I'm chiming in with just a few things to let you know I'm here I'm reading but your thread moves so quickly I can't always keep up.
- As to 'unfair' as discussed in reaction to my last post, I get unfair all the time. That was unfair of me. That was unfair to you. That wasn't fair. Does fair even begin to scratch the surface of what he did to me? Nope. But it's the best way he can articulate it right now. Every day he gets a little closer to articulating it in a more meaningful way. Recently he admitted that he had a conversation with his aunt who took her H back after an A 20ish years ago. She looked him dead in the eye and said "You'll never understand the amount of pain you put her through. You'll never understand what she's overcoming to let you back in." He had a really hard time saying that to me. He couldn't look me in the face. All I said was, "She's not wrong. I hope you understand that." He said "I'm starting to." H loves me. H wants this to work. H is remorseful, but his understanding of my pain is going to be a long, long road that I have to accept he will always be 20 paces behind me on. They have to heal themselves, forgive themselves, and then attempt to empathize with what they did to you. That's a lot. It's a burden. One they deserve and gave to themselves but it's still a heavy load to bare. That in and of itself deserves patience.
- Which brings me to LH19's sh!t sandwiches. Girl, if you want the MR you're going to have to eat more than your fair share until H is ready to eat his fair share. I learned to eat sh!t sandwiches to survive my home as a kid, so this is easy work for me. For someone like you, this is probably going to be one of the hardest things you'll ever do. For you I'm sure it feels like giving someone something they don't deserve. Or like swallowing things you yourself are subjected to on the other end. For me it was a simple switch of keeping my mouth shut and staying light to keep me safe in childhood to doing the same to keep H from running like a scared cat and to keep myself protected. Perhaps you can look at it this way. H is not prepared to deal with your emotions as well as his. Don't give your inner most self to some one who can't or won't understand or empathize. It isn't protecting him. It's saving yourself from an interaction that won't prove to be fruitful or give you any sense of relief.
-And then that brings me to Sage's point. Your silence. You know it cuts him. He processes everything verbally. When he hears silence he hears what it would mean if he were to be the one being silent. I know you know he's going to react to you being silent. Instead of processing in front of H the way he processes in front of you, because we know that's not your jam or most humans, perhaps you can, like Sage offered, explain your process instead of the actual thoughts in your head. You don't want to share it, and he can't digest them right now anyway. Explaining how your process is different than his will probably go along way in bridging the communication gap you guys have. It will also feed his need to talk literally everything through without you having to actually talk it out.
I know this mostly in but somewhat still out stuff is rough. But you're smart, you're strong. You've come this far. You can do this. Even when it seems too hard.