What you're describing here is exactly what happened (AFAIK) to both of my mom's sisters. Mom and her sisters were raised with this traditional The Husband Rules, He is the King Who Must Not Be Questioned attitude. This is long and probably boring to anyone but me, but these anecdotes (about Mom's sisters) partially parallel your sitch.
Jennie got married right out of high school to a strong, assertive guy, Bill. Uncle Bill was my favorite, when I was little. He was funny and opinionated. Well, by the time Jennie hit age 30, she'd grown up. Instead of meekly accepting every decision Bill made, she started voicing her opinion. I remember them arguing once, it was quite heated. D soon followed.
Tracie got married around age 22, I think, to the conservative accountant, Larry. Larry saw how Tracie and Mom had been raised very poor, and blamed their parents for being "bad with money." They always had a nice home, vehicles, and vacations, but Larry kept Tracie on a very tight budget, and would even count the coins in her purse after she went shopping. I only learned about this...after they D'd like 20 years into their M.
Mom married Dad around age 22. I grew up hearing that The Man should consult His wife about all major decisions, but if she didn't agree, final say went to The Man. Which explains why, when Dad would fly into fits of profanity-laced rage when I didn't fetch him the right type of screwdriver when I was 9 years old, Mom did nothing. Fortunately as Mom become more assertive, Dad mellowed. They're still together and happier than ever.
One way of looking at your situation T33, is that you pulled a "bait and switch" on your H. Can you sympathize, and have compassion for H, that...
he's at a loss with what to do with the new and evolved trying33.
Same thing happened to Mom's sisters. Their evolution caught their H's off guard, the H's weren't willing or able to evolve, and they D'd.
I like the new me as I'm stopping resentment from building and therefore feeling more relaxed and not full of anger.
Right there with you. In our 15 years together I *literally* never said to BH, "My feelings were hurt by what you just said." And now I do say that, and at first it wasn't pretty. But we're evolving together, fortunately.
If I want this M to be harmonious and close and long lasting, it's me who's going to have to make the changes, i.e., be more patient, give in more, start being agreeable again
Maybe. Or is there another option? When I went into IC awhile back, angry and frustrated that a "My feelings were hurt" conversation between BH and I developed into an argument, my therapist said, "Deliver the message, feel good about delivering the message, and let go of the outcome." That has worked for me...with BH, the kids, and life in general. Instead of getting into a fight or a power struggle, I deliver my message, and BH may not agree or even "validate" me like I want, but I accept it and move on.
I should add that culturally this is very normal for him and I do not ever see him changing this behaviour pattern.
Maybe you were very young and/or naive when you got married, and you didn't realize what you were getting yourself into. But, at the risk of sounding harsh...you were aware of his culture when you married. He hasn't changed. You have. I know you recognize that, and I'm sorry you're experiencing this internal and external conflict. Even though I can't relate personally, I saw it happen in my extended family, and for two out of three sisters...it was irreconcilable.