I give you a lot of credit Bulcy. You keep trying. You keep showing up and questioning yourself in really good ways. I think you are really trying to dig in and figure out what makes you tick. All of that is awesome and I give you all due credit for the hard work you are doing.
I'd like to second this sentiment. Those of us who have been here long enough to remember when you were first begrudgingly posting, can now see progress and change made so far. Yes, there is a lot of road yet to travel, but both you and your spouse have stuck with it, and stuck together, all this time. So you know you can do it.
All you can do right now is to stay the course. Keep taking the time to check yourself, to improve when you can, to grow and be someone you are proud of being. Your wife doesn't believe in you because you don't entirely believe in yourself just yet, and that's okay. We each heal on our timeline. You are both still healing as individuals, and I'll tell you something that I learned through my own therapy... it often gets worse before it gets better.
You cannot be a confident, responsible, independent person when you still judge your value by the feelings or opinions of others/another. So what does that mean? It means you have to let her go enough to let yourself in. It means really letting go of the thought, the emotion even, that somehow, things can ever be the same, or be like they were. It's a process of grieving, of letting go. Of knowing, deep down, that if you ever parted ways, while it would be painful as hell, that you will really be okay. And know that the journey you are on right now will continue, regardless of the outcomes. You have to fill that empty space inside of you, and fill it with the new and improved Bulcy instead.
Once you manage that, everything else just kinda falls into place. Empathy returns in spades when aren't emotionally needy anymore, and with empathy comes understanding, compassion and innate kindness. And that kind of person is much easier to consider R'ing with.
It's a slightly different path for a BS, but they have their own trauma to get over, and that trauma really does a number on one's psyche, on their confidence, on their sense of reality even, and certainly decimates the very notion of trust. So they need to put those pieces back together again, and similar to you, they need to not worry about you and focus on their own healing.
That's why I say it gets worse before it gets better, because in essence, you have to grow apart first in order to grow back together again in a new and beautiful way.
You've got this Bulcy, keep working on that defensiveness and on understanding and mastering your triggers. That's half the battle for you. Every single day that you go without getting defensive, acknowledge it. Pat yourself on the back, it's okay, you deserve it. After a while, a new way of thinking starts to take root. I think you're around that place in your personal journey right now. So keep at it. Good luck
[This message edited by DaddyDom at 1:49 PM, Friday, March 24th]