You make several interesting points. Yes, this was a bit of a perfect setup with only one right response. Thanks for pointing that out. Gottman’s work found there are misses and rejections. Both sting.
One is worse than the other. We can tolerate some misses but not many rejections. Several of your husbands are more of the first kind than the second. And it is interesting how resilient many relationships are in its ability to tolerate such misses or losses.
Truthfully – between you and me – my ex did a number on me with the catastrophic deceptions and betrayals. I’m going to a touchy mess for awhile. I don’t know if you read some of my other essays (I see your comment on the autistic one, but haven’t read it yet) but I have an disorganized avoidant style of connection now.
This guy and I did see each other after I wrote this article and formally broke up. A very class act on his part. There were other problems identified but he said some of the same things you did. Yeah, I got to own that. He, on the other hand, read too much between the lines and assumed insult when it was only fear. The truth of the matter was gulf in age created too great of an obstacle. It was insurmountable. We ended it amicably.
Thanks for challenging me on these points. I do have to say, though, being comforted when insecure is a super cool experience. My late husband learned how to do it and it was amazing. I hope you and your husband find an ability to do that as well.
All the best.