Aw man. I have deleted/rewritten this one billion times and still feel it is poorly articulated, so apologies:

I will admit, my gut reaction reading this is I did actually have sympathy for him (which I can't recall ever having about anything you've ever written about him before). Maybe it is because I am equivalent to your husband's viewpoint in the dirty dishes camp and feel a lot of empathy over that struggle and how it can become a lot greater than about just a dish. And how it can be challenging to see it as just a dirty dish when you're already feeling on emotionally unsteady ground. But this also has more context, obv.

I understand wanting him to come to you with these professions and how you need to feel he needs to get there on his own. I echo CW's question about if he knows what you actually need - have you directly said that to him? Sometimes what you write makes that unclear, and it can read like you have a goalpost but you haven't told him what it is and you just expect him to know and you need him to figure that out on his own. It sounds like he is genuinely trying a lot of things and making headway in a lot of ways that you are glad to see. This stuck out to me:


It kind of bugs me that he seems to expect or want ME to behave in certain ways like a wife would when HE is not behaving as a husband would (i.e. forsaking all others and making it ultra clear to me I'm his one and only).

It sounds like you have the same expectations of him in terms of wanting him to behave in certain ways that a husband would, and on paper I'd say that it looks like all of the things listed that he is doing right is him trying to show you in your LL that you are his one and only.

IDK - hugs to you, all of this is tough, and it's fun to read about your Christmas stuff with your girls, so I am glad you are doing all of that!