My dear Nomoretogive,
What you have done is exemplary. I admire your courage to admit your exploitation of your husband's insecurities and having the resolve to be "aware" so that you "don't engage in the behavior anymore". That's simply outstanding. It means you've grown into a better human being than you previously were. If your marriage ends in divorce, this will be one of the biggest things you take with you: Your growth as a human being.
As for your husband not doing the right thing to address his insecurities, well, you're right. You can't force him to do anything except ONE THING:
You can tell him exactly how you feel in a firm, calm and conclusive tone. If you can't say it to his face, you can always write him a letter.
Once you get that off your chest, make sure he got the message. You have now forced him out of his comfort zone into the anxiety of not being sure about the fate of your marriage. I believe that will kick him into the next gear fairly quickly.
If you have to distance yourself from him, then do so, but don't have an affair and don't check-out of the marriage before giving him a fair amount of time.
I wish you luck and happiness.
Synthetic, thanks for coming back and commenting to let me know what is needed....but what if I've already done that? I did the talk, I have written the letters. I have given him "space" when he needs it -- aka he leaves in a huff and refuses to take my calls for weeks on end, refuses to see/speak to our children. I have let him back home after he swears that he understands what the problems are and that he is taking steps to fix them....until next time when it all happens again.
I had to chuckle when you said that forcing him out of his comfort zone should be enough to kick him into gear. You would think, huh? My husband is one of those men who walks out the door, forgets we exist -- by going dark, getting a new phone, refusing to tell us where he is -- and then comes back when he's damn good and ready, and not a minute before. He is impossible to the nth degree.
My husband spends a lot of time talking about what the problems are -- and boy, can he talk for hours about this -- but spends zero time actually doing something to fix it. One of the common things I tell him is that he has excuses for why things can't work out long-term but never seems to have any solutions for trying to make things better. He is perfectly content blaming me for everything, walking out when he has a fit about this or that, and then groveling to come home and repeat the cycle.
My kids and I are sick of the cycle. We love him, but it's getting to the point where he just is not healthy for any of us. My kids are in counseling dealing with the feeling of being abandoned multiple times, trying to reconcile the fact that they both love and hate their father at the same time. At the same time, though, he doesn't realize that for all the hell he has put us through, we've still got his back and are invested in HIM to get to a better US -- as in our marriage and our family.
Again, I fully admit that I am likely the cause of some of his insecurities and have exploited some of them over the years. However, in looking back and through counseling, a lot of them existed long before I ever came along. I was just too busy, too naive, too young, too stupid to see it until I did my own recovery work and figured out how dysfunctional our relationship is.
So even given all he has put us all through, I've pulled myself up by my boot straps, intent on honoring my vows, and have done everything in my power to build this man up, and it just isn't producing any results. He will take until the cows come home, but he refuses to give even an inch. He is mired in negativity, content to be a "victim" the rest of his life. How do you work with that? It's getting to the point where it's difficult to approach each day with him from a positive standpoint, to continue our MC's advice of doing once nice thing every day when I'm not getting anything in return and without being bitter and resentful.
I'm Catholic and so I have religious opposition to divorce -- and infidelity for that matter, so affairs are out for me -- although, to be honest, the thought has crossed my mind, to feel loved even for just a few minutes. Morally, though, I would never act on it. Instead, I've allowed it to be a motivator to try to get that in my own marriage.
It may be like someone else said in another thread -- I'm doing all the right things but with the wrong partner. Maybe it really can be explained that easily. I own my part in his insecurity issues, but it's high time he own his and start doing something about it.