Thanks to everyone who weighed in. I really appreciate what you have to say. The 2x4s of memory foam hit their mark. You've all given me so much to think over. Thanks FRM and BBT - I am listening to you as well.
Timid - You are right, I know he still cares. I know he is tired though, and he is asking me to do the heavy lifting.
Heart - I know that there are times that he says things specifically calculated to hurt because he has admitted as much in MC. But there are times when what he says is exactly because I cut his heart out. You are very right, and I see it. That's why I wrote:
I know he hurts, and I'm finally at a place where my brain is on overload because I want to do the right thing (validate support and empathize) but my ears seem to get in the way. KWIM? I guess I'm just trying to figure out how to do the right thing, and what tools other people have found work for them. I'm listening with all my ears.
Walking - You are spot on. BH does not, or has not, felt that I have been doing enough. He was adamant that we've wasted a lot of time and he's tired of it. I just have to pick myself up off the floor and keep working.
Where - thanks. Your response is very measured, and I know you are right.
SLHer - that's not a bad idea. I have not asked him in calm moments about the words he is using. We did talk about it last night with help, and I had to discuss my reaction to it at some length with my C. I'm a work in progress, that's for sure.
20Wrong - I swear you are my guru! I get what you are saying loud and clear. I do not feel that I am being abused, but I will admit that I do not like the way I'm being treated when those words are said.
Romantic While my BH was not 9 months pregnant when the metaphorical fecal matter hit the fan, your story sounds eerily familiar. So yes, I get what you are saying. It is true I would rather have him call me names than do something irreversible and further destructive. I'll keep that in mind. I do already admire him for how he is dealing with this. Neither of us are good at communication, and yet we both seem to be improving.
Gman I know for a fact that what you say is true. He goes over everything over and over and over again, and then starts the process at the beginning. It's terrible.
Numb Your suggestion terrifies me, which I think means it is something I should try. I'm going to have to mull it over...