I just found out that my husband was abused as a child and I don't know how to help him.
We have been separated for about a year after a marriage largely void of physical and emotional intimacy. He had an affair so I told him to leave. Had I known at the time what was behind all this I'd have handled things differently. But I think the reality is that he set me up to push him away. We had a fantastic life together, everything he wanted, financial security, our own home, but no kids. He has an adult child from a previous marriage two decades ago that lasted the same time as ours. He feels inadequate as a father.
He says he's had therapy in the past but clearly nothing has stuck because he stil cannot trust, admitting that he pushed me away our entire relationship, and says he doesn't know how to love. I've always accepted him for who he is. He is a fixer of other peoples problems. Keeps him from focusing on his own, keeps friends from getting too close. He is a master at compartmentalization.
After we talked about this and the devastation our separation caused me he thanked me for helping him look at things differently and helping him face his fears. I forgave him months ago and have told him occasionally through our separation that I continue to love him. He knows that I am strong and forgiving and here for him but he just can't seem to or doesn't want to let me in. He says he's still involved with the affair partner but that "it's not that kind of relationship" whatever that means. So I don't know if affairs are common exit strategies for CAS or what. He's been a runner from intimacy his whole life.
I just want to be able to help him and I want him to come home but I don't know what to do. He said he's never been lower in his life, but says he's not depressed. He seems to still want to see me from time to time, to do things for me, talk to me, hug me, but he is distant too and seems committed to divorce. This says to me that he is still running.
So is there anything I can do to help him? That to me is more important than saving my marriage right now but I think in the long run they're part of the same story.
Looking forward to your advice.