relationship would have faded away and ended, but kids came along before the natural ending could happen.
2 years after mom died, dad married.
Maybe marriage is just a piece of paper to you both or maybe you two never took the plunge because deep down you know you're not each other's "it".
If you were to leave it would hurt this man you love and respect. However, staying could be hurting him, too. If you're not passionately in love with him you're preventing him from finding someone who would love him like that.
You mentioned your fiance has kinks. I'm kinky, myself, and my kinks do not only heighten sexual pleasure and intensity. My kinks meet emotional and psychological needs. You said your H's kinks aren't your thing. If his kink needs are as crucial to him as mine are to me, those needs not being met could be damaging. If he were single, he could have those needs met by someone who is into whatever his thing is.
I know splitting up with kids is hard. DH is my 2nd husband. My oldest kids are from my first marriage and were 6 and 1 when I left my exH. My situation was different than yours in that I neither loved or respected my ex. If you were to split at least you would be able to coparent amicably since you do have positive feelings for your fiance. In my experience, having parents who work together post split makes a huge difference to how the kids fare.
That all said, it might be you and not your relationship at all. DH went through a phase at about 32 during which he was thinking along similar lines. After some soul searching he said it wasn't me or our relationship that was the problem. It was the rest of his life. He wasn't where he wanted to be, he wasn't getting his needs met because even he wasn't sure what they were vs what he thought they were, and he was just generally unhappy with himself. He said he more or less blamed me and the marriage for his personal unhappiness because we were easy targets. He was in a funk, so everything looked cruddy. Maybe you're in the same funk. Maybe making some changes ( job, hobby, social group, volunteer, education) would make you happy and you'd see everything differently.