The point is to fully accept that when someone is abandoning themselves and stuck in their wounded self, they are not in their rational mind and they are not capable of caring. There is nothing you can say or do to have control over getting them to open and care.
The more Tiffany accepts her lack of control over him and the more devoted she is to loving herself rather than taking care of him, the better she will feel. Over time, as her husband gets that pulling on her to take care of his feelings and then getting angry, unkind, and manipulative isn’t going to work, he might start to do his own inner work.
Of course, there is no guarantee of this and you always take a chance on a relationship when you move out of caretaking and learn how to love yourself, but, by taking this risk, you have a better chance of creating a loving relationship with healthy boundaries than continuing in a dysfunctional system.
If Tiffany doesn’t devote herself to loving herself and keeps caretaking her husband, at some point she is likely to be done with the relationship. By loving herself, she gives the relationship a chance.
The Best Response
Tiffany wants to know the best response when he turns ugly and unkind when she doesn’t take care of him. The first thing she needs to accept is that he won’t be able to hear anything she says to him.
She needs to stop trying to communicate with him that he needs to back off and own his own feelings because when he is stuck in his wounded self, he doesn’t care about her need to be loving to herself.
The best thing she can do is lovingly disengage — walk away, saying that she won’t engage with him until he is open and caring with her. If saying this inflames him further, then she needs to walk away without saying anything, and perhaps send a prayer that he opens up to learning.