That is helpful. It's hard to figure that it's not you when someone you've been vulnerable for and with trivializes your emotions and needs. There's always that grain of hope that, even if you can't change them, you can change the way they feel about you. It's enervating and exhausting and, in my experience, ends in constant disappointment. Is mere acceptance of the hopelessness of the situation the only realistic way to deal with it?
Shell - Thanks so much for laying out the 4 emotional needs. Now it is even more apparent that I wasn't getting at least 2 of those met. Most of the time 3 of them. It kills me to admit that, before I figured out what was going on and did a ton of research, I acted in a PA way right back to him. I've read now that's common as people who are not PA struggle to "get through" to their partners. I learned a lot about how to communicate what I was feeling and focus on sharing how his behavior made me FEEL, and not attacking or saying "you" did this or "you" did that. That helped me a ton. However, learning how to effectively communicate with a PA person was pretty much the death knell for the relationship. I was willing to keep working on it, but he really had trouble with the "new me," I think. I think it made him uncomfortable that I wasn't playing the game anymore and maybe getting too close to the truth behind his behavior. My questions and comments hit too close to home, I think.