My H is very selfish. Youngest child, very enabled by older siblings. A helicopter mom who raised her girls to be competent and her boys to be babied. His family had a lot of money, so he just has never known struggle, doesn't even really understand it. (Well, he does now, but we're middle aged.) I never saw these qualities in this way until several years into our M, babies and busy lives and two full-time jobs.
My H cannot undo who he is. This is the way he was raised. He knew no other way. I loved him and spoiled him in the early years. I'm very CoD, so we were a perfect yin/yang. I'm a do-er, and he loves having things done for him. This is how things went so off the rails in our M.
When we began to work on our M, the selfishness (which enabled his sexual taking and acting out and entitlement) HAD TO go. He has had years of IC to continually work on it. Is he doing the work for selfish reasons? Yes. No doubt. Do I directly benefit? Am I the prize he wants to keep? Absolutely. I cannot ask or expect that he change who he is, just the way that he lives and operates. That's all he can do. I'll be honest--I think many, many WS were raised to be takers. It's who they are, so you are not alone, Fournlau.
The barometer is YOU, how you feel about the way you are treated. You will forever need to hold him accountable and push back on his selfishness. This is a change in the marital dynamic and needs to be a part of the new M. I played a role in allowing my H's selfish attitude, but not anymore. We are equals all the way. Last week he did all the dishes every single day. Before that, I would have felt guilty. I leave for work earlier, get home later, and do more around the house, so why? But I did. Now I let him do more, a lot more, and I say nothing except Thank You.
Do you feel you are being treated well? Your job is to insist on it. If it ever changes, if you do not think he is walking the walk, then you know you are in danger and his change isn't real. But many, many selfish types are only motivated by loss or consequences, not morals or reciprocity or whatever. I know so many people like this. They are not all cheaters, but many are just takers. If you are offering, then they take. And they do not measure the even nature of the R. Boundaries, boundaries, boundaries is all they understand.
Do we ever really know someone else's true motives? Judge him by his actions, now and forever. Actions always show what someone values.
[This message edited by OwningItNow at 1:45 AM, Sunday, March 19th]