But because he refuses to see a therapist I am compelled to think of alternatives.
Respectfully, no, you're not compelled. You can't fix him, only he can do the fixing, and he has to want to. Which would include going to IC (individual counseling) if that's what it takes.
Have you shared with him that you've found survivinginfidelity.com? He could benefit from spending some time here, even if it's just reading from the Healing Library.
Pretty pretty please, don't you ever ever feel
Like you're less than, less than perfect
I want to heal his wounds so that he doesn't hurt any more.
You cannot heal him. You cannot change him.
Can you be with him like this for the next 50 years? If so, then it's all good. Do what works for you.
I can't stand the hurt that I know he feels
I want to heal his wounds so that he doesn't hurt any more
I will do whatever it takes
I will never abandon him.
sorry if any of this upsets anyone here. Believe me that is the last thing I want to do
I just want to help
You seem very caring and wanting to help him and those around you.
Have you ever heard of Co-dependence? It's a feelings that go beyond normal kinds of self-sacrifice or caretaking and the tendency to put others' need before your own.
I'm Co-dependent so I think that is why I'm seeing it in you. We tend to me very kind and loving AND magnets to people who are initially are kind and loving but then become controlling and wind up really hurting us. I wonder if that is what is going on in your relationship.
I could be wrong but it sounds like his is starting to control you (you have to tell him when a man talks to you) And now you had an innocent lunch but feel he'll spin it to an act of betrayal. That is manipulative behavior.
I'm worried about you.
All abusive relationships start with control and manipulation.
You may want to read the book Codependent No More
and talk to an counselor - just to bounce some ideas around
Like I said, I could be wrong but your story is similar to the beginning of my own relationship. And now, when I look back I see a situation like this as a red flag that I had ignored.
I think you need to see a therapist for yourself and stop worrying about fixing this guy. He is not as helpless as you think, he knows exactly what he is doing.
He sounds paranoid and abusive. I'm sorry, but the others are right. You're walking into a lifetime of misery if you continue with this relationship without therapy for both of you, asap.
I know this isn't what you want to hear, but you can't fix anyone. They need to fix themselves. Also, real, sustained personality change is so rare that it pretty much never happens.
Much of what you've written I could have written when I was in college and met XWH (though I was not yet walking on eggshells and my XWH's controlling ways were less obvious that what you're dealing with.) I wish that I hadn't wasted my 20s and half of my 30s with an insecure, abusive person.
Married: 11 years, no kids
Character is destiny
Best thing I gained in my divorce - my freedom.