Re: Am I blind?
Don't get separated without talking to an attorney first, one who is familiar with military benefits. You are at the 9 year point in marriage and if he has been military that entire time, another year will secure you retirement benefits.
If he's already cheated you out of a solid secure marriage, don't let him cheat you out of the benefits of that marriage. He's not a coward, he's selfish. And he knows it and he knows that if you have half his retirement benefits and he's known as a cheater, life is going to be lonely and miserable for him when it's time to pay the piper. A player generally needs either studliness or cash to play. As a man ages, the studliness disappears, as has his married good guy with nitpicking wife image.
As for the rest, he knows what you will accept. It seems to be a lot. Another year will put some cash in your pocket. Dig in your heels and drag it out would be my advice. You only have to put up with him 1 out of every 4 days on average. So for 90 days, you'll get half retirement benefits.
Separation. More like a bite in the a** if you ask me. He probably knows very well what he's doing long-term financially for himself, while keeping YOU concerned with 'saving the marriage'.
If you're wrong, well, by dragging it out, you're still married. Separation is a crock, he's gone 8 months out of the year anyway.
Instead of separating, wait for the next deployment or away assignment. Then voila you're separated. Same as before only this time you know about it, and you still retain the benefits of marriage in terms of financial security.