I know the feeling of doing things (or not doing things) out of not wanting to hurt anyone. I had some issues in my marriage and was having a very difficult time deciding to leave. I kept saying to my sponsor: "but he means well - how can I leave someone who is trying so hard?" and she said something like, "only God knows what is best for him. Maybe by you sticking around for him and forcing things to remain as they always have been, is limiting him - maybe if you step out of the way the Universe will have other plans for him. You don't know what's best for him; keep the focus on yourself."
Ultimately, and it took a while, I retained a divorce attorney and told my husband that he would be contacted by the lawyer. He asked if it was too late for us to try marriage counseling. I thought it was, but went anyway, figuring the Courts would think better of me for having tried to reconcile.
It is now 15 months later, I cancelled the divorce, my husband has made changes, I am finally seeing my part in all of this, and we are working this out.
I know your situation is different, but my point is, that none of that would have unfolded if I was too afraid to leave him because it would have hurt him. it's not my job to maintain the status quo for others - I don't know what's best for them. Damn, I don't even know what's best for ME, that's why we have a Step 3.
Just my 2 cents......and that's about what it's worth!