Totally agree with butterfly and Juju on the housecleaning thing. I would be hard pressed to NOT ask him who the h3ll he thinks he is and to point out that not everyone can live with their mother and have everything taken care of for them, but then again, I can be terribly petty.

Honestly, G, the more you say and the more I think about it, what worries me is that you keep trying to "fix" things that aren't really yours to fix. HE is the one who brushed you off when you needed him. HE is the one who is closed off from communication. You worry about saying what you need/want for fear of his reaction, which I totally understand given your past, but all of that stuff is HIS to fix. You can't fix him or change him or whatever. You can only discuss your needs with him and hope that he is open, understanding, receptive. One of the things that you said yesterday in one of your posts that really stood out to me was that, in the past, when you have specifically sat him down and told him something, he's stepped up. That jumped out to me because it made me wonder if he continued to step up on that issue or if he stepped up when you mentioned it but then went back to his "old" pattern of not stepping up. Does that make sense? I think Juju hit the nail on the head. M has some great qualities, but necessary relationship skills like active listening, communication, compromise are not among those qualities...for whatever reason. It is something you have to work at and whether he's never been given the tools or just chooses not to use them, the fact is, he is lacking in those areas.

It is likely easier for all of us who have done the work to recognize when our partners haven't or lack particular knowledge, but I still contend that people don't change who they inherently are. While M appears to be a great guy, if he is not meeting your needs and not doing so consistently, then you might have to really ask yourself how that plays out down the road. You can't stuff your feelings down or feel guilty all the time for wanting to be validated and taken care of (so to speak) and not, at some point, start to resent him for not meeting you halfway. It's like that movie "Hitch" where Will Smith is trying to teach Kevin James's character how to kiss and he's talking about how the couple should both lean in 50% but Kevin, in his over-eagerness, is leaning in 90%. Relationships take work, compromise. Relationships are a team sport for a team of 2 people. We all know this. But, if you are leaning in 90%, he's only having to lean in 10% and that can lead to bad things down the road, through no particular fault of either party.

I like M and I want you to be happy. But I also want you to take care of yourself and NOT feel like you are walking on eggshells and right now, it seems like an awfully eggshell-like environment you are tiptoeing through, at least from my outside perspective. I don't think you should go at him guns blazing, but I definitely think you should sit him down and have a serious talk with him and see what he says. As others before me have said, his reaction/responses to your talk will give you a LOT of information.

Me 50, H52
Divorce from XH final 12/17/2014
Marriage #2 12/31/2019
5 adult (step)daughters (3 from XH's first marriage, 2 from current H's previous relationships)
4 grandkids (plus 2 on the way)