I agree with most of your post above, Mystic Phoenix. But I have an issue with this:
Mystic Phoenix wrote:My advice would be to sit down with him and truly communicate.
You can only truly, openly communicate with your spouse if they will give you the same courtesy (ie: respect, listening, keeping an open heart, honoring the commitments that you made to each other.)
This is coming from years of what began as teasing about who I am, and spiralled into abuse. I'm speaking from the experience of years of relearning and reestablishing healthy boundaries.
Communication cannot and will not happen when at least one partner isn't willing. Continuously trying, after a certain point, is only going to hurt the person trying, not the person who has already decided not to try.
I agree, IF the other person is not willing to try. But, we don't know that's the case here. A marriage commitment is a big deal. I think it's always best to try to work it out than to leave, but I understand sometimes that's the only option left. This issue here to me sounds like a communication break down and communication issues can be worked on, like you said, if both parties are willing to try, but I could be wrong.
Counseling is a great idea but can be costly. But, here is a couple of tactics that counselors use often, free of charge. The first communication tactic is called "I Statements". Never start a sentence off with "You" but rather with "I". If you start a conversation by saying "You, You, you!" It's only natural for that person to try and defend themselves, even if they are in the wrong. If you start the sentence with "I", it doesn't come off so accusatory and allows the person to look at the situation more objectively. For example: "you always make me feel like crap" could be said "I get my feelings hurt when you say things like that". Or, "you never listen to me" could be said "I feel like to are not listening to me and I would like to be heard." Or, "you don't understand" can be said "I feel misunderstood".
The second one is super easy, it's called the talking stick. It can be a stick, ruler, pen, whatever you have available. Sit down with the other person and explain to them the rules and why you want to try to use it to communicate and if they agree to follow the rules they are as follows: flip a coin to see who goes first. Then that person takes the talking stick and and has an 2 minutes (timed) to speak their mind. During this time the other person cannot talk at all. No interrupting or defending yourself, just listening. When the 2 minutes are over then the speaker hands the other the talking stick and now they get two minutes to talk without being interrupted. This goes back and forth as many times as needed and until both people feel they have been adequately heard by the other.
For these methods to be helpful both people need to know how to use them and agree to follow the rules. They also need to both have an interest in fixing the broken down communication and ultimately the relationship. If either party is not interested in fixing these things, then it will not work and that's when I would agree that it's time to move on.