Thank you for all the responses everyone. Sorry for the late reply. My internet has been shaky and life has been busy. I guess the easiest way to do this is to respond to one at a time.
Ace does mean asexual. Sorry for not clarifying that! I forget it's not a common term.
I agree it is a difficult match. Part of it is that he has become asexual over the course of the relationship due to his personal body issues. Sex is not something he needs to feel connected to me; cuddling works just as well as him. No, he is not in counseling. Neither am I. I'm getting back into school so I can use school counselors but he is uninsured and we do not have the money at this time. Hopefully in a few months he can but it's very dependent on jobs, etc.
I ask because do you realize there is no way you can reassure him out of deep seated fears?
I do but I don't. Does that make sense? I know I am not the person that can do it but I have trouble letting go of it. I definitely have a savior complex when it comes to him and it's been difficult not playing a protector.
This is not your problem.
To be honest, I have a very very very very very hard time swallowing this. I have been beating myself up for weeks now that this is my problem and that I should "match him" and that I'm "wrong" and on and on. I can't believe that in no way is it not my problem.
Is he controlling in other ways? If he is, and refuses to get help, I encourage you to leave.
No, not in any way that isn't consensual and for kink purposes. He expresses a desire to change and has grown a bit more comfortable with the idea over the last few months but, as I said, the idea of it still frightens him because he fears me leaving him for another person. I suspect this is also because I expressed desires to have a relationship with a cisgendered man. It brought up insecurities so I asked if he would be more comfortable with me being with a cisgendered woman. He said yes but not a transman. He's obviously concerned about the masculinity aspects of this and, I don't blame him. But I am not seeking other partners because of his (or lack of) masculinity. And I have told him that.
He has expressed wanting to compromise with an open relationship or a polyamorous relationship but is held back by many of his fears and poor experiences with it.
Thank you very much for the offer. It's nice to know that there are others out there in similar positions.
There is only so much talking one can do with a partner before it begins going in circles and I get too frustrated. It's definitely not that he isn't willing to listen and respond, it's that I'm tired of it. Like I said before, I'm trying to get into school so I can have counseling; I can't afford it any other way at the moment. So I've turned here for the time being.
His needs are more internal. I have addressed, and continue to address, his external needs. We make sure to check in with those constantly, especially during periods of stress.
I'm not quite sure how to respond to the rest of your post. Breaking up is not an easy option for me and not something I'm seeking to do. I can see this working as an open relationship in the future but I simply struggle to find the patience within myself while he works on his issues.