The thing that comes to my mind when I read this is a huge long-term issue between me and H; a kind of 'inferiority' complex in him. Is it possible that she has felt inferior to you at some point in time, or even presently?
I have absolutely no idea about your relationship, but I know that when I found myself thinking along the lines you describe it always came down to superior/inferior impressions/assumptions/FOO issues etc.
I have to work hard to understand that just because certain activities help me or are important to me (therapy, self-help books), I cannot expect that my partner will experience the same thing. It has been really difficult for me to consider the possibility that there may be a different way for him to work things out. When I offer this suggestion, I find he feels heard and is more willing to put some serious effort into listening to my needs and taking action.
Often times, my comfort with communication and expressing myself and describing all I've learned from therapy and books contributes to the long-term (pre-A) inferiority issues. Things like my family all completing university, none of his. 'Class' difference ideals. I totally know that this is his shit to deal with, but it's also mine to consider and provide some empathy with. It takes the power of the offense away when I can understand some of where it is coming from and where we can head with it.
Dunno, some days I think I'm just trying to justify an asshole. Other days I see how amazingly improved our relationship is and am motivated to continue for it.
I also think that any two people who enter relationship are going to experience struggle to achieve real love, real intimacy and genuine connections to each other. And fuck beans, I will do all I can to see if I can make it work with the father of my children, and my partner of 15 years before I ever give this much to another adult.
[This message edited by eachdayisvictory at 1:28 PM, April 23rd (Wednesday)]