Gidday Ms Milz
I can certainly feel the deep felt emotional hurt and confusion in your post.
Congratulations for having the courage to join the forum, how did you feel after writing the post - did it make create any improvement to the way you feel at all?
Its a difficult situation, but as I understand it, not that uncommon when a guy enters into a new relationship after such a long time married. It can be hard for the male to recognise that you are a different person with your own unique personality, wants and needs. Not like his wife who unfortunately died suddenly.
On top of that is the operation you have had - I sincerely trust things are OK with that.
It is encouraging that you have communicated with him about how you feel, that is an important step. It seems that he likes the relative solitude that his truck driving offers. What has to be uncovered is how he really feels about being away from you for so long.
There are just a few suggestions that I hope will help your thoughts:
1. Please look after yourself. You have done a massive amount of work on this situation with empathy and understanding. Self love and self respect is so important so don't let that slip.
2. Try not to feel hopeless but regard this as a test, maybe an opportunity to look back on later and reflect what you may have learnt. They say that adversity strengthens us, but the journey can be rotten at the time.
3. After telling him that you love him and value your relationship, is it time to discuss further how his behaviour, silences and time away has impacted you? Be very clear and caring, not judgemental or critical, as you don't want to inflame the situation. But if he understands that you are his 'Rock' and he is hurting you, it may have a positive effect on his thought process. Maybe try listing the things you would love from him such as a 'date night' every couple of weeks, how many days a month you would like him to be at home etc.
4. Now this is a tough one. I also wonder when it might be time to ask him if he wants the relationship to continue? He may think he is dropping hints about how he feels but, maybe some closure needs to be applies to this?
Only you can judge how you feel about doing this as you appear to love your partner and the care you are showing is amazing. But it is a two way street and he has to show he loves you back, not just by saying it.
All the very best, hope this helps a little!
Love to hear back from you. Thanks again for your post..