Op, I have kinda been where you are. In a round-about-way.
My husband and I had some 'exclusive swinging' years ago. We had people we cared about greatly, and they, us. I had many problems in the beginning, dealing with that. I had a few meltdowns, and did some of the things your husband did. I gave the cold shoulder to him, nit-picked and argued when I saw something happen sexually, that I didn`t approve of.
I actually was so pissed off once, I went to set a glass down on a glass coffee table, and not realizing the force I did it with, my whole hand ended up in shattered glass. I still have those scars.
I had a LOT of baggage and shit to work through.
We also didn`t use the 'poly' word, and tippy-toed around it. We had vanilla times, family times, and sexy times.
I did figure 'my shit' out and we were then able to enjoy our friends, and really learn how to be new people.
Life is full of hard lessons, and we were not able to keep that relationship going. Though those lessons learned, have lasted for me. Part of figuring out 'my shit' was forgetting the situation, and learning first how to respond appropriately when I am caught off-guard. A skill that had never been taught to me. One I hadn`t learned, until those scenarios kept smacking me in the forehead.
With all that went on, at that time, I was the 'problem child' and my husband was the saint.
Skip ahead a bunch of years, and us venturing into poly.
Buttons ended up pushed in a different scenario, and the shoe was suddenly on the other foot. It was my husband having meltdowns, and questioning things.
He too, got past it, but my point is,.....we all have triggers. We can choose to shut down, and handle everything the same as we always have, there-by holding onto our fears.
Or, we can choose to forget the 'scenario' and first learn to handle things in an appropriate manner. When that is learned, we can then trust ourselves, and then others.
One thing I am not sure about,..is labelling. When we point fingers at someone and say : 'YOU`RE AN EMOTIONAL ABUSER.'
Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn`t. I`m not sure it works when :
A) they are someone we love, and love us back.
B) the whole reason someone is reacting poorly, is because they have never learned the tools, to handle fear and hurt properly. If they don`t have the tools, they aren`t going to suddenly say; 'Hey, yeah you`re right, I`ll stop that crap.' They will get defensive, and more of the same will come about.
As human beings, I don`t think I have ever got close to someone, and not seen a darker side. None of us are perfect. All of us have triggers, where we can react poorly to situations. Most of us, are not proud of that. I think those we love, need to know, it`s ok for them to admit their problem, and that they haven`t a clue how to fix it.
The tricky line to walk, is not to take someone`s shit, while they are doing it.
When your husband was glaring at you, he was ( I think ) begging you to show some initiative, so he isn`t always the bad guy 'ending' things. For you, you don`t want to step on his toes.....yet what he sees, is the fact you leave it up to him. So,..the vicious circle continues.
So,..stop 'the dance'. Both of you. Say what you want, and mean what you say. The non-verbal games are maddening.
R,....forget the scenarios, and figure out how to respond to triggers, in a better way.
Awakeandready : While he is dealing with triggers right now, I`m thinking you could also benefit from learning how to deal with triggers. Your description, of handling the broken boundaries, sounds like you are so fearful of losing T&S, that you are willing to say 'whatever' so that things still materialize. That is not good.
How will anyone know to take your word for the truth ?
For the record, what I learned years ago, was to give myself time to think. To not respond to a trigger until I was in a calm place. Once I was, THEN talk it out. Basically, replacing a bad habit, with a better one.
This was work, but became habitual over time. And no matter how hard someone tries to push my trigger button, then don`t get it anymore. I do what I need to to, so I can be fair to all.
I also think you need to sit your friends down, and explain your arguments that you have, when they aren't around. Explain your fears, and just give them a general heads up. They deserve that, rather then being shocked by a huge-ass argument happening unexpectedly.
Good Luck !