It's obvious all of that falls under CoD, but my fch needs specifics. He has a really hard time seeing the big picture or extrapolating. It's like when you tell a kid to not jump ok n the furniture so they bounce instead. It's not about that particular fucking soc on the floor! It's about the fact that you don't put your dirty clothes in the basket!
Coco, oh man do I hear you on this... I don't have any good advice on how to handle this particular issue, because it's something I'm currently working on.
To me the only options were:
1) communicate the shit out of everything, going into great detail about why a behavior was a problem, giving copious examples and then asking him to work on it. While continuing to see the behavior, and continuing to ask for it to change, and never feeling like my needs were being met.
Or 2) Accept that certain behaviors were never going to change, and then either let the task/behavior go, and let things fall apart/go to shit, or for things that were important to me, just handle it myself.
Of course the other option that nobody likes to discuss is - you can always leave. I know I never wanted to hear that though. You've at least brought up that you're open to that idea, so you're lightyears ahead of where I ever was. The only way I was ever going to leave was in an extreme situation like my own. Unhealthy as it was, I was committed to going down swinging.
My question here is, do you think it's actually that he doesn't understand it and needs specifics, or that he is feigning a lack of understanding to get away with being lazy/half-assing things in recovery? Or worse yet, getting away with pushing your buttons?
I know you are exaggerating and providing a very basic example of kids jumping on the bed vs. bouncing. But we all know that look on a kids face when you say, "stop jumping on the bed," they then start bouncing instead, and when you call them out the kid says "whaaaat, you said no jumping, I'm not jumping, I'm bouncing." With that little smirk that means they know they're doing something they shouldn't, but they're doing it just to spite you. Or if they're really skilled at it, they won't even have the smirk, and they'll say it with a straight face even though you know they get it.
The hope is that over time your kids grow out of this need to push/test boundaries. But many of us here have spouses who clearly didn't. And the fact that you are giving examples of kids not doing things they're told/finding loopholes around the "rules" says to me that you see your CH as childish, even if the examples given aren't of his actual behavior. I guess what I'm asking is at what point are you parenting your husband? I'm not saying that with any judgment.
However I just wanted to point out something my IC has been emphasizing to me, that in many of the situations I recount to her, she sees me as filling the parental role. And I'm not trying to insinuate in any way that our spouses are similar. Our stories are so drastically different, that about the only thing your fCH and my XH have in common is the fact that they are cheaters. But I see a similar parent/child thread weaving through many of your posts. Maybe that is something you can identify with, maybe not. At the very least it sounds to me like you're doing a whole hell of a lot of the emotional labor in this relationship. I know how exhausting that is. I'm sorry you're having to deal with it.
Just want to emphasize that this is in no way a judgment of you. And I know several pages back you confessed that you can get defensive sometimes because your ego doesn't want you to admit that you would tolerate the same kind of behavior that other BWs have or continue to put up with. I get that too. I've got a pretty gnarly story when it comes to abuses/behaviors that I've tolerated, and I still see some of these posts and my knee jerk reaction is, "Well I would never put up with that." I did have to accept though that there are a ton of people reading my story thinking to themselves, "Holy shit, why in the hell did she stay?" You're not alone in the idea of that bruising your ego. Mine has been beaten up quite a bit. But there is something to be said for camaraderie. It's not a bad thing to acknowledge that while our husbands couldn't be more different, our experiences with them may have some remarkable similarities. Yes, every situation is unique, but there are recurring themes and patterns that when we put our heads together we all can work to address.
Anyway, I don't want to come off as condescending. I know tone is incredibly hard to convey over the internet, and I really just wanted to point out a theme I've noticed because I thought it might help you. But I hope that anything I've written has not offended, and of course, throw it all away if it doesn't apply to you.