DH, I knew that must have missed some of what I had posted early on,
So I simply restated it. I know you are right about the guilt thing, and I am working on it. Especially because I know that even though I don't openly express it around the house doesn't mean son can't sense it, and blames himself for my discomfort. He is actually quite sensitive, just as his father is, and they both deal with it by acting tough.
Hubby comes off a little rough around the edges but he is a marsh mellow teddy bear. The people who are closest to him know this about him. I was on vacation with one of my sisters a few months ago and she told me this story that happened about 15 years ago when she was going through a divorce. She had been spending a lot of time our house and one day she was kind of in a funk and mopey. He said to her, "hey, do ya need anything for your new apartment?" She thought for a minute and suggested that she needed something for the kitchen (I think it was a dish strainer). So he put her in the car and took her to the home improvement store. It was really no big deal but it kinda got her out of the slump. As she finished the story she got teary eyed and said, "I finally got him, he is intuitive and compassionate, I finally understood why you love him......But he is still an asshole". We both went from crying to laughing. He can really be an ass when he wants to. The rest of the weekend every time I would say something good about him she would say he was an ass and we would both giggle.
Back on track now, I also appreciate your expression of urgency to address his emotional needs. I am stuck and overwhelmed and straight talk advice from someone who is removed from the situation has more clarity than the insanity going on inside my head right now.
To you all, thanks for input and perspective. I especially liked Anna's analogy about the priest. This situation doesn't necessarily mean that I have to boycott this part of who I am. I have thought many times that this could and does happen, even if it is a neighbor, clergy, teacher, or a partner in a mono relationship.
We can't all just board up and hide inside, never letting any one in. Wouldn't that look funny, all of these people living solitary lives in their little fortresses. Only going out for supplies and to work, but keeping a safe distance and nothing but minimal interaction. LOL