You're the one there watching his eyes and his reactions to what you say and do, TFC. Your instincts initially told you he was wandering and now those instincts are telling you to go slow and build this relationship back up incrementally. Keep watching, but I think your instincts can be trusted. The trick will be to not allow "letting things be for a while" extend out too very long, right?

I think becoming friends again is fine. One of the things Dr. Harley recommends in SAA to rebuild the relationship is to spend as much quality time together as you can. You'll see references to "15 hours a week” or more. He even recommends getting away on a long trip together.

I'm sorry he's resisting MC, but that too is almost routine for some folks. Keep working for it, okay? SH or a pro-marriage counselor from your community can help a lot getting past the bumps in the road that will crop up in this process.

Good work, TFC.