I showed this picture to him. He said he didn't buy it, but that he could go either way. Last night during a long drawn-out conversation (another post for another day) he told me, when I brought up his comments on this picture, that people choose to let themselves be bothered or hurt by what people say to them. I realized at that moment that I would never get him to understand my side, and that trying to explain my feelings/fears/thoughts would be useless. He would never take responsibility for being verbally abusive toward me. It was all my fault for expecting him to watch his words so carefully to avoid making me thinking he was saying something rude or mean. In an email he wrote me a few months ago he wrote the following:
"Now made extremely mad, I say mean things."
So I guess in his mind I provoke him, and when I don't like what he says, it's because I brought it on myself. I also have high standards for how I expect to be treated, according to him, and because he just can't possibly meet those standards, we're just "not compatible."