I struggle with the feeling that everything he asks of me is a demand to exert control over me or to punish me and I get very defensive because I feel we can't recover if we keep going down that road. I walk away when the conversation turns unpleasant for me instead of finding a way to apeace him. And by the time I realize it it's to late, I've already pushed him over the edge.
allgood, While you shouldn't tolerate abuse, a lot of the problem stems from your defensiveness and your tendency to blame your husband. For example, in your initial post, you started off citing his wrongs and carefully sequed into your affair. The affair "innocently" started because you were talking about your husbands bad behavior to others. You do a lot of qualifying and justifying and that can only fuel your husbands anger. You need to stop doing that. For instance, in the above post you said:
I know it started as an innocent friendship, someone to listen and nothing more but at some point I realized it was wrong and I continued to do it.
There is nothing "innocent" about a married woman having personal conversations with a married man about her husband. That is inappropriate behavior for a married woman. Surely you can recognize now that this is how affairs begin?
My suggestion to you is to stop qualifying, justifying and defending. I know you carefully couch your justifications with "I know it was wrong" but saying that does not negate the fact that you just justified the unjustifiable. And more importantly, people who are truly sorry, don't tend to cite the bad behavior of OTHERS.
I sense that you mean well but you have to understand that you have operated with a wayward mind for 6 years. It won't go away overnight. But you can start by eliminating all the defensiveness, justifications and rationalizations. That is not helping your husband recover.
I struggle with the feeling that everything he asks of me is a demand to exert control over me or to punish me and I get very defensive because I feel we can't recover if we keep going down that road.
What specifically is he asking of you that is "controlling?"