and I am broght back to this thread with some direct advice. I think it's from God, but whether you believe that or not the crucial thing is that you weigh this advice for yourself before you use it. If it seems good, do it, wherever the advice came from.
K is apologising. How you handle that is in two steps, neither of which is easy if they are done right, but will transform your relationship.
In a slot where you will not be interrupted, do these two things
1. say 'you hurt me when you ...' and give a very brief. summary of how he hurt you (has to be something he has genuinely apologised for)
2. say 'and you are apologising now, and I can see/-feel/hear in my heart that you mean it. even when you hurt me I never stopped loving you, and I love you now, and I forgive you totally. I want us both to stop hurting over this. I am letting it go, and because I am forgiving you, I want you to let go of your guilty feelings too.
You cannot take short cuts to forgiveness. it is not forgiveness to say 'it doesn't matter' without acknowledging the hurt. and forgiving someone before they are truly sorry is just setting yourself up for the same again.
Forgiveness is the most essential thing in any relationship involving a human being. we get things wrong, and if we don't forgive the hurts build up, and if we forgive before the other person has shown they are sorry, the hurts repeat. Religious people call this step of being truly sorry 'repentance', and whether you believe in God or not, in dealing with your human relationships, repentance always comes before true forgiveness.
That applies in monogamous relationships as much as in polyamorous relationships. It applies between friends, between brothers and sisters, between parents and children
On the self esteem hurt, K is showing you true repentance, opening the way for you to show him true forgiveness. It is your choice: will you forgive?
You see, my lovely American friend, each one of those hurtful feelings is there for a reason, and the reason is to mend your relationship, to heal your life, and to lead you forwards and upwards.
Both of you have a lot to forgive, and both of you have a lot of repentance to get through to clear out the garbage of years of not knowing how to communicate. For a while to come, you will be finding one issue after another to clean up; sometimes K forgiving you, sometimes you forgiving K, but always repentance before forgiveness or it won't work
the worst lie anyone ever told us, was the lie that repentance is only towards God. No! whether God exists or not, repentance and forgiveness are essential between us as fellow humans.
And if God does exist, (and I am not pushing my own brand of religion here) if God does exist how can we do repentance and forgivenes with the unseen God if we have not learnt it first with our most loved humans?
They don't teach that in school in the UK: we get a lot of useful stuff about kings and algebra and spelling, but no help in how to do relationships. No wonder we screw up big time, on both sides of the big pond.
you are in my heart