Mel, I'm glad you revived this thread... It's a great one. Same issues here. Coping and criticism and big C words. Part of what is helping is boundaries being set - it makes it about me And my needs rather than about him. Trusting me is also improving things. It has been especially hard because I can be quite opinionated. I am always willing to hear "I don't agree", but he finds ANY sort of conflict tough. He avoids conflict and I love to debate. I find I ALWAYS learn something when I debate a topic with someone. If pushed into conflict or debate, he always gets pissy and takes personal stabs. He feels threatened... Literally!! Thanks so much for the thread and the "paranoid contention" idea. I think this one I might have to print and share with my H.
I am not your rolling wheels, I am the highway
I am not your carpet ride, I am the sky