I had sidetracked another topic, so I decided to start a new one here.
Yesterday, Melissa said the following:
"So 'I'm feeling really sad right now because I feel lonely when you are distracted' is less likely to put your husband on the defensive than 'you never pay attention to me and that hurts.'"
I asked my husband point blank this afternoon the following: whether he could conceive of ever being in a place emotionally in which, if I said, "I feel sad when..." and the "when" thing concerned something he had done, he would not take this as a personal attack or as something that he should feel was his fault. He said, "I don't understand that thing with 'I' statements." He then said that he thinks if I say, "I feel sad when [he does such and such]," I am saying that he made me feel a certain way. He feels responsible for my reaction.
I can't abide staying the rest of my life in a relationship in which I'm on notice that if I share my feelings, even with an "I" statement, my husband will feel responsible and all that comes with that, for him: guilt and inability to function.